he does his best work
in pencil

all serve him well
to sketch outlines
mark details
shade in shapes
with shadows

and he is drawing
a small tree
a eucalypt sapling

placed off-centre
in the bottom third
of a sheet
of cotton paper

the leaves are formed
shade implies their colour

twisting as though
every single leaf is alive

and just in front
is drawn
a large bucket container

a breeze ripple
shows it to be
quite full

he will draw more
perhaps a line of rustic fencing

other detail

but that’ll be enough
for now


the trunk
catches his eye
at first sighting


the sapling appears
a young tree

the leaves are long and slender
low hanging
he can almost smell
the eucalypt oil
released under the warm of the sun

and he can’t understand
a matter he knows
he must attend to

replace the empty bucket
with a tank
drawn as full
as he can make it seem


it is magnificent
looks very much
a maturing redgum

the trunk is wide
and tall
reaching high
to the top of the sheet

they are a great big tree
and he can see
this one
is going to be
a beauty

so he takes down
the sheet
places it down
on the table

transparent paper tape
to abut one sheet
up against the other

almost seamless
no-one will ever
be able to tell

finds a new position
to accommodate the length
upon his easel

by tomorrow his tree
will be both sheets

and so he executes
another sketch
placed in the foreground

he knows
you can never get
too much water
to a growing tree


he didn’t manage
to fully draw his picture
or the spill and shape
or the teeming
of his other ideas

but the tree
at a sheet and a half
is just about
one thought enough

and he can’t be sure
in the end
just how big
it might be

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #01 (January, 2017): time awareness

17 thoughts on “sketch

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