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Frances Rose by Maggie HamblingHer hands, blue and white, rest on her knee
caps like peaks of the Himalayas
as she sits poised, a gentle cloud God.
The sadness in her eyes, half full, not empty.
And a philtrum, wide and deep, as if the muses
themselves had deliberately called forth her words.
But now she keeps them safe in her pocket.
Silent, just waiting, as Maggie captures
a life, finely glazed onto an ageing skin.
Her eyebrows, well-marked and high,
ask what your business is. Wanting you to know
that after seventy odd years, she is well satisfied
with her doings in life.
Portrait of a Still Neighbour was inspired by Maggie Hambling’s portrait of Frances Rose.

Pauline Suett Barbieri – poet/painter – born in Liverpool. Two collections of poetry ‘The Shirley Valentine Syndrome’ and ‘Bringing Home the Bacon’ – Waterloo Press. She has an addiction to comedy, perhaps reflecting an ancestor, Richard ‘Dicky’ Suett (1755-1805), George III’s favourite Shakespearean clown and star at Drury Lane for 25 years.

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