Charcoal Artist

Charcoal Artist

A Poem by Homeschool

Upon visiting Chicago, I was inspired to write this narrative portrait after seeing a young woman drawing in the park.


Charcoal Artist


On a sturdy bench of polished granite

Surrounded by a bustling city’s chaos,

An  artist is at peace

In the quiet of Grant Park.


She pushes the black rock into the paper’s flesh,

Carving out the rotten meat of a blank, white corpse,

Slicing at the target with precision and intent,

An autopsy to illuminate, to resurrect.


She will bring to life on that page

A portion of herself,

Another piece of the unsolvable puzzle

She’s been trying to fit together

For most of her life.


Drawing is all that makes sense,

Is all that can translate

Her mind’s tumultuous confusion

Into meaningful tranquility.


Her sketch:

A tree’s powerful silhouette

Heavy arms lying low with weight,

Sinuous hard-wood and majestic strength .


The sharp angles of the over-sized branches,

The bulbous growths along the base,

Its broad trunk covered in lichens ,

These are the specific characteristics that caught her eye,

Natural attributes her coal-coated hands immortalize.


She continues to grind the papyrus,

The darkness of her art spreading.

Fingers laced in shadow,

They quicken and dance,

 Anticipating the climactic last stroke,

The focused and strategic  final blow.


Her brow beats desperate beams.

Sweat drips onto the bark,

Watering the soot engulfed page

Of her lonely heart’s symbol.

Her body leaks the tears

Her eyes continually withhold.


Her imaginative trance lasts and lasts

As Pigeons stroll by in ignorance.


Energetic Chicago children laugh.

The glory of a sunny summer day is spent.





© 2011 Homeschool

Author's Note

The poem has multiple layers of meaning and symbolism, so keep an open-mind and decipher it how you see fit. Thanks for reading. (The photo for this poem is of my dear friend Renea Walters in Chicago.)

My Review

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I particularly liked the second and third stanzas but all of this is good. Your poems are very vivid and interesting.

Posted 9 Years Ago

There are layers of this that express layers of description. You wrote this with grace.

Posted 9 Years Ago

I miss the places with the street artist. I was station in California and Texas. The cities would have the artist on the street for you to watch and maybe buy their product. I like the photo and the story in this poem. A very good ending to a excellent poem.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Very descriptive poem - I wish I could manipulate my life with the grace and ease of this artist. Excellent writing!

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Blimey, I wish i was qualified enough to give a proper review but as it is all i can say is i am blown away by your writing skills ...

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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6 Reviews
Added on June 29, 2011
Last Updated on June 29, 2011
Tags: Chicago, Grant, Park, Art, Artist, Charcoal Artist, Homeschool



Carbondale, IL

As the name indicates, I was home schooled most of my life. I am now out in the world trying to make sense of things as best I can. I've put a couple years of college under my belt as well, and plan o.. more..

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