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
I think of you
And the many times
You tried the landing
Dot the shallows
Of what might have been for you
But for me,
I am here
Waterlogged and foreign
Time crawling out of my skin
And abandoning me to gravity
And as I become part of the landscape
I wonder now
What becomes of you?
This poem was originally inspired by a painting I admired while wandering through a summer farm and craft market. The artist, Isabel Gibson, was lovely and had many interesting stories of the coastal and pastoral settings depicted in her paintings. Nature inspires art, art inspires poetry, poetry inspires love, love inspires life…and we are cycled and recycled over and again.
Our first instinct is air
We are casualties of longing thereafter
Oscillating on currents
That paint us red
And conspire to wake our dormancy
Jostling and cajoling
Skyward blooms unfolding with majesty
All that holds us aloft
In a universe unremitting
We are want and unwitting
Wings to the firmament
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?
We came out of a land
Rich with harmony and sacrifice
We built legends and legacies
And threw fire from our fists
Unto the firmament
We brought down gods upon our heads
We sought shelter in their arrogance
Devoured our fear like ripened fruit
And this is how we nourished our souls
Grew teeth in our throats to imprison them
Behind voices made lame by our dinner
Our hearts grew thinner
And our chests spanned wide
To shield and conceal our labouring breath
Convinced of our impending death
But our souls
Trapped in our breasts
Heaved through our skin
The immortal summons
With increasing frequency, I see around me a new and different kind of human. Most often they are young people, though not always. They have a wisdom and emotional intelligence, I would say beyond their years, but truthfully it is beyond what has ever been typical in humans at any age. They speak a language of acceptance and inclusion that is unprecedented and embody a depth of compassion that is eye-opening. They are acutely aware of what happens in the world and they act in hope. This too sets them apart – they see, they take action. And I have very often seen them respond to resistance and misunderstanding with openness, patience and kindness while remaining steadfast to principles of common good.
This is more than the optimism of youth. Their wisdom and depth of understanding at astoundingly early ages is at odds with long-accepted psychological theories of human developmental stages. I have come to affectionately refer to them as the new evolution of human, and I believe, as they step forward, more and more of us remember who we are and the power we hold in our innate love.
So FEAR, wherever you act in the world – whether through violent animosity, complacency, psychological paralysis, spiritual imprisonment or exile – you have been put on notice. We are led by a new evolution of human and we are taking back the human race!
I wrote this poem after reading about Parrotfish. They create entire beaches in Hawaii and help build reef islands in the Maldives by eating coral, digesting the stony bits and excreting them as sand. Yep, you read that right. I was fascinated by how these creatures can build whole beautiful beaches and even islands, a little bit of sand at a time. The notion then co-mingled with an image from a digital art piece I had seen that depicted an angel living on the ocean floor, and voila! Now, I’m not saying anything about the digestive habits of aquatic angels, but I had fun thinking of how we might all be elevated one grain of sand at a time.
We come face to face,
and I know there is more to this
In what world do winged creatures live in the dark deep?
I swim passed the hourglass that is shattered
– sand being more useful than time –
and I see that you are building an island
and I am your first guest – a child who knows everything to be true
How very wise of you
Though you know I cannot stay
I am the accidental messenger
The incidental friend submerged by wonder
and taken in by what should never be
If one believes the stories…but I don’t
For you are here amassing islands under sea
Proving all things possible
And when you spread your wings, do you fly or float?
Can there be any greater hope? You rise up either way
Even one grain of sand at a time elevates you
I am often grappling with the uneasy coexistence of absolute oneness and the seeming separation imposed by being in a physical body and of an individual mind – the condition of being an earthling, as it were. Here, the antidote to existential loneliness is an acceptance of a connection that is not knowable through my physical senses – a real surrender to my own beliefs. Physical touch is so much easier, yet this other kind of connection is so much bigger. But how do we live that kind of connection in our day-to-day physical world? We have to reach out our hands, answers my intuition. She gives no further instructions.
The Art Of Touching You
Telescope to the sky
A tingling darkness rises within
Shaping me tenderly
Resonating with things too far or too close for the eye to see
Things to be known instinctively
I sit alone with the universe
Embodying its great infinity
Contemplating the boundlessness
And the borders we impose
Intersecting at nowhere
And it is here that I laugh again
Because you are so close
That I can feel and know and love you
You are in my very own particles
And yet you are uniquely apart, as am I
But the art of touching you
This is the quest for which I turn to the telescope
The finer details eluding me
Out there we intersect, you and I,
At every point imagined and unimaginable
Here, I lie back and open my soul
To the immensity of that truth
My cosmology defining nothing while explaining everything at once
In this vast darkness swirling immeasurable light, I surrender and repose my longing
And reach out my hand and accept that you are here
What if we go in
What if we go under
Where sunlight doesn’t reach
What if the guards step aside
And let us enter
What if there is light still?
How will we re-configure ourselves
How will we wrap ourselves
Within and around a reality
That is unending
What if there is a way
And we have already chosen it?
What if we surprise ourselves
What if we step aside
And let the mystery prevail
What if we are not masters of our destiny
In a great gamble
Of opportunity and chance
Where risk and reward
Are synonymous with play
And the consequence is freedom
What if the guards were put in place
By our own fear
What if they were never really here?