The light from within the Orrery
illuminates the children’s faces.
This glow in the darkness
spreads and each canvas is lit.
This picture depicts some wonder of generosity;
a marvel that touches deeply your curiosity.
Here around are landscapes, portraits and myths
gathered in profuse display and all Wright.
Here Arkwright sits near the spools of cotton
woven at his water-powered mill,
seemingly the quintessence of optimistic enterprise.
Beyond Arkwright’s son and wife look
more prosperous yet more mannered too as
Gainsborough might depict.
Across here a scene from Laurence Sterne
has captured Wright’s inquisitive imagination.
Nearby Vesuvius again erupts into crimson
and emerald below in the bay boats float
with fishermen undistracted in their industrious
capture of shoals beneath the calm seas.
I too am captured by a certain canvas in which
an Indian squaw sits widowed on a hillside under
her hero husband’s suspended arms and
awaits the breaking tumult from the threatening clouds.