Stick Men

Why do we draw stick men,

When young and innocent, as a bud?

Notebooks filled with doodles of stick men,

Some with features,

Happy and sad

Some without: blank.


The face always a circle,

A roughly drawn circle that can barely close on to itself;

Oft without layered faces, bearing expressions,

For what need do we have of faces;

When the nothing is as simple as the now?

What need do we have of features,

When all that matters,

Is visible in youth, straightforward;

Unmarred by the many expressions of experience.


The body simple, straight.

One line that depicts all there is,

Defying the need to augment or reduce the image,

Body, is just that, a body.

Straight like the first time we walk,

Unmarked by opinions, by genders,

And other accessories of adults,

Yours, the same as mine.


Hands stuck out,

Almost always facing down;

For gravity isn’t just an apple’s fall,

But that which ties us to ourselves.


No fingers for a complicated need to hold on,

The hand ends as abruptly as it begun,

For this serves its need to the infant;

Embedded in familiarity and bare truth.


Legs smaller than the hands,

Almost like feet,

For all feet do is move the stickman.

And this stickman is happy where he stands,

For there’s no need yet to join the race,

That will beguile him into submission in times to come.


Little stick men,

Stuck to the paper;

Devoid of color,

For colors come where intricacies lie.

In the round sun, with sticks all around,

In the blue patchy sky,

with stick birds of victory,

In trees with oddly stuck out branches,

Covered in green clouds.

What use does color have on man,

Who exists, but in monochrome?


Along comes the jury,

The elders, the friends, the teachers, the society;

And the face takes on expressions,

The body expands out from its singularity,

And the most critical distinguishing factor becomes the layers on it,

The clothes and their color,

The caps and the hairstyles,

The shoes, the fingers,

And just like that,

The stick man becomes a human.



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