Autumnal winds blew this summer’s day
And my hands worked to take the form of you
Oh creator, how I felt you in my bones
The elements of creation stacked up to the height of me
A frame falling short
Rising when you whispered my name
The one the trees gave to me
The day you gave me to the trees
Rising as their leaves chattered
Bracing for the fall
Already on this summer’s day
Hands working to create
My body ached
And you stood quiet amid the trees
Weary on forest floor
Eyes sweeping the canopy
For jagged shards of light
Your black relief of limbs
Stretch into the all-directions
And I am made simple by my wanting
Only for this life exchange
Only for your reach
As I exhale
River, where do you ramble?
In deep woods we meet
Inside a secret
That floats softly
From my tongue
Into your current
When I was a child
I plunged to your depths
And mingled with the watery spirits there
I rolled frantically like a pinwheel
Until invisible hands
Planted my feet in your muddied bed
I rose like a crooked cannon
Doubled over and ready to launch the remains of my burning breath
In violent exchange for a greedy gasp of the remains of my days
Which have led me here
Banking on your shoulder
Coming up short for time
Leaning in for invisible hands
And finding none
Here, I am the sacred one
I am become my own saviour
So pray you, River
Where shall we ramble?
When we open ourselves to the truth and power of nature and light, we are resolved to the same truth and power within ourselves.
A sylvan dream requites our arrival
Permeating gold ablution washes over giants
Reaching us in strands
Vestiges of brilliance painting our skin
We are but miscreants and maladies
An opus dissonant and wistful
Resolved and replete by respiring light
We are sublimating, reintegrating
Syncopated selves dissipating fleet
Into amorphic jubilance rendered
Now…while there is still time…
while there are still words
Now…when we meet in passing and are in the same space
for the first time…and for the last
Lift your head, fair one,
for there is no tomorrow that will hold this…either the sweetness or the sorrow
Tomorrow will steal in on a breeze that blows beyond our knowing,
and you will turn around and all will be forgotten.
And glowing within you will be only the love and honour and truth of your original light
And if I live, it will be only in the life that I give to you…And I will say,
“it was mine to give, and thus I gave it”
A cool rush of flagrant defiance
Unlocks a chain of misdemeanors
That fall from my tongue in a fevered cadence
My soliloquy goes uncharted
In this forest of layered beasts
Whose fragrant alliance has put me up to the mischief
I have fallen at the feet
Of one cleansing breath
That has choked the life from subjugation to rules that loathe exceptions
And I have taken flight on improbable wings
This painting has remained a powerful and ever-fresh source of inspiration since I bought a print of it nine years ago. That is the magic of Mary DeLave Art.
When I look at any piece of Mary’s work, the words “mystery” and “primal” leap to mind. It conjures up from within me something ancient and instinctive; something fundamental and pervasive. What is it about these paintings that is so deeply and endlessly compelling?
Is it the vibrancy of her colours, paired in such a way as to ignite themselves and each other? Maybe it’s the celebration of music, a most powerful force unseen but universally understood. Perhaps it’s the frequent presence of animals in Mary’s work, or the many wide, unwavering eyes shared by all her species that convey an intimate interconnectedness of life.
Maybe it’s the way – if you look at a DeLave painting long enough – a face you hadn’t noticed at first will often emerge, sometimes seeming part of the more obvious faces…are we separate or are we one? And perhaps there is a faint suggestion of spirits in what looks like invisible profiles kissing cheeks.
I could go on and on. Gazing at Mary DeLave’s artwork feels like an infinite process of discovery of self, of the nature of life and of something beyond. Do yourself a favour and head over to Mary’s site and feast your eyes on some gifts that just won’t stop giving!
Will you dance if I play?
Will you sing if the music knows you?
Kiss my cheek and loose yourself to the wind?
All that is promised, my friend
Is the golden rooted hum in the lumber of my guitar
And the spirit of trees weeping Spanish Moss
Echoing their deep bass on the oaky breeze
Tickling our palate for lust for life
Only this raises the palms of the dead skyward for more
Will you dance if I play?
Will you stomp the earth into resonating vibration
So that the whole world may sing
All dressed in a dream
With spiraling notions relieving the seams
This is what we came here for
Something ancient and primal
With our skin stretched across the depths
Like a drum
Will you dance if I play?
Will you spin into arms and out again?
Will you rise with a melodious eye
And spy on the whole of existence?
Its steel strung heart of persistence
Voicing the chant of sublime being
Will you dance the transcendent carnality
Into harmonious crescendo
And raise the light into ovation?