Black Velvet Painting – Marilyn Zelke Windau

The sea is a black velvet canvas.

A pointillist artist has begun a new study,

with white, green and red dots.

He delineates the horizon

with measured points of light,

which alternately ebb dim, burst bright.

It is an attractive painting,

hypnotic in its mainly vast emptiness.


Far off, the fishing boats plunge their nets

through the dark canvas.

Guided by colored spotlights,

they haul in squid at green,

harvest tuna by red,

reap other fish in white magnet-lit patches.


The sea is abundant, and forgiving.

Waves close the tears clawed by hooks and sinkers,

mend the velvet surface with algal threads,

close the paint box with the nap of night.



Marilyn Zelke Windau

Marilyn Zelke Windau started writing poems at age thirteen. Her work has appeared in many printed and online venues and anthologies. Her Adventures in Paradise (Finishing Line Press) and Momentary Ordinary (Pebblebrook Press) were published in 2014. Owning Shadows was recently released by Kelsay Books. She includes her maiden name to honor her father, who was also a writer.

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