The Painter


A brief canvas of obsession and compulsion
Etched blackened veins in strokes
Of leaden paint.

The painter in his madness portrayed chaos.

What he thought were masterpieces
were merely the manipulations of the claws
that trickled up his spine, sending signals
to his ailing wrists.

One day he stood back,
stooped in calmed breath,
the lights turned mellow in his studio
observing yet another tragic artwork
of melancholic self-preoccupation.

At this point rays of sunshine splintered
through his cobwebbed studio windows.

In through the letterbox came a new paintbrush, a bucket of cream paint with which to whitewash his canvass, acrylics and instructions from his Professor.

“Paint with these”, he rallied, in his memo, “paint yourself, your imperfections, your strengths, paint this Earth’s splendours, and a brighter world beckons.”

That day he painted furiously, sketching out a canvas where the skies bled light.

The masterpiece for the artist was not to fight.