Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More Companion Poems/Artworks

    Usually my companion poems and drawings are created very close to each other in time, whichever comes first. In the following instance however, the poem "Nectar" (which appears in my book BLACK BUTTERFLY: Poems For A Muse) dates from over three and a half years earlier than its companion drawing, "The Music From On High." I can't explain why in this case it took so long for the drawing to join its companion poem.


To hear the music falling from on high,
you must climb alone, without a lifeline,
to the highest place. There is no other way.
And this ascent will cost you everything.

To sip the nectar of the gods, you can't
still be what once you were--self-obsessed,
walled up behind the ego's armor, terrified.
Only nakedness and emptiness will serve.

At first, there's silence--serene, immense,
profound. Listen. Every wind has stopped.
Breathless beneath that dome of solitude,
you no longer doubt. Finally, you know.

Words cannot describe this music. Even
thought is pointless now. You've become
the melody--it inspires every part of you.
Soaring free, nothing remains but praise!


"The Music From On High"


     Last year I did a series of eight co-created collages with a friend, four of which we then supplemented with co-created companion poems. It was one of the most amazing creative experiences of my life! Sadly however, shortly after this we had a falling out and she chose to make that estrangement permanent, abruptly severing all contact between us. This left me stuck in grieving and struggling for closure. Thankfully, another friend suggested I create one final collage by myself as way of finding both personal and artistic closure to this intense collaborative communion of souls. This I did with the collage "Finding The Final Frontier" below, then quickly followed it up with a companion poem with the same title. The poem is dedicated to my friend Cara, who understood what I needed to do to heal.

"Finding The Final Frontier"

(for Cara)

when the pain suddenly erupts and you're splashed
with its fiery lava you stand stunned for a while in shock
disoriented    not even realizing your soul's on fire
till your own shadow points to the blaze of the wound

then you grieve so hard your face feels like it's cracking
as your hands grope helplessly among the wreckage
but they don't really look like your hands anymore
just occult symbols splayed on some prehistoric wall

eventually though a kind of hushed formal dance begins
cooling your cindered brain    spreading its healing balm
soothing the still-scorched synapses    out of nowhere
a face-painted shaman chants a prayer and casts a spell

now a violet anemone blooms from drowned ashes
that exotic bird with bright blue beak squawks its news
surely there's welcoming haven somehwere in the world
a primal hearth waiting    its dooryard swept clean

when a woman presses her cheek against a pony's neck
she's saying "I love you" in language deeper than words
when a panda smiles with a stalk of bamboo in his mouth
he's saying "everything that lives is born from joy!"


No comments:

Post a Comment