Sunday, 10 June 2012

Glass Walls and Painted People

Not entirely sure how I feel about this one but, here you go *releases into the world*

They come as excited as children at Christmas,
Or like this gallery was a theme park
And there was no line for the dodgems.
They crowd around me.
He glances at my notes
As if it’s the mandatory placard
To which he must give the mandatory look.

When he talks I imagine
He is painting me as the picture I feel I have become,
Priceless enough that you can’t get too close.
He takes pains over my composition, meaning and the use of light.
Really he is telling them how I survived
A dark hole
That would make for a far more interesting portrait.

One of his flock looks uncomfortable enough
For me to note her composition – drained;
The use of light – fleeting.
One tremulous hand grasps her pen a little too forcefully.
I realise she is painted like me,
And the way he reduces us
Makes her feel intimidated.

They move onto the next painting or sculpture,
The next person in the next bed.
She lingers a little
And smiles at me like I am not to be interpreted.
I smile back across the great divide
Of a single bed
And the plexiglass we both know is

Sometimes there.

(C) Sarah Ahmed


  1. Stunning, Sarah. You are a great writer. Love the comparison, though it took me awhile to fully comprehend the poem, language barrier takes its tool sometimes :-/
    But good poetry is meant to be understood only after you read it several times or maybe never truly or maybe always in a different way, telling you a lot about itself, about the writer, about yourself.
    "A dark whole that would make for a far more interesting portrait " amazing.
    Well done!

  2. Took me a few times to get this but I loved it from the first. The images invoked and the angle at which you come at things are totally captivating. Seriously, you're such a wonderful writer!

    Loved it, and looking forward to the next poem!



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