Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

“Your Eyes Meet Mine” A Poem That Photographers Might Appreciate

Not the photo from the poem but one that 'meets my eyes'

Not the photo from the poem but one that 'meets my eyes'

I’m not a photographer-I just take pictures. But I have a real appreciation for the creative energy that real photographers invest in their art. The energy that means the difference between a snapshot and a work of art. It’s usually easy to spot the difference – the work of art will take your breath away. That happened to me one time at an exhibit of old photographs in our local art gallery. The young girl, on a bike beside the parade, looking straight at the photographer and me. I don’t have a copy of that photograph, but the one featured here, of my father, feels similar to me in that it “Meets my Eyes”. To all my photographer friends I offer this poem.

Your Eyes Meet Mine
Your eyes meet mine.
You ride your bicycle beside the black and white parade.
Did they have colour back then or did
everyone live in black and white?
Was life really simpler, or does distance lend a mellow myopia?
Shades of grey more vivid than any rainbow.

Your eyes meet mine.
“Why are you taking a picture of me?” they say.
“The parade’s over there.”
But what’s one more picture of a parade compared to this
moment of suspended bemusement; human connection.

Your eyes meet mine.
You’re not looking at a camera; you’re looking at a person.
Surrounded by frame after frame of majorettes and marching bands
Face after face of flat eyes looking at the machine.
They are still looking at the machine.
Your eyes are still looking at a person.
They are looking at me.
I look back.
I see you, the person.

Your eyes meet mine.
Was it still a novelty to have your picture taken?
Before swiveling surveillance cameras
documented our daily desperation,
and amateur videographers captured our lapses in sanity
for the consumption of the jaded masses
Does the camera really capture part of our soul?

Your eyes meet mine.
You understand.
It’s not the camera that takes the photograph
but the person behind the camera.
and even if we can’t deny the camera access to our image;
We can still allow or deny the photographer, and the viewer,
access to our soul.

Your eyes meet mine
I am honoured.


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