Skeleton Sketches-Poetry and the Visual Arts

Sketch by Quinn Clarice Mae for an assignment to imagine a model without skin.

What does it feel like to be a skeleton

But not know you’re dead?

It started at a tea party,

my fascination with skeleton’s

about town.

I called her Lady Ellsbeth.

She sat carefully perched

on the piano bench called

into service for extra seating.

Lady Ellsbeth arrived late.

Her tea was really quite hot.

She perched it on her pelvic bones

her hands being busy supporting

her on the bench. Occasionally

a vertebra fell. Carefully, she’d

tuck the offender under her feet

like an unfelt stool. Odd, you say.

But you’ve never been one

I’d guess, a skeleton at tea, that is.

Janice DeRuiter Eskridge 2019

Pen and ink sketch by Quinn Clarice Mae DeRuiter

I really wish this gentlemen had stayed,

buried that is. There’s quite a hole in his head.

I know since he had taken a selfie.

He was quite enamored with this craze.

Clinched in his dead teeth, a smoke

dangling from an elegant ebony holder.

The right side of his head was missing.

No, not all, just a neat bite like half circle.

The grave seems a most fearsome place.

No wonder I keep meeting skeletons

as men and ladies about town but

how on earth did they get out?

Janice DeRuiter Eskridge 2019

Pen and Ink Sketch by Quinn Clarice Mae DeRuiter

Then I met him. Corporal Clement by name.

A most dapper fellow dressed in full uniform

circa Briton, WWI, is my guess.

“What am I missing?” he cries as he wanders about.

Fingers, some teeth and some ears weren’t there.

But I don’t think his fellow escapees could tell him.

Dig up as many as he likes. They weren’t there.

Clearly his gas mask is gone. I’m sure that’s why

he’s down to bone and fabric. But his gun,

multi-purpose after death, could dig up various

skeletal parts to help in his endless search.

But he hadn’t counted on these high society types

who were absolutely no help being obsessed

as they were with life in the 21st,

century not infantry.

Janice DeRuiter Eskridge 2019

Lady Ellsbeth, Wife of Sir Thomas Ellsbeth 1645-1682.

Sir Charles Haworth IV 1792-1840.

Corporal Alexander Clement 1898-1917

About the Art and the Artist: The artist, Quinn DeRuiter, majors in art at the University of Omaha. She just finished a semester abroad at the Studio Arts College International in Florence, Italy, For the first sketch students were asked to draw the live model as though she didn’t have skin. There will be more skeletons featured here since I find them fascinating. Quinn posts on Instagram as femme fatale_quinn.

About Winding Stream Press

Janice DeRuiter Eskridge, M.F.A. is a poet who worked for over a decade as a poet-teacher for California Poets in the Schools. Helen Shoemaker, Ph.D. L.M.F.T. is a university professor who teaches in the areas of child development and counseling. She is also a therapist in private practice.
This entry was posted in art, Imagination, pen and ink sketches, Poetry, poetry and art, RV Life, Uncategorized, Visual Art and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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