Friday, January 25, 2008

Garden, Visual Journal and my favourite poet

I've been working further on my large oil painting, but not ready to post further pictures as yet. The weather is great, we've had rain finally and the garden is growing. There is a little garden area in front of the older part of the house (miner's cottage built about a hundred years ago, and the rest of the house was added onto in the sixties and then the seventies). There are five acres behind the house but this little piece, although it's close to the road, has a feeling of seclusion and privacy and wasn't used very much so I decided I wanted a vegetable garden there. Behind the vegetable garden is a very old Rasperry Ice rose that is coming to the end of it's flowering, and behind that again a South African begonia type shrub that has just started.

I was working in a visual diary for another artist and here are some photos of what I've done so far. She asked for words - particularly words that uplift or inspire. The first one is "a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step", and the facing page has imagery from more than 3000 years ago (The White Lady of Aouanrhet). The other was created after reading some of Joseph Campbell's work. He talks about "aum", you might know this as "om", he said "the meaning is wordless". I like that idea, that meaning can be wordless. And there's another quote from Campbell - "words are always qualifications and limitations". On the opposite page there's an image of Buddha in meditation, it's a Tibetan tanka painting about intense contemplation leading one's prana to take shape as radiating ripples of air. I've used art papers, paint and ink with the collaged imagery. I've chosen some images to create the next spread, I'll put up a shot of the finished work when it's done - each artist has completed three in the journal and when I've finished my last spread the journal is returning home to it's owner.

And finally, in this post, I'm going to share some of Hone Tuwhare's poetry. I have several of his books, and been rereading them, and drawing ideas in a journal thinking I might do some paintings about him. The first one is in the book "Ooooooo!!!" published 2005 and, as I've said before, Hone wrote earthy poems.

"If I should die, think nothing (nihil) of it. Happens naturally to all.

To my deaf ear, I raise
the Wrist to which
my watch is strapped
just barely noting
the tiniest intervals
between the tick and
tock of it, inexorably
paging - unemotionally
and without the least
evidence of compassionate
interest the leaching, leaking
moments between your
arrival, and final nod-off
& ... goodbyes - of your
departure time:
One last emptying of the bowel
and piss-bag: tick-tick.
tock, hands off cock -
er ... tick ... tick ... tick.
O'excelsior! Full marks!
Mayhap, your great, great
grandnephews, nieces, will inherit
your wrist-watch
& reclaim, the rhythm
the 4/4 Boogie beat of your heart.
For, on their tiny feet you march."

From "Piggy-back Moon" (published 2002 following Hone's appointment as Te Mata Poet Laureate in 1999).

"For Linda

Well, really,
when I think of your utter
absorption in your work, I am
entranced by the flow of your
silken thighs (the hemline
of your skirt is just fine) -
as you sit down to write out
my prescription for Zestril,
making my heart loop and pump mis-timingly! my
eye-sight, you confirm, is
okay. I pull my sleeve down
and shrug into my jacket.

I think of you warmly, if not
swarmingly - and feeling, like
I am a yellow, zebra-striped
bumble-bee, just thoughtfully
if not diagnostically nosing
the flower-heads of
prim daisies, edging my
lawns, and waking them
newly, to the infectiously
courtly kisses of a leisurely
but discriminatingly (pickie)
nectar-gatherer. I'm heartstruck
with love, Linda. It's my
trade ... "

There are so many poems I'd love to share but I'll just type out one more and hope that people continue to read his writing. He was and is a delight.
From Shape-Shifter published 1997:

"Wry Song

O may the texture
and fissured lines in
stone temper my life-style
to another self, enduring:
less faceless.

For in the tumult of my
separate hells, pummelled
I have been beyond shine or

And if I should never know
delight again, or shut my
ears to coarse banalities
of sea and storm

then let my poems rock
to a dark sea's roll:
as the
stricken moon."

1 comment:

Denise said...

I like the journal images Sandra. I've been thinking a lot about Tuwhare's poetry, and what it means to me, too. Thanks for sharing these :).