Writer's cramp contest winner Jan 16, 2015
|It was many years ago when a close friend said to me,
He admired my landscape paintings, measured yet care-free,
He said his boy scout troop had the opportunity to start,
Awarding his young troop members the merit badge for art.
He asked if I would demonstrate the technique of my craft,
Then instruct a few classes in which the syllabus I'd draft,
It sounded like fun, and would sound impressive on my resume,
We'd meet in a grade school lunchroom at a specific time and day.
I arrived at the school and realized the great number that would attend,
Not showing was an option, but I'd made a promise to my friend,
About fifty children running, laughing, and aged about eight or ten,
I made a mental note not to do anything like this again.
I set up my easel, arranged my paints, then introduced myself,
The children kept rampantly playing as if they were mindless elves,
Face to canvas, breathing deep I explained what I wished to coax,
I spoke of emotion and feeling, then delivered a few bold strokes.
I swirled in the sky, fired in the mountains, and lay the foothill fog,
Strokes for the cabin, water, trees, and moss on an old fallen log,
When finished I turned to find those kids that had been running wild,
Silent, wide-eyed, and frozen still as if each were a statue of a child.
Suddenly they broke into applause, and I felt like I would faint,
I gave away the painting, and inside felt warm and quaint,
Many youngsters signed up for the classes I would happily teach,
It's the joy of helping others this simple poem is meant to preach.