Poem – Harlequin with Australian Rules Football

Harlequin with Australian Rules Football
‘Art is a lie through which we see the truth’ – Picasso


In the middle of 1906,
a young Andalusian painter
shipped himself to Melbourne,
attended a training session
of the Fitzroy Football Club
and painted a picture
of what he saw,
a now-lost early work
of a slender, angular man
in multi-coloured gear
clutching a balloon
of inflated leather.
Other figures
in similar garb
danced behind him
on a green field.
Leather balloons
flew everywhere.


Kevin Densley


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.



Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, has just been published (late 2020) by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Recent other writing includes screenplays for films with a tertiary education purpose.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Your words have painted a fab picture for me. Great stuff!

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Many thanks, Colin. This is my fantasy of Picasso in Melbourne, attending Fitzroy VFL training, though he certainly painted Harlequin images around this period.

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