My Muse, Almost Forgiven


15×11″, watercolor and ink on watercolor paper, unsigned. Private collection of the artist.

“Jill, My Muse,” A Poem by Peter Stilton:

It’s not a ruse—
You are my muse.

Not from Parnassus…
Those heavy-footed nymphs,
Stomping about,
Couldn’t hold a candle
To your light.

You pirouette
In and out of my mind
Watching a panorama
Of inscrutable pictures—
A ballerina
Punctuating a manuscript,
Kneading it meditatively
Like a choir In a cavernous cathedral.

You are my muse.
With a smile and a frown,
Delight, and puzzled quiet,
You look into nebulae
Of masques and unsung operas.
You see, with me,
Delineations and palettes
Bubbling from a sacred spring,
Ancient and mysteriously acoustic,
Yet always here, and heard.

You, muse,
Attend the births
And offer psalms
Of heaven’s joy
In celestial blue,
Triumphant with cymbals
Of yellow and gold
And flute, and harp
Of purple and green.

Art gives us hope, in red,
And meaning, in vermilion,
And lights up
The great ship we sail in
Through the darkening skies
Of umber, ink, and indigo.

And the muse graces the pinnacle,
Becomes the figurehead,
And opens iridescent wings
As we sing our way
Into the brightness of a rainbow.


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