Red Poems: 469 / 500

Return To Alice Springs.

Rating: 5.0

I have returned to Alice Springs,
right in the Red Centre of Australia,
where the landscape is translucent;
at dusk the horizon a line of fire.
A perfect town for an artist like me,
so I made the most of being there,
painting two thousand watercolours
which reflected the way I saw the light
in the Red Centre, around Ayers Rock.
My paintings sold well in exhibitions,
making me very wealthy and famous
in the icy art circles of white people,
and my own people, the Aranda.

I have returned to Alice Springs,
where I could not even build a house:
I ended up in that shantytown, Morris Soak,
with Rubena, my companion in poverty.
I had shared my money with my people,
because of tribal custom, maybe kindness...
I had brushes with the law late in life,
over alcohol, and some jail time
where I just lost the will to paint.
It was love-hate: me and Alice Springs,
where I yet found my last resting place.
I hope you remember me, my friend,
for my paintings of Ayers Rock ablaze,
and 'Red Bluff', that made my name.

-April,2016.(Albert Namatjira,1902-1959) .

Return To Alice Springs.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Red Poems: 469 / 500
Topic(s) of this poem: art,life
The monologue is spoken by the well-known Aboriginal painter, Albert Namatjira. He concentrated on the central Australian landscape, using blends of colour very skilfully. He had great success and wealth for most of his career, but fell from grace late in life-to poverty and a time in prison for breaking a liqour-related law. Namatjira's reputation is still high, long after his death.
Fabrizio Frosini 01 May 2016

I read in the other poem of yours that ''Namatjira was a very successful Aboriginal artist, mainly of the central Australian landscape. He completed more than a thousand paintings.'' - Interesteing and well penned poems, Michael. Congrats.

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Michael Walker 02 June 2017

Thanks for your affirming comment. Painting is another tremendous art form.

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Terry Craddock 12 December 2016

'painting two thousand watercolors' I would love to be lost for a few hours in those paintings, watching 'Ayers Rock ablaze' Yes I also found outback Australia beautiful and the cities good ant hills to be lost in, loved the poem Michael.

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Michael Walker 13 December 2016

Thanks for your observations Terry. You have an advantage over me in that you have actually been to the Outback: I have not. You appreciate art and Australia as I do.

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Michael Walker 23 May 2016

He did paint two thousand watercolours. The first figure was wrong. Thanks for your comments. I look forward to 'haiku' and 'tanka'. M.Walker.

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Douglas Scotney 23 May 2016

an early painting of his mission buildings was found in a wardrobe in Adelaide recently and auctioned for 28thou, It's on a piece of wood about 20x30cm. The Museum of Australia in Canberra bought it. It's a timeless land up there.

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Michael Walker 02 June 2017

I am very interested to learn that about Namatjira. It shows how priceless and timeless genuine art is. I would love to visit that area. Maybe one day.

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Fabrizio Frosini 12 May 2016

as I wrote in my msg to you: your poems make me feel how bad it was -is- that I didn't get the chance to visit Australia & NZ when I could..

4 1 Reply
Michael Walker 02 June 2017

I think the 'red centre' of Australia would be special to see. There is still time.

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Fabrizio Frosini 01 May 2016

oh.. BTW: next project will be on the Japanese form of poetry 'haiku & tanka'. Since it is not so easy for non-Japanese or not learned poets writing waka poetry, also 'so called' Taoist poems will be accepted [there will be an 'Addendum /Appendix']. Think about.. OK?

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