Behind him lay a field of shattered dreams.
Dead donkeys, lead balloons and weathered rope.
Knotted narratives given strangled themes;
given up as useless and beyond all hope.
Below him things assembled then dispersed.
Watercolours washed across his canvas.
Things happened as things do when unrehearsed;
and so, moved in accordance with their mass.
Ahead of him there rose a future tense.
Vague forms described the shape of things to come.
Possibilities left an awkward sense.
The opposable thoughts of a Roman thumb!
. What to make of this life that comes and goes,
. of this so fickle life that ebbs and flows?
© Tim Grace, 19 October 2011
To the reader: Half a life ago, I drove across the city to an evening of life-drawing classes. I remember the trip as a drive that took me to another time and place. In a few short hours, once a week, I met myself as I’d always imagined I should be; an artist. An amateur artist alive with creativity. The drive there was part of the pleasure. As I crossed a bridge, one evening, I noticed a poised figure – still as a captured photograph: lonely, he stood upon the bridge, to contemplate existence; he looked behind; he looked beneath; he looked into the distance.
To the poet: I’ve lost all the drawings. The paper yellowed and the charcoal smudged. I remember the physical flow of lines, the sweep of curved forms – foreshortened to compensate for the distortion of perspectives. But most of all, I remember the pleasure of that poem. It hasn’t yellowed. It’s an ever-present reminder of my encounter with a temporal experience; personal but at the same time universal.