The Painter

His hair was ruffled as the wind picked up

“next time, I’ll wear a hat”

He kept on painting, not deterred

And to him..well, that was that.

As the weather worsened and rain moved in

He packed up and moved on

By the time the storm had taken hold

And the rains came, he’d be gone

He headed home on up the road

Past the little village shoppes

He counted, silent, to himself

Of every time he’d stopped

He knew each curb and crossing

From the river on his route

It was 5 blocks, 1/2 mile

Just time for one cheroot.

He’d smoked them now for 60 years

But now, he just smoked one

It relaxed him as he walked on home

He knew his day was done

He painted by the river

On an easel, nice and light

He would go there in the morning

And would stay there until night

He painted what he saw each time

The pictures he created

Were images from in his head

Some were finished, some belated

He didn’t always get them done

So, he’d put them to the side

And he’d finish them another time

For now, these he would hide

As others looked upon his works

As they passed by him by the shore

A few would ask him what they were

And they didn’t say much more

The paintings that John Joseph

Were for him, and him alone

He didn’t care if others

Stood and stared, and sometimes groaned

He lost his sight a lifetime back

He’d splashed some acid in his face

He may have lost his eyesight

But his blindness taught him grace

For people looked upon his art

Seeing only paint and lines

Until he told them of the images

He was painting from his mind

He’d been around the world a bit

And the things that he had seen

Were all captured in his memories

And he would now paint every scene

One day he’d paint the Taj Mahal

As only he did know

But to someone passing by that day

It may look as only snow

The Eiffel Tower, black and tall

With the blue sky there behind

Made people wonder endlessly

What went on in John J’s mind

His canvases were covered in

His palettes tints and hues

But, the shapes folks saw upon the board

Were not crisp, they were askew

But John Joseph saw his artwork

As a postcard of his life

He’d mix paint with his brushes

And sometimes use his knife

He’d change his strokes to fit his mood

Some short and sometimes long

But, because he couldn’t see them

Nothing ever would be wrong

His grass was blue and sometimes black

The water might be red

But John Joseph never cared at all

His art was in his head

No one ever saw the thngs

that Old John Joseph did

They would always look, politely

And then farewell to him they’d bid

But one day while describing things

In a painting that he’d done

To a family here from out of town

Two parents and their son

The father said, “I’d like to see”

“More places from your mind”

“Can you bring some down tomorrow”

“If you would please, be so kind”

John Joseph said, he’d bring some down

But he laughed, and said “You’ll see”

“that the pictures aren’t what you’d expect”

“I just painted them for me”

The next day when they met again

They had brought their son called Paul

He just stood off in the background

While John Joseph told them all

Of what was on each canvas

Of the paintings in his mind

He said “no one else sees them”

“To me, most folks are blind”

But the father told John Jospeh

You have opened up the world

For as you describe each picture

Your images unfurled

A world of unkown wonder

That can’t be measured by a mile

But, Paul you see can see them

We can see it in his smile

Paul is blind as well you see

Lost his sight a few years back

But, your descriptions of your painting

In his mind, you’ve brought it back

Paul then asked John Joseph

To paint more pictures, from the start

And this young lad and his parents

Had touched John Joseph’s heart

John Joseph gave his painting

To the people and their son

And he said when they returned again

He’d have another one

True blindness is within us

It’s not just in what you see

It’s also in the way you think

It helped this blind man be free

He painted pictures in his head

For him and him alone

Now, he shared his muddled painting

With a family known as Stone.

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