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Paint By Numb - brrrs

Paint By Numb -brrs

A picture was there, all cut up with
lines forming strange shapes.  I
seldom knew what the picture was
or if it ever became what it was.
“Take the blue pencil and color all
the shapes with the number 5 inside”.
Sort of an artistic “Where’s Waldo” game.
I was never good at “hide and seek”, so
the numbers often escaped me.
Somewhere around, “Take the orange
I had already left the reservation and
was creating a mosaic of leaves, sort
of a bad day in an autumn alleyway.
Then the voice of the six foot tall
Penguin Lady announced, “Put down
your pencils!”  Somehow there was
a warning in that tone meant to alter
my plans for the day.  The black and
white shadow loomed over me and
my Autumn Alleyway.  The idea that
I was allowing my innate creativity
free expression slunk away like a
cur dog in defeat.  Escape into the
colors, the mystery, the joy of
just playing with the colors,
I found, came at a price.  This has
been a recurring theme usually
followed by the query: “Was it
worth it?”  The answer was, and is,
always the same: “You bet your sweet
ass it was.”  This answer was sometimes
less audible than at other times
when it was answered loudly,
confidently, with power and
conviction.  With time, came power,
courage, and respect for the colors.
Respect for the invitation they offered
those many years ago, respect for the 
lessons they taught me.  Respect for the
pencils, the colors, the spaces,
and the numbers that I made my own.

John G. Lawless - 9/19/2014
for PD's - A poem you have not entered in a contest #13



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  1. Date: 9/20/2014 12:27:00 AM

    Looks like the Penguin Lady didn't hurt you at all. Wonderful recollection.