For the Boy who could not Paint, 3

Painting, one morning,

layering bright colours on canvas,

his story replaying in your mind,

you knew he could not paint.


From blank whiteness,

you began a painting for him.

Strong, large, raw, unplanned strokes.


Gradually, your movements changed,

though not the bright colours.


Rough splattering took shape,

became contained.


More abstract,

more planned, less visceral,

constrained lines and crossings.


What did this say?

What did this tell?


Only, that his story could evolve,

change, resolve,

from formless, chaotic splashes

of red, yellow, blue and green

to rough squares, near rectangles,

thick variations of line.


Being drawn in, being contained,

being calmed and quieted.

Still abstract,

still vivid and bold,

but formed and shaped.


Refined, reframed,

from strong, raw, wild,

to purposeful,




Your resolution of his story,

his story’s place in your mind.


See also: 1 and 2 in this series, and the paintings on this page.