Author Archives: boballoo3

About boballoo3

Hi, my name is Bob. I took early retirement from the steel industry four years ago and one of the things I promised myself was to learn to paint. I have always loved art and took up drawing at the age of fifty for the first time since leaving school. Hmmm did they have schools that long ago? Seemingly they did because I have some vague recollections of it, in particular of getting the cane for doodling in maths. I enjoyed drawing but always felt it lacked something, so I was determined to try my hand at painting. I enrolled on a watercolour class, but quickly decided that perhaps watercolour and I did not really gel. (In other words I couldn't do it.) Then I tried acrylic and found that I enjoyed using them and so here I am, a retired steel worker, splodging acrylic paint onto boards and paper and quite enjoying doing so. I realise that I have a great deal to learn and that I am a mere beginner in the art of painting, but enjoying doing something is half the battle. I love real art and will happily while away my free time in galleries wherever I come across them. I have been lucky enough to visit the Met in New York, the Louvre in Paris and of course Tate Britain. I also love sculpture and have a great fondness for the V&A, where I can wander for days. Well rather than bore anyone daft enough to read this into tears, I will leave it at that. With my thanks for visiting and my very best wishes.

Slow train coming

I feel a slow train coming

It’s rising from the dust

Painted out in cadmium

It’s fading out to rust

There’s thunder in the storm clouds

That line the track behind

But there’s no-one now that’s looking

So I never saw the signs

It’s a slow train, it’s a slow train

And it labours through the night

But each and every morning it looks larger in my sight

It’s a slow train, Lord a slow train

And it sings a slow refrain

Yes, Lord it is a slow train

And it’s calling out my name.

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The dove

I was sat at a table outside in the shade

Well leaning actually, elbows on the table, chin in hands, musing

I was enjoying a gentle breeze, a relief from the heat of the sun

I had been burnt earlier

Burnt in the pursuit of one more chapter of the book I was reading.

Tesco didn’t mention getting burnt when they sold me the book.

£3.78 they said.

Not £3.78 and a burnt back!

Maybe I wouldn’t have bought it if I had known the full price

But you rarely do with books, know the full price I mean

Some transpire to have little value

Some are unsettling

With others we are taken on epic journeys

We visit countries and experience life we could only dream of otherwise

We become cowboys, spies, soldiers, lovers or explorers

We can be lost in far off galaxies

Or lost in life

We experience love and death as we greedily suck the words from the pages

All for £3.78

Yet the cost varies

So there I was relaxing in the breeze, chin in hands, eyes closed

Cooling

Healing

I heard or perhaps felt something and reluctantly opened my eyes.

A white dove

Standing on the table slightly to one side of me

It seemed to notice me and leant it’s head to one side

Wondering?

It looked long and hard at me

It seemed rude not to acknowledge it so I said ‘hello’

It didn’t answer

Just continued to stare

Then it slowly moved, well it shuffled sideways really

Until it stood directly in front of my face

Maybe a hands length away

It’s head leaned first one way and then the other as it stared

It was framed by a tumbling mass of flame red bougainville that covered the wall across the square

The pure white of it’s feathers seemed to shimmer against the blood red backdrop

It looked unreal

Surreal

It had piercing blue eyes

Or perhaps they were green

But maybe the tint of my sunglasses meant I was way off the mark with both colours.

It stared

I stared

Perhaps it was looking at it’s reflections on my sunglasses

Looking at two other doves, reflected

And wondering.

Or was it looking at me and wondering.

‘Bonjour’ I said, thinking that it maybe didn’t speak English

It continued staring

Then

It puffed out it’s chest, winked at me and flew away.

It flew past the curtain of blood red bougainville and up into a cerulean sky

Leaving me to wonder, the why’s and the wherefores.

I watched it, until it was too small to see

Then quietly said ‘farewell’ and just in case ‘au-revoir’

d

 

 

 

Love is (II)

It wasn’t that I was lonely

It was simply that I wasn’t with you.

How much would I give to look up and to see you coming towards me?

Smiling.

How much would I give to feel your hand wriggling into mine?

Tickling.

How much would I give to be able to lean over and kiss your lips?

Trembling.

Do you miss me as much as I miss you?

Could you?

Do you need me as much as I need you?

Do you?

It’s not that I’m alone, it’s just that you aren’t by my side, laid in my arms, in my sight, within my reach.

I love you.

And then there was me.

I know I am odd and difficult to understand

Even I struggle at times to make sense of me

I seem to be laminated

To exist on different layers

I find something to be looked at on another plane

And off my mind wanders

You are on the ground, waiting patiently

A flower in the desert I am

A refuge from my storms

Somewhere to lay my heart.

Flying

I didn’t understand flying and to be fair, flying probably didn’t understand me.

 

I was sitting in the departure lounge, looking out of the windows at the plane I would shortly by boarding.

It was huge!

And made of metal!

It must have weighed as much as a big house!

I’ve never seen a house fly, how on earth could this monstrosity take to the skies?

I mean, sparrows, ok, they flap their wings like crazy and somehow take off, but this metal monster, didn’t even flap it’s wings!

All beyond me!

Then the thought got worse!

Soon there would be three hundred people inside this aluminium tube, not only three hundred people, but three hundred people carrying every scrap of their belongings that they could squeeze inside a suitcase.

Suitcases!

How much do three hundred suitcases weigh?

And clothes!

All these inconsiderate people have decided to wear clothes!

I looked around in panic, hoping that at least some people would be in their underwear to give us the tiniest chance of getting this thing into the air.

I shouldn’t have looked around, if I hadn’t I may not have noticed the mobile phones, or the head phones, iPads, laptops, game consoles, hand luggage, foodie drinks!

We were doomed, have these people got a death wish?

I turned my attention back to the plane, just in time to see a huge petrol tanker begin to shift the equivalent of sixteen oil wells into the planes wing. I say, barely breathing, waiting for the wing to snap off under the burden.

The catering truck came to a halt and enough food to feed Somalia for a year was squeezed on board.

Not content with the fuel and food, a thirty six coach luggage train arrived and began disgorging mountains of suitcases into the underbelly of the plane.

Things were looking really bad, why did no-one else look worried?

I looked around the lounge again and saw an old couple sitting a little ways away from me. The lady was trying to get out of her chair and the man she was with, hurried round to help.

He, very gently, put his arms around her and eased her out of the chair. Still holding her, he picked up two sticks, one at a time and placed them into her quivering hands. She was stooped and bent even supported by her sticks. The man took a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped some spittle from her mouth. He leaned close, whispered something to her, stroked her thinning hair and then kissed her.

The poor lady, was at best plain, her body bent and broken, her hair thin and straggly, the jumper she was wearing was buttoned up wrong and yet she had a presence, a quiet grace. When the man kissed her, she had the smile of an angel.

I watched them move away. She lurched and staggered, but his arms were there, holding, guiding and supporting her.

I felt a year form in my eye as I watched true, real love stumbling across the room, lurching, almost falling, the arms always there, the whispered words if encouragement.

How I envied them.

I learned a lot that day. None of it about flying. I saw myself in a different light and not all of it was good, in fact not much of it was good.

I wish the old couple a safe journey and may God bless and keep them safe.