The wise woman rises early, Stepping into clean, fresh clothes, Pulling on her lovely crease-free trousers, Her unwrinkled Tee clinging neatly to her shoulders, Her shoes so sparkling clean and pretty, Even the flowers admire them.
‘Bye!’ calls the wise woman, As she goes singing on her way, Everyone making room for her.
The tired woman rises far too late, That extra five minutes somehow getting away from her. And look! The clothes fairy hasn’t been! So she wears crumpled Tee and wrinkled trousers. Her shoes so dusty and dull Even the flowers try to hide them.
No ‘Bye!’ from this tired woman, As she goes yawning on her way.
But the wise woman makes room for her, For tired tomorrow, wise today.
There they are, Sheaves of hay lying in the fields Like golden Lovers, Waiting for sunrise, Waiting for the sun’s warmth To cradle their tired heads. Make soft shadows of eyelashes Lying quiet against their faces.
Don’t wake them, Let them rest. For over the thorn hedge In the next field waiting, Winter rests on its elbow, Frosty fingers all set To kill summer stone dead.
Here comes the sun. Time enough now to shake their shoulders Before the frost gets close enough to touch them.
The artist is a liar About painting only what he sees In front of him. Slick lies of seduction slipping from his lips, Falling from his tongue, Like leaves falling from a wintered tree. He tells so many lies It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind.
That naked breast she offers On fingers thin and sharp as boning knives Is not offered for free. Painting the aureole so dark Only the juice of damsons could create Such a full, rich, bruising.
This dance hall dame, remote and lethal, Puts no value on any part of her body. It’s all for sale For a wad of the folding stuff.
The artist rhapsodised about her hair, Her eyes, her implacable face. But no-one on earth could mistake That sullen, knowing mouth For the mouth of a woman Who has given in to seduction.
I’ll say! That’s the mouth of a woman Keeping her trap shut And counting the money.
The artist is a liar, Telling so many lies It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind. Certain that this painting is so beautiful People will fight to have it on their wall.
When, all the time, he knows he has painted Her ancient and watchful soul, All bandaged about with suffering.