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Dave Solo



Aidan wasn’t popular; he wasn’t understood.
Whether it was work or sport, he wasn’t very good.
And deep inside his chest he felt a longing and an ache
To show what he could do and be, to show what he could make.

So he crept into the art room like the calm before a storm;
Every desk was empty but the atmosphere was warm,
And in the furthest corner was a canvas, blank and ready;
Aidan stood transfixed, feeling vulnerable and heady.

The canvas seemed to tingle as he touched it with the brush,
And as forms began emerging, Aidan’s blood began to rush;
Green and yellow fields ’neath a molten orange sky,
And a man with eyes so soulful they made Aidan want to cry.

He was sitting on an outcrop looking out towards the sea
So intensely, Aidan wondered, “Is he looking out at me?”
“Yes, I am,” the figure said.  “I thought you’d never ask.
“But why is it you cover up so much behind your mask?”

“I don’t wear a mask,” said Aidan, knowing that he lied.
“Yes, you do,” the angel said.  “It’s where you always hide.
“You wear it like a shield so they don’t know how you feel.
“You may think this is safer, but it means that nothing’s real.”

Aidan let the angel’s wisdom crash around his ears,
Like waves upon the rocks that left a residue of tears.
Salty spray engulfed him.  He couldn’t see a thing,
And he had to close his eyes because the water made them sting.

As the spray subsided, Aidan felt a sense of calm
And instinctively he knew that he was safe from any harm.
His eyes still firmly closed, he took a steady breath of air,
And reached out to the painting, but the painting wasn’t there.

“Don’t be scared,” the angel whispered.  “Come and sit with me.
“Dry your eyes and take my hand.  We’ll sit beneath my tree.”
“What’s your name?” Aidan asked, and took the angel’s hand.
“Dave,” the angel answered, as they walked across the land.

Up the rocky slope they climbed.  The ground was warm and red,
And as they sat a flock of starlings circled overhead.
The sky was pink and purple stripes, the sea, a silver froth;
Aidan slipped his jacket off and sat upon its cloth.

They watched the setting sun in silence, sitting side by side.
Aidan leant against the angel’s shoulder and he cried.
“I want to stay with you,” he murmured.  “My world isn’t kind.
“And all my life I’ve shrugged it off, pretending not to mind.”

Dave the angel put his arm around the young man’s shoulder.
“I can see that, though you’re young, your soul is eons older.
“You think my world is beautiful, but all this came from you.
“You are the creator and you know this to be true.

“Painting isn’t governed by the palette or the brush,
“But people in your world are often caught up in the rush.
“They think that life’s a race and has a final destination.
“But the journey is the key because the journey is creation.

“So go on home and paint your world as beautiful as this.
“Show the people round you there is nothing they should miss.
“Paint exquisite colours with the things you choose to say,
“And teach as many people as you can along your way.”

When Aidan looked again he had a paint-brush in his hand
And the angel, Dave, sat solo on the rocks above the sand.
He finished off a starling to complete the wheeling flock,
And smiled as he saw he’d left his jacket on the rock.

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