Turners to See

Turners were mostly yellow.  The sky, the sea, the reflection of the boat in the water and its image through the mist, were yellow.  I walked through halls and halls of yellow paintings, all of boats, all using minimal lines to create the cliffs and the birds and the water and the horizon.  They merged together, a collective blur.  I glanced slightly to the left, slightly to the right, as I passed.

Through large arches hung a Turner like no other in the museum.  It was black.  The oils swirled in grays and bulged from the canvas, crawling to me.  A ship — the same ship from the yellow paradises? — was engulfed in a storm.  The paint was a vortex, consuming us whole.  The sails whipped in the wind and to its mercy.  The vessel dipped into the sea, which rushed into every crevice, but I was the one swelled and weighted with salt water. Hours passed, and I walked out off the hall, still alone and waterlogged; and there were no more Turners to see.

Turners to See

Sky Writing

Joaquin spun clouds, based from oils, for tourists and locals alike.  When he was younger, businesses paid him for this.  When the money stopped coming and his family stopped visiting and he no longer set his alarm for his medicine, he kept flying every weekend.  Even though Joaquin forgot to turn off the TV, the lights, and occasionally the stove, he never forgot how to skywrite.

On his last Sunday, his plane looped in the sky.  With elegant twists, the locals on the sand watched him spin the words “How do I land?”  Within minutes, the clouds smeared with the winds.  “What a sense of humor,” someone said, watching him fly deeper out to sea.

Sky Writing