Martha knows I am one of seven 

She knows every one of us asks  

Which one is going to do the division  

Prime the canvas take out the garbage  

Answer the people who say they don’t know 

Where the paintings come from  

They come from dark spots 

External haunts  


When I put my head down 

Seven beating hearts 


Who is going to paint cook supper 

Write and dispel the confusion  


It has taken us 

A lifetime  

To take a fork in the road  

And find a table  

Wide enough to accommodate 

Muscles and triangles 

The physical and the abstract 


from “For My 75th Birthday” – Basil King 

[published in History Now, Marsh Hawk Press, 2017]