Painting alone in the dark

The other day, maybe it’s still the future for some, I was over reading Hasty’s “MOMMA’S LIGHT”,  and it reminded me of a time when less than brave, a time when paintings of people scared me. I was all of four/five years old, maybe a little more. The poem’s about a particular experience from back in the time, well as best I can remember, with a little atmosphere added. The photos, they’re  about kin, as many of my elder kin are not around anymore. The kin above are my siblings, and me, well taken from way back around the period the poem relates too. Hope you enjoy the little folktale…

Painting alone in the dark

Awake on a moonless night
Alone in a room so dark
Where paintings of people past,
Wait in the darkness, they watch
Always caught me over those weeks
Back in smaller years on Playfair..

Caught between emptiness, thoughts
As night’s drifting dust in the dense haze
Beneath the passing river above
These solar winds flooding past.
Like painting alone in the dark,
These cold places wait not to stream..


For light’s first awaking arrival
In the still, a winter’s season
To rather here grant life, walking
Life to the past paintings on the walls
Closing in on the darkest of nights
As I sink deep into the bed..

Not sleeping, not dreaming
Scared, frightened, unready
For what awaits, the rush
A thirst to escape the unlit box
This room, a tower with four walls
Now, cast aside the sinking..

Race for the door, to run
To slip through quickly
Then to pass from the living
Across the passage of darkness
Covered above from the dense sky
Where in the silence of night..


The stars breed conversations
In their millions so bright
Between the cold dark spaces
No time to notice, two
Two small hands against
Now made it free across the chill..

A sparse battened corridor flash
To feel the warmth, a broad
Old kitchen door, familiar inside
Their voices known, each they share
Small my moment in time, my fear
Now gone, for now in..


The good company, here with elder kin
Listening to past stories till soon
Fade off to sleep, lost in passing hours
When to wake from the slumber, new
Day’s flooding light through room
Here now the freedom to roam..


These mornings, these nights, like painting in the dark
waiting in the places for first light to arrive..



15 responses to “Painting alone in the dark

  1. These pics are beautiful. Very beautiful. I get to know about your childhood fear stemming from looking at the pics of others. I’d something similar. It was all about looking into mirrors at night. I feared I would see some strange images or even spirits.

    • Mirrors, are one of those peculiar items which can seem so different looking into, or at them whilst in the dark. Did you ever experience the same sense when noticing reflections on water at night?

  2. Awwweee, the pic are absalutely PRICELESS!!! They are great pics to be so old, I love these lines It’s like a poetic conversation with self.

    “Old kitchen door, familiar inside
    Their voices known, each they share
    Small my moment in time, my fear
    Now gone, for now in..”

    Especially when you use words kinda strangely, like, “each they share…light through room…When to wake… till soon…To rather here…I LOVE THAT!!! I picked up a little of your style in our writings together, especially during ” Time Traveler” . Oh and old drawlings of people still creep me out (: great write Sean.

    • From around 1973 to 75.. Yes poetic thoughts internalised based on the experience at the time.

      The old family home (main house) of my father from out on a cattle station call Mount Playfair.

      That’s just my head for the most part, dropping words half the time as the poem makes it’s run. Some of it is writing the thought in reverse too (: Thanks, Latoya!! “Time Traveler”, the first, one always remembers the first.

    • These are the kin of my generation (brothers and sister), the kin in the kitchen ranged from one to three generations before mine. I don’t have any photos of them to share at the moment. The location, a station in western central highlands of Queensland on the headwaters to the Barcoo, Nive, Warrego, and Nogoa Rivers. Thanks Alarna 🙂

  3. I would have clicked Like three times simply for the images. Very good-looking kids – all of you. The photos are utterly endearing, together with the words that describe your memories with them. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    I was busy. But I did miss this blog. I hope you’re doing great, Sean.

  4. You were five
    I was four
    it was the Indian Chief
    in the dark of night
    which took you out
    to the folks out back
    in the kitchen
    telling tales

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