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Monday 17 September 2012

Farewell Old Friend

I have been conducting a spring clean. (Okay, I know it's not spring!)Not the whole house, just my small computer room, but even so... And not one of those annual things, but a life one. And in the process I decided that I had to let a very dear and old friend go - my art folder, which has been with me since early student days. You see it above resting on the recycle bin before finally taking its leave of me. Below is a transcript of our final conversation.

Goodbye old friend, 'tis now
The parting of the ways.
For sixty years - and then a bit -
You've stored and carried
All that I could paint and draw.
You've kept them safe - a task, I fear,
Somewhat beyond you now in your torn form.

Sixteen whales' skeletons
I had in me one time,
My belly full of bone...
Okay! I jest, I jest! Photos they were -
Of sculptures you had made.

'tis true enough! Without complaint -
Though over-stuffed and put upon -
You've always turned up trumps.
Not even once you let a drawing slip.

Aye, overstuffed with nudes on odd
Occasions, I recall. The coloured model
That you liked so much... The massive thighs...
Do you remember her? A full load then
You gave me, no mistake. The drawings all
In conté crayon, brown and red - that's if
My memory serves me well. It should,
Seeing that it all came off, the crayon did, 
Inside my folds. You never did succeed
In shifting all the stain of it.

A thunder storm on one occasion
And I so unprepared. God, what
A night we had of it, you full of
Water colour drawings, fragile stuff,
Me having kittens that you'd let some water in.
As if... Pristine they were when we got home.

So why think that of me? "As if..." you say,
And you are right. Why think I might then,
Little Master Worry Guts?
Whenever did I fail you in that way?
Not even when you threw the water
From the brush wash jar across my flanks!
Remember that one, good and faithful friend?

Indeed I do, you bear the stain of it -
Like many others - to this day!
But you are right: the paintings went unscathed.

And once you left me
On the Epsom train. Much too concerned
With your new girl friend to remember me.
Then what was I to do? Some schoolboys
Found me, had a laugh at what they thought
The "naughty" drawings stashed inside.

I don't know what you did, my friend,
But what you did you did it well.
You were returned to me and all inside intact.
Written for Mrs Upoles prompt Conversations at Theme Thursday


Tabor said...

Always that intrigue at how the inanimate becomes animate over time.

kaykuala said...

A treasure trove for the asking. If some could have been salvaged and uploaded on the 'net. Well Dave, a decision had already made and after the fact, I guess.


Mrsupole said...

Hi Dave,

Such a stately conversation with an art folder that has been your friend through thick and thin and everything in between. Even though this folder is not a live being it is real and sometimes the way we feel for certain things cannot be explained. And I think it this art folder could talk it truly might have had such a conversation with you. I hope you have saved a small piece of it that you can attach to a new folder. Just imagine the conversation they would have.

What can I say but that I am so attached to so many things and I think I need to have a few of those goodbye conversations. It just seems so hard to do.

Thanks for playing with us and sharing this conversation for this weeks Theme Thursday.

God bless.

Daydreamertoo said...

I think if it's been with you for all those years and done you proud, why throw it away. Keep it and let one of your kids throw it away when you no longer need it. It doesn't look like it takes up too much space but has been a treasure chest of memories.
Great poetry to describe all that it has meant to you and been through with you.

Brian Miller said...

ha wonderful dave...there are things we def hold onto because of the memories they carry and moments that you shared together...an art folder is surely one of them....

Anonymous said...

So clever - so poignant! I don't know how you could let it go. Could you paint on its sides or make a collage? Well, of course, you've done that here - it's just terrific. k.

Janine Bollée said...

Odd occasion...how odd I wonder.
Thunder thighs and a thunder storms....what a life you two led together.
Very good tribute to a trusted friend now of needs relinquished.

Mary said...

Dave, this poem saddens me. I am with Bren who thinks you should have kept it. No harm. Doesn't take up much space. Sigh, it is too late now though.

I have some very old doll clothes from dolls I had when I was 10 or under. (dolls long gone) I put them in a sack to throw away, but can't YET bring myself to do it. Probably won't.

Brother Ollie said...

soldi poem DK. I too am going to attack some more of that "spring cleaning" tonight.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

How true, objects that become companions for a life. Well, I still have a same bike, the one I use to go from the train station to school which was a birthday present in 1963. We never departed, a wheel is not perfectly centered now and it looks old but no, her time has not come yet...I hope.

Linda said...

Fascinating and clever. I love to do Spring cleaning in the Spring and the Autumn. Fresh air, nice smells in the air.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What a cool idea - a conversation between you and your old friend. I enjoyed reliving the journey with you. Will be sad to see it go.....

Cloudia said...

objects may be friends and companions as you testify!

Wishing You a happy week,
with Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Elephant's Child said...

Such a trustworthy and trusting object it was too. Have you scanned the precious documents inside? Or transferred them to something newer without the stains... or the memories?

Dave King said...

'Tis true, it do! Thanks for.

Alas, yes, I'm just hoping I'll not regret it!

Mrs upole
I do happen to have a small piece which was saved inadvertently, as it happened. Yes, indeed, I am now imagining the sort of conversations they might in future hold. Thanks for everything!

Great thinking, yes, but alas, too late! Thanks for the thoughts, though.

Yup, indeed - though but for this prompt, I might never have thought that way!

Nice thoughts, I thank you for them. Alas, the folder has gone to that great studio in the sky - or the recycle yard.

We did lead a very eventful existence - once, long, long ago...

I do understand this thinking. I somehow guess you will not get rid of your old clothes. Appreciate your thoughts.

Old Ollie
More power to your elbow - and your resolution then! Thanks for commenting.

Ah, now, that IS something I wish I'd kept: my old bike. Long life yet to yours!

I can't say I feel that way. Things get moved around in the process, and then I can't find them!
Thanks for saying.

Sherry Blue Sky
Thanks. A sadness, definitely. Thanks for saying.

They may indeed. Thanks.

The Elephant's Child
I have transferred them. They were the reason for its demise: they had begun to suffer.