Picture on a Wall

pasteled into a picture-frame is landscape
slow blowing a breath of heated wind through my hair
underneath a eucalyptus branch showing bark
as fine as paper done in greys and reds
and the brown map of cicatrising insect trailings

into mountain shapes faded by a hazy distance
like dim colour-clouds filtering the vision
that is sky baking down beneath the summer
of a gully eaten out in some long past flood
that grew from an innocent original intention
to settle down the dust that I can taste
in billowed drifts of coated grit
from sandy topsoil loosely shaded on a foreground

sun that makes me squint-eyed against the glare
of barren places I have seen and trodden
with the peculiar thirst brought on by empty spaces
where in the constant burn of drying loneliness
a drink of even tepid swilling-water is like a step
along the road to heaven in drooping shade
that’s hanging just as thinly as the paper
on a cigarette rolled between the softened curl of fingers
from a handful wisp of drifted smoke rising up
in studied contemplation of some old picture on a wall


© Frank Prem, 2001

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6 thoughts on “Picture on a Wall

  1. You’re as talented with words drawing the reader into your scene as the painter was with brush and oils when he/she drew this viewer into the picture. You made me long to see that painting! And I really like the way you bring us back to the viewer again, standing there contemplating it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Entangled Beauty’s Grit – TyroCharm

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