A summery poem:
In Hockney’s painting, A Bigger Splash,
A sawn-off lemon board is shown:
From it, after a sudden dash,
Someone has dived, but is not shown.
The absence leaves us, incomplete,
Held cool by Californian heat.
The water, blue as Curaçao,
Is artificial too, and stainless –
Neither belonging to then or now,
Anaesthetic, perfect, painless:
The still spray’s silent as a scream,
As like white ice as it is steam.
Neither imperfect nor idyllic,
The swimming pool arrests the eye,
Its image, rendered in acrylic,
Offers water that’s almost dry –
But leaves a taste, like Absolut
Tarnished by unknown citrus fruit.