W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm – washing on my washline in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa

A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbours passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link
For neighbours always knew
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the fancy sheets
And towels on the line;
You’d see the company table clothes
With intricate design.

The line announced a baby’s birth
To folks who lived inside
As brand new infant clothes were hung
So carefully with pride.

The ages of the children could
so readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed
You’d know how much they’d grown.

It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.

It said, “Gone on vacation now”
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged
With not an inch to spare.

New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy grey,
As neighbours raised their brows,
And looked disgustedly away.

But clotheslines now are of the past
For dryers make work less.
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybody’s guess.

I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign
When neighbours knew each other best
By what hung on the line!

- Author unknown

  1. 25th July 2012 – FEATURED in Live, Love, Dream
  2. 26th august 2012 – FEATURED in Wash Day
  3. 24th September 2012 – FEATURED in Women Painters
  4. 7th February 2014 – FEATURED in Feminine Intent
  5. 8th February 2014 – FEATURED in Everyday Women
  6. 11th February 2014 – FEATURED in Image Writing
  7. 18th March 2014 – FEATURED by RedBubble in EXPLORE
  8. 21st March 2014 – FEATURED in Vavoom!


washing, clothesline, pegs, washday, explore, watercolour, watercolor, maree clarkson, tarlton, magaliesburg, krugersdorp, gauteng, south africa, still life, the clothesline said so much

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallabout 2 years ago

    The Author might be unknown but his words are well-known…. This is so very cute!! Chris also thinks so! ;-)

  • Chuckle! Thanks to you and Chris Elizabeth!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELabout 2 years ago

    Lovely verse and beautiful work Maree…

  • Thank you dear Andrea!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsabout 2 years ago

    What a truthful and cute poem, and of course the perfect illustration to accompany it Maree.

  • Thanks a lot Jim, glad you like it (both)!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotabout 2 years ago

    Love the painting AND the poem!

  • Thanks a lot Dottie!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Gilberte
    Gilberteabout 2 years ago

    Nicely painted Maree….I like the wind in the laundry.

  • Thank you very much Gilberte!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Madalena Lobao-Tello
    Madalena Lobao...about 2 years ago

    I love it!!

  • Gosh, pleased you like it Madalena! And thank you for the fav, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • TokikoAnderson
    TokikoAndersonabout 2 years ago

    I love to hang clothe on line. it makes clothe smell so fresh.

  • I totally agree Tokiko!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • John Ryan
    John Ryanalmost 2 years ago

  • Thank you for the feature John, a lovely honour!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • billfox256
    billfox256almost 2 years ago

    A really terrific painting!!! Congratulations on being featured!!! Bill

  • Thanks ever so much Bill, appreciate your lovely comment and visit!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • ronda chatelle
    ronda chatellealmost 2 years ago

    Stunning work! I love this!!!

  • SO pleased you like it Ronda! and thank you for the fav, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

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