Magician

by Frances Galleymore

Trees at the end of the garden are golden,
amber, lemon among lime
but my mother’s pencil flits over paper

silvering outlines she can see
of a ghostly steeple, a roof and a path,
before she turns them into colour.

Applied with the flat of a squirrel-tail
brush, thin washes in dove, aqua,
citrine, but much of the white’s

lying empty before she squiggles
floating puzzle-pieces
over the earlier scatter of patches

while the jam jar’s water
turns from sky, through leaf to earth
and has to be changed to invisible.

The painting’s a dapple, it doesn’t make sense
till frostings burn, they illuminate
with umber and ochre, forest, petrol –

the gate hangs crooked to the church.
White stone crosses, laid with flowers.
Real trees, giving up their transient leaves.