November verse 10: On a painting

November verse 10: On a Painting

Look! Me at breakfast scrolling Twitter –
hashtags Covid, climate, race.
No, I'm the incidental sitter
who supplied arms, thumb, hair, face.
The artist's left her shining pages,
table scenes from other ages:
a child communing with a cat,
a woman lost in dreams or chat.
The artist stands, her drink neglected,
sees him absent in his phone.
The books behind hold all that's known.
His cup is empty, disconnected.
Reading too much into art?
That knife is pointing at his heart.
Penny Ryan, Covid Breakfast News, 2020
Oil on canvas, 68 x 55 cm

The Emerging Artist claims not to have deliberately done that with the knife, and I had to reassure her that, previous works to the contrary (as at this link), I didn’t read the image as signifying hostility, but as a subtle evocation of current dangers.

Incidentally, the Emerging Artist is part of Time Being, an exhibition opening in the Shop Gallery, Glebe, this week. There are Covid-safe Meet the Artists events on Saturdays 21 and 28 November. You can find details here.

9 responses to “November verse 10: On a painting

  1. kathyprokhovnik

    Ha ha. Definitely laughing out loud.

    By the way, I notice that there are covid-safe events at the gallery on the Saturdays, but the opening is on Friday – is this a covid-unsafe event? Not playing with words here, for once, but genuinely Yours, Confused of Marrickville


  2. Great poem Jonathan … and the last two lines make me laugh, particularly given my post going live this evening in which meaning in art is mentioned!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lovely painting; the poem works well too; love the line ‘absent in his phone’


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