trust me, you can fall in love with someone who reads “twenty thousand leagues under the sea” to you& even if you meet them just for a few hours–



they talk layers
lighthouse silhouette//dark clouds
&stormwind’s tearing at parasols
i made it

just in time
as rain breaks loose & hits the ocean’s raging surface
someone smokes, the guy with raven hair talks
&she spoons cake between the padded cushions of her lips
a jiffi bag
with not a single promise left

i order cappuccino,
lean into the island’s fragile shape
“what a weather” says the woman next to me,
her moist hair looping comfortably round her face

&i take out my sketchbook
black ink finds the page’s pale waiting surface
in some kind of marriage

when has she given up to answer? i think&
when did he stop to want her?
my hands following their outlines

alongside a french blind girl
i feel in the waves for snails&whelks
on the coast of brittany, the middle of a war

she puts the stone that you could buy five eiffel towers with
gently back into the sea
where it belongs

knowing that it can contain much more
than what we are

&what our hands and hearts
could carry


a bit of a mix of some of the people i observed and sketched at Sylt and a bit of the magic from “All the light we cannot see” by Anthony Doerr that i read while i was there…


22 responses to “trust me, you can fall in love with someone who reads “twenty thousand leagues under the sea” to you& even if you meet them just for a few hours–

  1. So nice Claudia. I love to sit and people watch while I drink cappuccino. Your painting and your words are just what I need on a windy Saturnday morning. Hope you have a good weekend.

  2. I like the jumps in this, as if I am looking around and watching the scene. The description of her lips from cushions to having no more promises left to give, it tells much about her. The intimacy of your hands following their outlines as well, it crosses the barrier between the observer and the observed in a very cool way. The ocean being a cradle of life, can def carry more than we can individually – especially those things we can treasure.

  3. The words move on the page…like eyes scanning a room…creating stories to go with each view…those short stories we create as we watch the people around us…another fine verse.

  4. This poem has a hypnotic quality. It is almost as if you are watching people around you, stop, take a sip of your coffee or tea and carry on observing. Beautiful.

    Greetings from London.

  5. I tried to read “All the Light I Cannot See,” but I couldn’t get into it, which is strange as I heard good things & I like to read about that time period & Germany and France. Sigh, maybe I should try again. Good that she put the stone back into the sea where it belongs; and I wonder what all our hands and hearts can carry!

  6. I like the way it seems like when you try to fit a narrative to tidbits of eavesdropped conversation. We can make the persons that we see into figures of a novel.. And the painting is gorgeous.. and yet a book that I should add..

  7. You sure caught much this time. The stone though, I’d keep that if it can buy that much lol I’ll put a worthless one back in its place though haha

  8. Another walk with Claudia, a sit down this time and I mostly watch the marriage of paper and ink while listening and knowing the painter uses words as well as inks. What do we give up to have a point of view, to say what we want?? Sometimes I wonder if what we draw comes alive in front of us rather than the other way around.

  9. Isn’t eavesdropping conversations an excellent inspiration for poetry? I’ve always dreamt of going to Sylt and, even though I’ve never been there, I instantly thought of it as the landscape for your painting and your poem…

  10. Just loved this, Claudia, and picked up on the references to “All the Light…” which has to be one of the most powerful books I have read in years. I left it in the desert but my husband has to fly down for a doc appt and I’ve asked him to bring it back to me. Anyway, the immediacy of your poem, the sketching, the environment all blended together so well.

  11. There is so much in this one – I think it is one of my favorites..I like the connection of the sea to life..and who wouldn’t want to hear 20,00 Leagues Under the Sea..

  12. LOVE the title, and the fine observations that grace the page, the wondering when the woman gave up, feeling shells with the blind woman, who puts the stone back into the sea……..lovely.