Talking Paint

"Painting is silent poetry & poetry is painting that speaks." Plutarch

Artwork and Poetry ~ by Vivien Steels


Spring Blossom
Vivien Steels

Cherry blossom falls
filling sky with confetti
celebrating spring.

Published in Write-Away - Spring 2002/Illustrated with 'Spring Blossom'



Spring Equinox
Vivien Steels

With soughing wind
and sighing clouds,
bowing trees
and sheeting rain –
March strides into iron skies
and spring is nearly green again.

Smoking clouds signal rain.
The yew tree spreads
its lower branches
over the lissom lawn
like trailing tails
of a vanity of peacocks –
a fanfare for April.

Our pear tree
(ninety years old)
bark wrinkled as skin,
sifts silken blossoms
onto the oncoming storm.

Sun’s lamp spotlights
an avenue of limes,
as green advances in layers,
buds screwed up like crepe paper
stuck to branches ready to burst.



A city of clouds upheld
by an Atlas of setting sun
blazes hot-orange,
but summer’s eyes
are not yet open.
The down of owls
pillows the darkling sky,
as a full moon stares me
straight in the face,
preparing me for
a season of change.  

Published in Panda No: 18 – April 2004 and Quill & Parchment – April 2006        Illustrated with 'Pear Blossom'   






Spring Rap
Vivien Steels

scat the sky
sing the green
summer’s drowse
has yet to infuse
spark of bulb
twist of leaf
curve of nest
eggs unseen

Published in Write-Away - Spring 2001/Illustrated with 'Daffodils'





Spring Wedding
Vivien Steels

apple trees
shivering confetti

wedded to spring
greening its cloth

across lands and fields
to meadows of warmth

doused in cowslips
beyond which clouds curve

over arc of blue
ringed with sun

Published in A Time of Reflection (anthology) – Anchor Books 2007 



Vivien Steels

pear blossom
buds like round, white pearls
ready to burst
the five-star sepal
set amongst sun-green leaves

Published in Amber Silhouettes No: 2 - March 2004
Illustrated with 'Pear Blossom' (detail)    



Spring Watch
Vivien Steels (née Gath)

A bird swoops,
tips and stutters
to a thinly waving tree.
The darkened tail flicks
against sharpened points of green.

The sky softens to a mirage of waves
where thin bands of woven clouds,
like white organza ribbons,
weave in amongst the blue.

A ladder of sun reaches
A confusion of netted leaves.
Below a moving purple print,
textured like velvet,
turns to green and back to purple.

Grey wind seeps into the shadows.
A grey mist catches the wetness.
Silvered slants of white lines
splinter into light.

I move from my perch
like a cat bitten by the rain.
My bicycle drips,
then shivers clean again.
I ride into rain.

Published in Poetry Nottingham – Spring 1983



Snowdrops and Jonquils
Vivien Steels

Swathe of white foam flows down Spring bank.
Snowdrops circle golden jonquils, dipping
to grey blast of North-East winds, which
declare Winter still plays its lingering game.

Trees bend and touch to tell tales
of blossom, heat and green, green leaves
when sunshine drifts its camp down mossy hills
and hangs its swags along the summer lintel.

Illustrated with 'Snowdrops & Jonquils' - original photo of Hodsock Priory