Bathers at the National Gallery by Kate Young

Tidal air is thick today.
We have breathed too many atmospheres,
absorbed too many views,
senses drowned in sea surge
as strangulated sand.

We could take the waters here
in this frame.
Bathe, drink, cleanse our skin,
merge in body curve
peeling palette-stroked flesh
from self-consciousness
but our shadows,
moulded in Cezanne stone,
thirst for space,

I move away.
Thoughts flirt with stippled clouds
disclosed as aqua-gemmed silence
across Asnieres.
Watery strands of summer recall
eternalised on canvas,
though Seurat lived in autumn.
Titian warmth split in tessellated dust
sun freckled,
yet fused in orgasm.

We turn simultaneously,
movement synthesised, soundless.
Eyes transmit the word.
We divide,
I walk towards the light.


Kate Young lives in Kent with her husband and has been passionate about poetry and literature since childhood. After retiring, she has returned to writing and has had success with poems published in magazines. She is presently editing her work and writing new material, particularly in response to ekphrastic challenges. Alongside poetry, Kate enjoys art, dance and playing her growing collection of guitars and ukuleles!

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