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WATERCOLOURS

 

Sit down here with me

If you want my history.

I'm not some pervert into aquaphelia,
My lady was a model posing as Ophelia,
The mad, sad, suicidal heroine from Hamlet.
That's why I had to get her soaking wet.

The water was cold, but brandy made her brave and bold.
She took a deep breath and dived straight into the river,
Surfacing spluttering, swearing and starting to shiver.
She splashed and thrashed and floated about,
Her lovely dress and petticoats billowing out.
Inspiration poured through my blood.
I painted and painted, as fast as I could.
I expected her clothing to keep her afloat,
Or I would have brought a rope and a boat
In case she needed to come out in an emergency,
If, for example, she began to lose her buoyancy
Which happened, as her garments became waterlogged.
Saturated and filled up with river, they slowly bogged
Her deeper in, and deeper down,

So she started to drown
And from her increased panic I could now tell
That she couldn't really swim all that well.
She was my lover, my model, my muse,
Someone I was very saddened to lose.
I looked on in dread and helpless fear
As she screamed for help and went over the weir,
I was delighted when I found

That she hadn't actually drowned 
My fresh-water mermaid was saved   through first aid
And artificial resuscitation, but much to my frustration,
Anger and consternation She wouldn't jump back in the water
(Well past the rapids that had caught her).
Instead, she screamed, slapped me and started to cry,
"I hate you! I hate you! I'm going home to get myself dry!
And I'm never ever coming back, so this really is goodbye."
I never ever saw her again. My heart floods over  with pain.
The woman I loved has walked out of my life,
And the portrait I was painting of my future wife
Remains an unfinished incomplete masterpiece,
Of a half drawn woman on my studio mantelpiece.
So I find myself drawn back to this little cafeteria
Where I first sweet-talked the lovely fair Ophelia.
I sound so depressing. Sorry about that,
As I do appreciate You taking the time to chat
And let me get so much of this off my mind.
You've been very patient and ever so kind.
If you like, when we've finished our coffee
I'll take you back home to see my gallery
And what there is of her portrait, so you can see
How much you look like her in a certain light
Similar hair, dark eyes, and similar height.
You're just as beautiful, sexy, slender and slim,
And if you don't mind me asking, can you swim?

 

Arthur Chappell

 

Arthur Chappell

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