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  • Eyob Mergia

I wish I could back the clock


Thoughts morphing into a story

Smoldering imagination beneath

Struggling and forcing

To breakout from the shells

Like an active volcano

Waiting to explode and burst

Teary eyes waiting

Endlessly swinging thoughts

Struggling with instincts

Waiting for blooming

Digging beauty and esthetics

A life purely driven with passion

Here I am, still hovering like a butterfly


I search for books, all sorts of materials

People’s personal stories

I study their belongings

Everything at Goodwill cheap and valuable

Fascinating at times

Marking their items to personalize them too

Many people giving up


My hobby is searching through history

I see quilts. I love it

I imagine many babies have been wrapped swaddled in it

Old books always inspire me

I like the smell, the aged faded colors

Looking more brown over the years

The quality of the paper is so perfect for me to sketch on

The design, the cover, the ink of choice

The way they transferred images

They used wax

Pure art

I am attracted to monochromes

It reminds me of Edgar Degas’ time

Strong tone, contrasts, gradation

Much better printing process but difficult

Definitely higher quality than the standard today

A process similar to drawing


My new discovery, a book on ballerinas

I sketch from it

Lots of dancers from the past

I stand at two meters stretching my branch

Indian ink with charcoal

Branches from the pomegranate tree

Short and long ones

Sketch from a distance

Sunlight in my garage

People walking their dogs outside

Others jogging.

Listening to EthioJazz’s one and only Mulatu Astatke,

My little daughter talking to herself

Layers of sound and actions

Actually guiding the movements of my sketch

I am expecting one beautiful sketch

Anatomically aesthetic and capturing the motion


So my beautiful sketch

Sketch she was a simple sketch - my day’s success

I called her Natalia Matsak, a Ukrainian ballerina

As she moves with the wind and sound

Morphing into a beautiful drawing

A clock in the background

With butterflies

Drew her on linocut

Patience needed in abundance

With due diligence and generous time



I carved her out

Like Eduard Munch The Scream

I am exhausted, lots of mess in studio

All this time spent

I pray for my higher self to guide me to the result I hope for

Plans underway for her future, but all in my mind

It’s a journey of hope

Printed her over and over but different each one

I use only my hand no printing press

Now on woodcut paper

Now she is waiting hope and colors


I am done creating her

I have given birth to a piece of art

She is free now, letting her go

I wonder now how the real Natalia is

There is a war where she is from


“Are you dancing today?

Can you still hear the music?”


Were the clock counts backwards?

And could undo the drums of war

You will be a spectacular Fuchsia vivid purplish red color

Ravishing dancing like blossoming daffodils

Swinging in clusters like prize jewels

Blooming from late spring until the first frosts

Attracting butterflies like Beethoven pieces

Now you are in a womb, in the universe

You will be celebrated, you will be free

Hope is coming to you


But now you are in the dark

All the birds and butterflies will hear the sound of war

The thunders of bombs and artillery fire

There is no roof, no windows, and no house

I wish I could turn the clock back

Back to the calm spring seasons

Where the birds were singing,

The butterflies hovering


Where are you today?

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