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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 3, September 2012

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Claire Everett
Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England


Drawing Hands
For Owen

When we are deeply in touch with the present moment, we can see that all our ancestors and all future generations are present in us. Seeing this, we will know what to do and what not to do—for ourselves, our ancestors, our children, and their children.

—Thich Nhat Hanh

Come upstairs, down to great Grandma Boyle’s room. She got her smile from you and she’s always making something out of nothing—usually mischief. Across the landing, in the room next door, great Grandad Price is teaching you five-point perspective, just as you showed him. He takes your pencil from behind his ear where you left it before you were born.

sleight of hand
and rule of thumb
in that armchair
depth is not
the only illusion

There I am, at the boarded-up window, watching the birds that I’m still too young to name. “Swifts!” I cry, just as I always did.

sketching
without making
a mark . . .
yesterday screams by
on tomorrow’s wings

Dad, four years old—see how he has your brother’s ears? Why not sit Dad on your knee while you draw Popeye and Mickey Mouse for him, just like he used to do for me and my sisters? Tell him how he’s going to love to go to the Saturday morning picture show.

drops
of mercury . . .
the slightest touch
and the drawing
comes alive

Do you feel that figure brushing by? One of your favourite artists hangs a print in this distant room . . .

drawing each other
on the blank page
of the finished work
we are what we are
yet to be and always were


Author’s Note: The title is taken from the lithograph by M. C. Escher (1898-1972)

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