I got the idea watching children play imaginative games,
watching as they chalked their scenes across the square.
Arranged their artefacts like tokens on a game board...
It was the way to start a canvas for my next dystopian view.
I stand it on the easel with myself arranged before,
the light behind me - where the devil's s'posed to be.
My shadow falling on its spotlessness, I wash it in.
The shadow now is permanent, a sort of watermark for me.
They used to say at art school, 'Put something of yourself
into each work - or give it up'. Well this is what I do!
I am the ghost behind the image, a sort of quality control.
And even when the layers build or thick impastos cover me,
when only I remember that I'm there, it puts the brake on me.
My hidden form still gives a human scale to what I do.
I am the ghost that haunts the image, keeps perspectives true -
or maybe, with more truth, the children are the quality control.
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