Stand Up and Be Counted


The day I saw these portraits
I was, as often, head in sand
Going about the day's routine,
Run-of-mill, far from grand.

And the faces leapt out at me,
Calling from the gallery wall,
'That mediocrity you're leaning on
Could well be your downfall!'

Later, thoughts still jossling, 
I'm leafing through a pile, 
And out drops my own portrait - 
Old, and taken with such style - 

That I'm forced to find the contrast 
Between my visage and theirs, 
To expose a question underneath, 
Some gem hidden in the layers. DSC_1420 

So... Spot the Odd One Out. 
Well perhaps each, apart from me; 
Here I am, sitting sweet 
At the age of twenty-three. 

I recall so well the split 
Between heart and looking fine; 
The difference with these 'odd ones' 
Is that they didn't tow the line. 

Each drawing is created 
In lines made by different hands; 
Abstracted and pieced together 
Like maps from far off lands. 

Each stroke, each stride of pencil 
A journey to break free; 
An icon to their conviction, 
The split canvas a chance to see 

That our lives and our faces 
Are scored not through a single soul, 
But through the seeing of so many 
That makes what seems a whole. 

Meanwhile is my own image 
So solid, so sweet, so mounted? 
Am I just sitting pretty, 
Or will I stand up and be counted? 

Can I let the picture open 
So that passion gets a shout; 
So I can join them on the wall 
And be the odd one out? 

The journey is not so easy 
To break into unknown ground, 
But it is in making this pilgrimage 
That the creative life is found.

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