Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 19 . . .

Deck of a Beam Trawler, Gloucester, 1923

     by Jean L. Kreiling
     after Edward Hopper’s “Deck of a Beam Trawler, Gloucester.” 1923. Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper.

     Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

He saw the art of work, despite the lack

of workers:  the expectant energy

aboard the unmanned deck, the sinewy

preparedness of heavy ropes left slack,

the muscle of the mast. Where rusty black

abuts the dullish red of industry,

we know men labored, though we cannot see

their forms or faces or what they brought back.

They likely sailed before this sky turned blue,

before sunlit perspective clarified

the architecture of their work; they would

have felt their way through chores. The trawler’s crew—

unlike the painter—didn’t need a tide

of light to show them work they understood.


Jean L. Kreiling’s poetry has been published in several print and on-line journals, including 14 by 14, Contemporary Sonnet (pdf link), Dogwood, The Evansville Review, The Formalist, Mezzo Cammin, and The Pennsylvania Review. She was a finalist for both the 2009 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award and the 2010 Dogwood Poetry Prize. Her essays on music and poetry have appeared in the academic journals Ars Lyrica and Mosaic.


© 2010 Jean L. Kreiling