Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Poetry Thursday: If The Walls Could Talk...

I thought that this was a great idea for poetry thursday, an immediate stepping stone into the realm of the imagination, something you could really get your teeth into. I'm certainly looking forward to reading other people's ideas this week, and wanted to note how great an idea i think poetry thursday is in order to get people blogging, writing, creating. I welcome feed back on this, be it a critique or not, as long, of course, as its constructive criticism, or else i'm not sure there's much point. Mostly i have found that visitors are hugely inspiring and positive in their comments, which can only be a good thing. So thank you. I will endeavour to do the same for others. My poem is influenced this week by Sting. There is a clear poetic slant to many of his songs, which has fed my work.

If the walls could talk,
A witness they would make
Of the light and the dark of this small person
who resides within them, from day to daybreak.

They might act as judge to this defendant,
The same old trial underway,
Ask the same old questions,
and face the same denial.

They might note, for the record,
the dark places i fear,
the dreams i have yet to fulfill,
the shadows which a dark ship steer.

They might note how much i failed to trust you,
How i clung to my addictions,
carried my tombstone on my back,
ran to escape my afflictions.

Or they might take into account
the deeper motivations of my acts,
see the light which springs from all of them,
see a soul enrapt

With the gratitude of having known
that even when running from the tide,
these mistakes were learning tools,
these mistakes stopped me from finding a place to hide.

So that when the prosecution rests,
And the jury now is out,
These walls have finally to confess,
That they were always, in fact, right by my side.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Turner Prize 2006.

I love the way the Turner Prize for art always engenders such strong reactions in people. It was created, after all, to do exactly that: to promote discussion about art, plain and simple. And it succeeds admirably. This year's nomainted artists, whose works are displayed in the Tate Britain, are comprised of two female and two male artists; Mark Titchner, Phil Collins, Tomma Abts and Rebecca Warren. Yesterday I went to see what they had to offer, and laughed at myself when i found that i was reacting to the work, discussing it fervently, doing precisely all the things which the creators of this prize would have wanted me to do. I also realised at the same time how much i need this stimulus, how i need to think and philosphise about the things happening in the world around me, in order to ground me and remind me that i am a part of this world. To do these things makes me as much me as sitting in a field and clearing my head of all its worries. I need it, in short, to be happy. My life seems to revolve around work, food, sleep, for much of the week, and to be able to involve myself in the ideas of others and travel into that realm of possibility again was like a breath of fresh air. Here are some images from the exhibition.

This is by Tomma Abts. Her work is really well executed - she shows a great technical skill, and i love the way the image is on the edge of both realism and abtractionism at the same time. She paints her canvases simultaneously, so several will be on the go at the same time, and therefore they have no real identity without the other pieces. I loved this idea of one merging with the other.This is an image of part of Mark Titchner's work. The discs spin creating a hynotic effect, and i found myself guarding against being drawn in by it. I felt vulnerable as i watched the discs whirl around incessantly. And that's good, because that was preicsely the effect the artist wanted to have. His work approaches ideas about our mind's susceptibility to external influences and it explores the tensions between different belief systems that inform society, be they religious, scientific or political. It's supposed to question out blind faith in science and obedience to authority. I thought he conveyed this idea really effectively. The great thing about philosophy is that you can question everything, so i suppose it was highly fitting that i got to see this particular art....

But i vote for Tomma Abts. I have to confess that i liked the aesthetically pleasing qualities about her canvases, and i guess i relate to them most strongly in terms of my own art as well. As much as i like to philosophise, i still have to have my own preferences..

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Black Flower

Nothing to do with the prompt i'm afraid. I'm not going to explain this poem, (mainly because i don't have time!).... see what you make of it, if you care to. My kind regards to everyone.

Who was i before this dream?
The ground has shaken because of you,
Your black shirt atttractive and soothing,
ripping the foundations from under my feet.

Now i can see that there was a crack there already,
Waiting to be opened up,
By your hand taking hold of mine,
and leading me somewhere i now realise
i have desperately wanted to find,
by your glance, your knowing, the intelligence
bonding to me, weighing down my heart
with heavy bliss.

Your pull is strong,
far stronger than i could have realised.
Aa part of me has awakened, a black flower,
Which was budded deep within,
And its power consumes me, haunts me, feeds me.

Behind me is sweetness,
A love unconditional and tender,
Without thought, without reason.
If i turn back towards it i am softened again,
Yet longing, and without, in its beauty.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Lying

I've got to admit, this was hard. But i really wanted to respond to the 'brief', and here it is...

I hate the sky at night while you're standing in a deserted place,
so empty and meaningless,
so void of beauty.

I hate the way you look at me,
Your eyes smiling,
Your love emanating
from you like waves of summer sun.

I hate the Suffolk coastline,
the North Sea so uninspiring and dull,
the shingle hard, cold, and uninviting.
Just like i hate those Devon enclosures of sea
which don't enrapture me or compel me to stay in them forever.

I'm angered by the cat crossing my path,
the shooting star i witness as i dream of higher things,
the love of my angel as i cry my tears.

And the healing that takes place in me
as everything i have asked for arrives,
suddenly, in my life,
surprise upon surprise.

But more than anything i hate lying,
about the things which i love,
and i embrace all the wonderful gifts of my life
the tip of an immense iceberg.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Solitude

When i was little my father used to read Winnie the Pooh to me. How English. He used to work abroad and when he went away he would send us recordings of him reading it so we could still hear his voice. (And of course, Pooh wouldn't like to be forgotten). The author who wrote the book also wrote poetry, including a book called 'Now We Are Six' which was specifically for children. I still have the book now, its pages tattered and falling out, my name written by my mother on the first page, when she was so much younger than she is now. These things are so precious. The book exudes my energy simply from being a part of my life for so long, as if it absorbed part of me as things do when you are in possession of them for so long. I always find it remarkable how we attach to things we have owned when we are little, how we make comments like, 'Oh my god, i can't believe i still have this', or 'I remember that!', as if it has formed part of our identity almost. Perhaps it's because we are so much more in touch with ourselves in a very simple way when we are young, and our judgements of what is good or bad or morally acceptable or stylisticlaly fashionable don't get in the way. We just accept. How wonderful.


I have a house where i go
When there's too many people
I have a house where i go
Where no one can be;
I have a house where i go,
Where nobody ever says 'No'
Where no one says anything - so
There is no one but me.

This is a poem from this very same book, and i loved re-reading this. The child has found a place of solitude in their garden, and escapes there. For me this made me think of the place i can go to in my head where there is always peace, (or is it my heart), where there is also no one saying 'No', where no one can be (except me), which is my house and my home; a very precious and well protected space. I love the simplicity of this idea and how for me it relates to so much more than a place, but more a space. When i was little i used to spend hours on our swing in the garden, swinging all day sometimes it felt like, uninterrupted and alone with my thoughts. I need to get another swing... Because this is a space to be nurtured and where we can create, where we can be ourselves without the pressures and busyness of our world. In 'Conversations with God', God says,

"Begin by being still. Quiet the outer world, so that the inner world might bring you sight. This in-sight is what you seek, yet you cannot have it while you are so deeply concerned with your outer reality. Seek, therefore to go within as much as possible. And when you are not going within, come from within as you deal with the outside world. Remember this axiom:
If you do not go within, you go without'.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Dreamt of My Birth

The full, fat moon moves across the sky while i sit,
the cool light reflecting on the pane of glass
which also reflects my face,
and the tree which sways in the wind not far from me.

Behind me dark walls of shabby, old wallpaper
Are being stripped off,
more quickly now.
My father helps to peel off the old remains,
My mother bustles in, forms the family i have become a part of,
strange and new.

I am soothed,
As what was sombre brown is becoming white at last.
I wish and i wish again,
For it to be complete,
This process of rejuvenation and of newness, wholeness.
Thank you.

The child who has sat darkly within my heart is quiet now,
not needing to talk, but watching, and waiting.
Because she knows now that her birth is imminent,
that she can go and hug that man who busies himself behind her,
And embrace the mother who feels the need now to be by her side.

Happy birthday my child, she says,
Of course your time is almost here,
or else what would be the point?