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Saturday 13 April 2013

A day with the brush.

Me__ Any thoughts about today?
Toby Yes, actually. Thought I might sit up near the conveyor belt and look down into the abyss... And you?
Me__ The opposite. Up on the high bank, looking straight across to where you'll be.
Toby Sounds good to me!
Me__ Anywhere should be OK today. Conditions are ideal. No matter where we park our easels, should be fun.
Toby Have we ever had a day like this before, with both wind and sun? Take your pick.

Silence and shiver.
No sound but traffic
hum from below.
Sun's dazzle a quake
gently shakes what I see.

Everything white
other than sky,
nothing visibly not white
except for its blue --
and the sun's yellow pencil
outlining a shape
and a texture or two.

My easel's black shadow,
a cataract, falls
down the bank's sharp incline,
the sun's latest cut-out --
or black-out, say you?

Think of a coal mine
its coal brilliant white
dust crusts the landscape --
grass, shrubs and trees
a building or two...
the conveyor belt wheel
is the mine's winding gear.
The men all below.
Birds never come here.

Riddlesdown. Quite unique in my view.
Cement works and chalk quarry.
What little remains
of the downs that were here
is covered with dust sheets.
Spectral, the scene.

The conveyor belt rattles
and bangs into life,
buckets clatter and sway.
Deep in the quarry
jive their shadows all day...

Toby Would you believe it! Some guy comes up to me while I'm painting. Says "Why you bothering with paints? There's plenty chalk down there you could use.
Me__ And you said?
Toby Nothing! I thought: Prick! But then, afterwards, began to think it not such a bad idea. I might work over it with pastels.
Me__ Yeah, I can see that working!
Toby You know if heaven and hell ever got together and reached some sort of compromise, it would probably look a bit like that place.
Me__ Maybe, but I think I prefer my good and evil a bit more black and white.

Written for Herotomost's Destinations and Dialogues prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads where we were asked to sandwich the poem between two pieces of dialogue.


Brian Miller said...

You know if heaven and hell ever got together and reached some sort of compromise, it would probably look a bit like that place.

ha...i like...and the good and evil in black and white...those lines are bril dave...the interactions on either side are my fav actually...both those sections were really engaging for me...

Other Mary said...

This is a very 'meaty' sandwich Dave.

jabblog said...

A poet AND a painter - but it's evident from your writing. Perhaps Riddlesdown was the waiting room for Heaven or Hell - limbo, maybe. It's an SSSI now, I think?

hedgewitch said...

I love the prosaic conversation, sandwiching the really fine, imagistic poetry here, David. I was especially struck by your visual of a white coal mine, white devastation, yet full of purpose--also nice touches with cut-out/black-out, and the chalk reference at the end.

Mary said...

Enjoyed this, Dave. I could see the scene unrolling before my eyes. Nice dialogue. And I prefer heaven and hell more black and white as well. Ur

Herotomost said...

Dave, this was wonderful and exactly what I had in mind. I have spent alot of time doing environmental and health and safety work in quarries and on mine sites. I never thought for a minute that it would make such a good place for painting, but it rally is. Industrial, mixed with humanity, mixed with nature. Brilliant. Loved every minute of this. thanks for coming by, I appreciate it a lot.

Carl said...

Great sense of what a day out with the brush and paints feels like.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I like this particularly for its realism Dave.

Dave King said...

Thanks for this comment, it's exactly the sort that I find most helpful.

Other Mary
Thanks very much for saying so.

Now there's an interesting thought... might stand some development!

Thank you so much for this detail and your kind thoughts.

Ah, a person after my own heart then? Thank you.

Wow! I'm really touched by your comments. Thank you SO much - far more than I had expected.

Thanks Carl this pleases me a lot.

The Weaver of Grass
Also a very pleasing response. Thank you for it.