Saturday, 17 October 2015
SKETCHES ON THE WALL
Maureen Clifford © The #ScribblyBark Poet
The grey and grainy texture showed faces from different times
though some things there were familiar to me.
I recognized the outline of the range of distant hills,
the gnarled twisted limbs of our old apple tree.
The photos showed a little boy in fancy pants and collar
with a sailors hat perched on his white blond hair.
A boy and dog together posing in their Sunday best
both spruced up a treat - a much loved family pair.
The boy was my great uncle and the dog his faithful friend
who he often drew, which caused a bit of strife.
For his father thought that drawing was a sissy thing to do,
there’s no time for fripperies in farming life.
But the boy would never settle down to farming things and such
he planned to farm the world when he grew up.
He scribbled horses onto walls and drew on scraps of paper
and many, many times he sketched the pup.
And now, sitting here quietly with a fresh coffee in hand
and the scent of new mown grass around me drifting.
I turn the pages of his book and marvel at the drawings,
at their beauty and their style, truly uplifting.
Lorikeets, with plumage red and green, on nectar feasting
leap from the pages with such clarity
with every feather quite detailed, and every blossom drifting
downwards sketched with details very clear to see .
But then I come across the sketch I really love the best
I have known it all my life - it’s an old friend.
An outline of a prancing horse, he scribbled on a wall
of the shearing shed, where still our sheep are penned.
And though we’ve never met in life – in spirit we are joined
and I feel his presence very close today .
I marvel at a talent that war cut short in its prime,
leaving us with just photographs and sketches aged and grey.