Deferred Sunlight

An Edinburgh studio in autumn,
light across slate,
russet and ochre,
the colour of tousled hair,
of padded jackets,

of the smouldering grate,
the colour of the loch
at Duddingston,
the sea at Cramond,
the coast at Concarneau,

and the lustre from that canvas
on the chair, a girl thickly
memorialised in oils.
Love in the new town,
when women were paintings.

Dazzled by all this, they don’t see it,
Hardie and the others,
the future like veins
slowly haemorrhaging
through thickening clouds.