• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08

Work in progress

Once, your poised, calm hand
moved deftly the wet dip pen
up, down: grained panels,

receding floorboards,
colour of old newspaper
a joke become art

'Harold and his pets –
Why, he could open a shop!
How would that look, now?'

Soft scratch of bright nib
tines open and close again
on the drying page

'Oh, he’s a quiet one,
I see him lurking by the wall,
cages on each side...'

and then paste and brush,
and the placement of photos,
dear menagerie

'Who’d be more alarmed –
Harold, or the customer?'
(to sounds of laughter)

then, to make all real
draw in the deep cast shadows
in fine cross hatching


Work in progress

and now we can hear:
snuffle, scratch, squawk and shuffle
board creak, lamp flicker

and our dear old friend
contemplates his visitor
and all is now still

as you stand there, struck
by how gentle it's become
this flight of fancy

brushed by a warm air
where Harold and his fancies
see out their bright day