El Greco’s House



we walk narrow, white-washed corridors
and gaze at hand-carved black-oak beams,
older than these grandfather clocks whose
long hand, short hand mark time
in a distant century.

On an open hearth in a tiled kitchen,
cook-pots hang from an iron tripod.

The original paintings have long gone
but copies of haloed heads gaze down
at us from walls where cobwebs age
with gathering dust.

A goose quill pen and an inkpot
await the maestro’s return.
They are poised to sign the  contracts
that litter the desk with their thick
black promises of wealth to come.

We climb worn, creaking stairs
and visit the artist’s studio with its
three-legged stool, an easel
by an open window, paint brushes,
and an untouched canvas
crackling in the summer breeze:
a white sail spread before a voyage.







16 thoughts on “El Greco’s House

  1. Pearl S. Buck’s house is only a few miles from me. I had this same feeling walking through the rooms – that was waiting for her to come home. I love when a house gives off the essence of its owner. Your poem conveys that perfectly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Tanya. The poor PEI sea gull in the photo won’t voyage very far. I have several photos of him and his friends, all washed up on the beach after a storm. I felt that El Greco’s house, in Toledo, was just sitting there, waiting for him to return. It was a strange old feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

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