Local Artists

Local artists in your neighbourhood, you find them here and there
The thing about these people is – you can find them anywhere
Eccentric, weird, unusual, odd or just plain strange
They might evolve a little bit but deep down they’ll never change

Local artists are often found grafting in a garden shed
Convinced their time will come at last long after they are dead
They are called names like Pollyanna, Felicity or Derek
They toil in oils or acrylics, their work is esoteric 

Local artists dress in wool, with jumpers long and baggy
Some are thin with taut stretched skin, others a wee bit saggy
Collecting shells, bells, rocks and clocks and lots of coloured stones
They steer clear of the internet and distrust mobile phones 

Local artists make wooden carvings, and sometimes work in clay
You might spy them in broad daylight but mostly they hide away
The outside world is best eschewed, the creative spirit concludes
For they like to soar above it all, it’s all too crass and crude
Local artists exhibit their work in obscure institutions
Where you can go one afternoon and admire their contributions
And when the long day is over, back home they’ll head again
To shelter from the sweltering sun or to sit in pouring rain

Local artists enjoy their moment, on local radio shows
Or even on the regional news, if that’s the way it goes
The thing about local artists is, they do not long for fame
And most could not care less if you never knew their name

So here’s to local artists, and may you long continue
May your vision never leave you, may you never lack a venue
Ignore the taunts and gibes of those too smug to understand
That a local artist is all we have to keep us reminded of what is actually important in life besides money and crass materialism not to mention shallow transient fame and a bizarre faith in consumerism as a cure –all for society’s ills.

Richard Raftery