Telling Tales

Do you think that you know the tale
of the tin soldier, the incomplete brother,
unwavering, even on one leg.

Never failing to keep countenance
through all his misfortune, finally
winning his eye’s desire, just
moments before dying.

Do you think it is wise to be consumed in this way?

What about the silent, crisp doll,
stood in the doorway of her castle.
A sylph in flossy gauze. Gazing out
over the party, frozen in mid-pirouette.

Did you ask her why she didn’t say anything?

And the Jack-in-the-box, never fully revealed
called cunning, accused
of thwarting the soldier’s plans. (What plans?
He was as immobile as she was.)

Can you prove that he had anything to do with it?

Do you even know whose voice it is that is speaking?

[NaPoWriMo 2019 – day 2]

How to Make a Portrait of Someone You’ve Never Met

  1. Gather your tools: paper, pencil, charcoal, canvas, acrylics, oil paint, or a camera if you prefer.

  2. Look; stare hard and long at the person who’s not there.

  3. Then draw, paint, photograph the space around them: the walls, the armchair they’re not sitting in, the slope of the hill leading to the lake.


    For now… ignore the face that isn’t there.
    For now… ignore the smeared fog on the surface of the water.

  4. Fill the surface, keep filling in the space around the figure who isn’t there, until
    you realise they are below the surface and have been there all along.