Unchain’d Mallardy

scan0031This post’s title was to have been “Post #222,” for this is my 222nd post, and I have a thing for certain numbers. When I’m on a treadmill I call eleven minutes and eleven seconds “getting my ones;” 22:22 is “getting my twos;” and so on. I used to get my fives. Then I got old and deconditioned.

But the title is “Unchain’d Mallardy” for two reasons. Reason one: I consider this one of my worst puns of all time, and I take perverse pride in that. Reason two: the song “Unchained Melody,” which I love to hear and wish I could sing, came to be in about as random a way as this page did.

This morning the first thing I did to my blank page was to rub a pencil’s edge over it while it lay atop the drawing table I’ve owned and used for more than 40 years. Here is what I got:


The scratches, gouges and dings from often-ill-advised use of my table gave an unevenness to the graphite rubbing, as I hoped it would. Straining to see something real in the randomness, I suddenly perceived a duck on the surface of a body of water.

Here is a progression of my drawing’s stages from that point on:


The gorgeous and talented Salma H didn’t enter the equation till I’d written the poem. I had left room for her beforehand, though–I knew another element would demand existence.

Here are the words:

Umberto Eco’s lists give calm
Not too unlike the torsoed Salma
Cacophony does discord tell
Harmonious-webb’d feet compel
And to the brain by way of sclera
In waterfowl we’ve funhouse mirror
Nor do we need go R F D
‘D seem Ducks do Delivery

As in…From Evil? [Author smiles]

  1. kwicksand said:

    Amazing as always!

      • kwicksand said:

        You are so welcome handsome sir

  2. masqua said:

    I love pareidolia and have often used it in my art. It’s an experience finding form in chaos and often surprisingly insightful to one’s own mental well-being.

    • Thanks so much for introducing me to a word I had not been familiar with, and should have been! And: I took a look at a few of your images–you’ve really got something to say! Well done!

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