The Artist

© 2018 by Scott Perry
Her eyes were pools of ink that day
I drew her gaze effortlessly
Yes, I think her soul was readable
(Not in the lines, but inbetween)

No light could close or change those eyes
Staring delightedly in mine
I’m sure the thought was visible
Becoming indivisible between

Her and me; me and love:
That’s what I need

Well above the sheet of paper
Glows the mind that will betray her
Connecting eyes with eyes by tip of pen

And as she fills the lines with vision,
Draws my eyes in recreation,
I can see the beauty into them

Oh indivisibly
I can see the beauty lies between
Somewhere from her to me
I can see the beauty into them

One day, while I was a student at UBC, I sat in a small seminar directly across from a dark-haired woman whose name is long lost to me – I can’t even fully recall what she looked like. But what I can still see with crystal clarity all these years later is a gorgeous pair of eyes she was doodling on the paper in front of her that day. Clearly she was a talented artist, and I watched as those “pools of ink” came to life before my eyes, almost seeming to stare straight into mine. It was just black ink, from a normal pen, but she made them real – and my romantic imagination made them into a larger reflection of the process of creation. The artist can only create; an audience, even of one, is needed to appreciate and “see the beauty into them.” Once something is out there, it is in the hands (or eyes) of others to read “between the lines,” to interpret, process, even construct meaning out of what they see or hear. It would be another several years before I took up the poem I wrote that day (as I’ve been known to plunder my own juvenile poetry for song ideas) and set it to music. The opening chord was the impetus for all that, a taut suspended sounding open E played up the neck that immediately suggested all the rest of the chords and the simple melody that formed around my ancient words.