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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 3: May 2020
Poem: 105 words
By Robbi Nester

After Blossom


Blossom, etching and aquatint by Phil Greenwood

Etching and aquatint (2003)

Copyrighted © by Phil Greenwood. All rights reserved.
Reproduced here with artist’s permission.


After Blossom

A thousand stars caught in the branches of the apple tree 
and hung like stunned wishes. Some fell to the grass, 
blazing white among the buttercups, the fierce green. 
If we could truly see the world, its brightness would burn. 
Sightless, we would stare all day out the window. 
Maybe it’s best that few can glimpse the grace, 
and then only at moments, painting it in pigments 
ground from the earth, in bright patterns of paper 
and glass, hymning it in syllables of measured breath, 
humming along with the bees, carrying 
sweetness from one white cup to another. 



—From Crossing Borders: Ekphrastic Poems and Collaborations, Robbi Nester’s full-length collection of 34 ekphrastic writings, with an introduction by the author and 29 artworks by numerous visual artists; this book is available for publication.

Robbi Nester
Issue 3, May 2020

is the author of four books of poems, including a chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012) and three collections: A Likely Story (Moon Tide, 2014), Other-Wise (Kelsay, 2017), and Narrow Bridge (Main Street Rag, 2019). Her poetry, reviews, articles, and essays have been published widely.

She has also edited a print anthology, The Liberal Media Made Me Do It! Poetic Responses to NPR & PBS Stories (Nine Toes Press, 2014), and an e-anthology of ekphrastic poetry, Over the Moon: Birds, Beasts, and Trees (Celebrating the Photographs of Beth Moon), which was published online in 2016 as a special edition of Poemeleon Journal.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Three Poems by Robbi Nester in Verse Virtual (January 2020)

Law of Attraction, ekphrastic poem after Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone, in Verse Virtual (May 2019)

Night Tunnel, ekphrastic poem after artwork by Robert Rhodes, in The Ekphrastic Review (21 April 2016)

The Locusts, ekphrastic poem after a collage of the same name by Mary Boxley Bullington, in The Ekphrastic Review (13 October 2015)

Phil Greenwood
Issue 3, May 2020

was born in 1943 in Dolgellau, North Wales and now lives in Kent. Since 1971, he has been a professional artist and printmaker. A regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy and the Bankside Gallery (home of The Royal Society of Painter-Etchers), he has also exhibited in Europe, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, and Japan. His work is held in many private and public collections, including the Tate Gallery, Arts Council, British Council, Greenwich Museum, Edinburgh Education Authority, Liverpool University, and Loughborough College of Education. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in 1982.

Greenwood’s work has been used by the National Trust and has appeared in books such as the Encyclopedia of Printing, in articles and front-cover illustrations for Leisure Painter, on greeting cards (Unicef and H. Ling) and CDs (Deutsche Grammophon), and on the 1995 Sanyo company calendar.

Greenwood now works mainly on copper plates. His work is economical in that he typically uses only two plates and two or three colours to achieve a great range of tone and colour by the depth of the etch and by overprinting and fusing one colour with another. His images do not always relate to a specific place—he works from an atmospheric amalgamation of ideas recalled.

Learn more at the artist’s website:

https://www.philgreenwood.info/ and Picture Gallery

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Snow Night (1974) and Woodshade (1977), two intaglio prints on paper by Phil Greenwood held by the Tate Museum

Artworks from Phil Greenwood at Wychwood Art Gallery

Etchings by Phil Greenwood at Norton Way Gallery

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