#WATWB June – Man with no hands sells sketches in bid to raise money for homeless

As soon as I pick that pencil up I feel like I’m healed.

Robert Drew

 

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Picture from ABC News: : Former homeless artist and recovering drug addict Robert Drew has been selling his sketches to get by on the streets. (ABC News: Anna Hartley)

 

Robert Drew was born without fingers. What’s more he has been in the grip of drug addiction.  He tried ice, pot, and alcohol. But his drawing has drafted – pun intended – a new perspective.  Clearly he has a talent. Please check out the article on ABC News Australia.

What a great way to utilize our talents for a better life.

Robert’s story is my (late arrival) focus for this month’s We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB post for June 2019.

Our co-hosts this month are:
Sylvia McGrath,
Susan Scott,
Shilpa Garg,
Eric Lahti,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.  Please head over to their pages and all using the #WATWB.

Robert Drew reminded me of an earlier poem of mine called “We Are More”. There is an excerpt below.

We Are More

(iii)

He takes his “Please help” sign,

Turns it round,

And with

A texta he found,

Begins

To sketch,

Feebly at first,

Then

With gusto,

A portrait

Of her,

That Toulouse-Lautrec

Would be proud of.

Yes

We are more

Than the symptoms seem.


More good news on the #WATWB tag

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When Life Feels Like a Garbage Tip

When Life Feels Like a Garbage Tip

 

When life feels like

A garbage tip

And debris around you

Makes you trip

You fall among it

And your clothes do rip

You sit amidst your garbage tip.

As you sit amidst debris

You begin to feel

A little more free

Pausing from adrenaline pace

You set about to embrace

The place.

Some order suggests itself

Before your gaze

Then meaning emerges

From the malaise.

You sit and learn

As you rummage around

And find some treasure

In the garbage ground.

Simon C.J. Falk 28 June 2019


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Remembering Les Murray

A good number of people in Australia, and across the seas, have encountered the poetry and person of Les Murray, 17 October 1938 – 29 April 2019. I have been meaning to pay my feeble tribute to him, and, since inspiration has not been forthcoming in my own works of late, I dedicate this post to Les.

As his website tells, he was born in the village of Nabiac, in New South Wales.  His family’s dairy farm was where his childhood and youth matured. After studying modern languages at Sydney University, he became a translator at the Australian National University in Canberra for a time.

He is well remembered for his many collections of poems, like On Bunyah.

Here is an excerpt from one of his poems

Performance

I starred that night, I shone:
I was footwork and firework in one,
 
a rocket that wriggled up and shot
darkness with a parasol of brilliants….

There are more on his website and at the Poetry Foundation.

Les also struggled, at times, with depression,  ‘The Black Dog’, as described in his book Killing the Black Dog.

We remain in his debt for many things. May Les rest in peace and his words remain in our bookshelves and in our hearts.


 

For Les Murray

 

You are at rest,

Worthy wordsmith,

From your years

Turning, turning

Words and pages

Over

To us.

But

Your words visit

Us still

Through the leaves

Of pages of poems,

And autumnal falling leaves,

That mark a new season

And invite our gaze

Like yours

To see the lyrical lines

Of life.

May we see

The beauty

In the messy

And the mundane

As did you.

May we hear

The hurting heart

Of battler’s tales

As did you.

And learn to

Look at the

Underside of things

To help free

Their voice.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 9 June 2019

 


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