The Art Teacher

You sketched your death on a post it note,

Etched portrait laid in charcoal coffin,

Lined up your family to gaze in,

Their hands laden with the days shopping.


I sensed the irony of wry dry smile

Drawn in to hide your sadness,

Tender like the ink-press of a bruise,

I watched you ashen in your art room.


Hunch-backed you papered over your heart,

Breathed in the dust of your lonely art,

Watched particles rain down through sunlight,

And settle their last sad whisper.


Musty-smell filled and dried your throat,

Stole your voice, tore sugar-paper skin.

The chalk, first firm in your fingers, gave in

As you pressed your heartbreak into the cracks.


Moody blues tunes sing out your feelings,

You never did like your drawings

A ‘Beauty you’d always missed’,

Your talent, like the class, dismissed.


“brief: This weeks Tuesday Poetics Challenge hosted by sarahsouthwest was to tell a story or show a character just in the things they’ve sensed.

“insight: My Art Teacher was ill when I knew him, he’d play ‘Nights in White Satin’ by the Moody Blues during class and inspired this portrait.

7 thoughts on “The Art Teacher

  1. I like how the writer conveys everything the artist drew and added a 3-D feeling to the sad portrait – some very touching lines too , not least
    “Breathed in the dust of your lonely art,
    Watched particles rain down through sunlight,”

    That opening line is so memorable and sets the scene perfectly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read this two or three times now – it’s such a strong piece. I love your use of semantic field here – the sugar paper skin, the ink-press of a bruise – and the story is so sad, but one that I guess all creative people recognise – the constant striving to portray something, but always falling short.

    Liked by 1 person

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