Inspiration from the Armless Artist

margret-poemSome years ago as I was walking down Fifth Avenue, around Rockefeller Center, I saw a huge group of people gathered and wondered what was going on. As I got closer and looked down at the ground, I could see this incredible art beautifully blended with colored chalk that seemed to defy the cement canvas. It jumped out at the world.

I kept stepping closer and closer until I could see the artist. It was a cascade of blond hair that caught my eye first, then the absence of his arms. … Both were missing, all the way up to his shoulders. I shook for a second and saw him using his feet like they were his hands.

To say I was stunned is an understatement, as well as all of the other passersby that day. I could not move for the longest time. I was totally enraptured with his process of creating beautiful art on a sidewalk. He was painting a man with long big arms and big hands. It was his own face he sketched. Hands that were not there on his own body. My body shivered for a second. He was very intense and concentrating solely on his current project. A project that would be washed away in the first rain.

How does one let go of their art like that after spending so much time to create it I thought? …hmmmm, he seemed to be unconcerned as I tried to strike up a conversation.

I eventually left and could not get him out of my mind.

Several days later, I was invited to a dinner party and there he was. I couldn’t believe I was now in his company. So I could ask him a million questions that were burning in my brain. He sat next to me at dinner and used his feet like hands to eat his dinner in a very polite and systematic way.

He was born with no hands, didn’t know any other way to be. Didn’t seem like a challenge to him, only different, he said. He did not live in the States. If my memory serves me well, I believe he said Germany. I can’t remember his name but I was in total awe and will never forget that if he can be so inspired everyday to create, so can I.

I went home and wrote the poem “Armless” in his honor.



Categories: Poetry

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Margret Avery

Margret Avery expresses her talents through being a singer / songwriter / actor / writer and poet. She has also worked as a freelance makeup artist with her work gracing the pages of many editorial and commercial publications. The passion to express through song led to her writing and continues to grow with equal tenacity. Margret has contributed as a writer to Suite101, Women’s Voices for Change and now proudly for Feminine Collective. Margret’s writing is included in Feminine Collective: Raw and Unfiltered Vol 1 and that makes her smile on a daily basis. Her music can be heard on Spotify, Pandora, CDbaby, Soundcloud, Reverbnation and NumberoneMusic.