Learning to Fly, a poem

Today, tonight, tomorrow and over the next days and possibly weeks, I will be cleaning out my studio, moving things and preparing for the future, in whatever form it transforms itself. It is a revamping, remolding, rejuvenating, regenerating, reintegrating of things, space and even thought. I’m not a big fan of doing it but doing it must be done.

As I was ‘doing it’ in the office this evening, my glance fell to the following poem by Roy Roberts called Learning to Fly typed out on slightly aging off-white paper. It was written in 2006 in reference to both a painting of mine and to myself as its creator. The painting was showing in a group exhibition and from the time the show was hung until the evening of the opening a couple days later, he had written one poem each about six or seven paintings/artists.  When he read them aloud to a room full of artists and guests, the quiet air that surrounded his voice vibrated with a kind of admiration and awe. He had managed to transform the visuals into words, weaving the mystery of creating into something equally magic.

I have always felt quite honoured to have the poem as a keep sake of this time. And, of myself in that time. Bring that forward to this moment, when things are in flux towards what I trust will be an amazing next verse. I read these words and realize just how lucky I am to be able to create for a living. I would like to share this with you that perhaps you will find something in its essence that will coax you along to a greater good, a second chance, a creative gesture or a simple smile.

Learning to Fly, by Roy Roberts


DREAM. First you must dream day & night,

particularly when it’s inappropriate,

when everyone else is grounded, down to earth

for instance. DREAM of denying gravity.


DEDICATE. It takes dedication to grow wings

shape them, stroke them in time, steer & glide

then fly off the handle with sky underneath forever!

DEDICATION is the refusal to compromise.


WARNING. They won’t understand how you rise

out of sight, have become a skeptic of surrealism

and make songs & love from nothing…

They won’t understand or be able to pin you down.




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