This Time Transient

This Time Transient

I sat

Watched the darkness

This time

Passed me by

Whisper in

the growling doom

With glow bug

Lights

Tiny murmurs mimic wind

 

I sat

Heard the wailing

This time

Deafness saved me

Parachute

Drop and float

On water

Ripples like a long silk cloth

 

Did Walk

And

Run

And breath

 

Did daylight

See

Blue button

Cloudlets

In a breeze

 

These things

Newer

Birthing scare

But I am

Still

 

As if to

As if not to

 

Morning

Comes

I am

Astounded

By

Seconds which

Do not punish

 

Did not ever think.

But now

I

Bask:

 

This time the darkness

Passed.

 

I waved.

 

from the ashes 8 smallFrom the Ashes

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Seeking Solace in the Sea and Sky

I have been putting off posting this series for very strange reasons. Perhaps the strangest of these, for any who know me, is that I am out of words for it. I couldn’t originally figure out why. Words are things that abound in my head, and they flow from me remarkably freely. Perhaps too freely sometimes.

So why the block on this work? And then I realised. This is a work that springs from the moments in between the turbulence. When I am just sinking in to one breath and out of another, letting slip all of the myriad complications I like to add to my life, and indeed, to my art.

I wrote a poem, during the making of this series – a lovely, short, and bracing holiday at Black Head on the New South Wales Coast, where I singularly managed to fail in dragging myself out of bed so I could photograph the most amazing light show out to sea you could imagine. It is a failing of mine, that when it comes to early, late, or generally unfriendly hours, I am lazy photographer. What I did capture, though, was what I sought to, and how often does that happen? The weather, the wind, the rain and the eternal movement and complementary stillness of the ocean and the sky.

Time and simplicity.

Here is the poem, the images and the quiet expression of how it felt as I was:

 

Seeking Solace in the Sea and Sky

For there is solace in the sea and sky

 

when in the moments flicker

shadows

blending one into the other at

the limit of my sight

So water becomes air and

wind rolls in

toward the land.

 

The rain on my face

and the salt

down my throat

as I breath

the waves in time.

 

It is as if peace were a moving

changing wisp

which summoned with the tide

would only stay but such a short

and insubstantial

time

then sweep itself far

out of reach again

 

grasping and catching

releasing

and waiting once more

 

the wash with the water

swirls

the sky mists over

and the grey

envelops

 

my skin is tingling numb

as I am both lost

or found

Whole, yet

missing the intangible

 

as I seek the still perfection

of the line between.

 

I strive for the Horizon.

 

Horizon_016

Horizon #1

Threatening

Threatening

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Boomerang Beach #1

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Boomerang Beach #2

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Manning Swell #1

Red Tide Beings 2

Red Tide Begins #1

Red Tide Begins

Red Tide Begins#2

Red Tide 1

Red Tide#1

Red Tide 3

Red Swell #1

Sunset

Sunset at Blackhead #1

Crowdy Head

Crowdy Head

In the Rain

In the Rain

Fleeting

A little bit of poetic wandering (and wondering) over the transience of our existence, and the power of our family ties.

 

Fleeting.

 

One second

It seems

No more –

Inward

And

Outward breath

 

Just that:

The past is gone

The present goes

And the future

Is a fleeting

Dream

As

I blink.

 

Grasping hands

Cannot close

Fingers about them,

They are

Insubstantial moments

Of extreme

Emotion.

 

A person

Might

Only be the

Memories

Clouded

By remembering.

I will lose them.

 

Please,

Not today.

 

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Bianca and Pomegranate #1

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Bianca and Pomegranate #2

 

The World Behind the Mask a Poet Wears

I’ve really put off writing anything on this blog about the main series that I am working on. Some of that is because it’s going to be a really long haul series. Some of that is because I’ve stalled on it at the moment – it takes so much time for each shoot, and my health and weight have not been good lately, which doesn’t work when you’re shooting yourself as the subject, and you can’t make yourself configure in the way you want to for your images… Some of it is a reluctance to say anything about it because it’s complex, and I don’t want to to have to explain it’s complexity until it’s complete, and it can talk for itself as a narrative.

But it will be a while before I start shooting it again, and I do want it to at least sniff the air a little.

It is, in a holistic sense, a series about what it means to take the journey of a poet. More specifically it references the poetry of Yeats, and it does so because as a poet I have sought out so many other writers and drowned myself in their words. I have lived their journeys as I have lived my own through words and verse. Yeats is one of those I consider who have a pull in their poetry that sucks me in the deepest.

When I was struggling to shoot, as I have been for all this year, I sat and read his later poems, and I thought, I know what these make me feel. Can I express in pictures to others my empathic reaction? That was how it started, just to get me shooting again, but it became so much more, as  I explored verse after verse the images became more about the masks I wear as I shoot and write, they were my experiences on a journey of words.

There is so much more to shoot, but here, briefly is a snapshot of the first narrative from the series, that of:

The Muse

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Yeats first _009

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Time in America – The Twin Towers Monument

Post no Bills

On visiting the Twin Towers Memorial in September 2014

 

Their names have carved

These holes upon our universe

That will not

Be unmade

 

I touch my hand to the gap that is the space

In which their essence used to be

The sum of moments that they lived and breathed

 

These letters are

A sharp edged strange division in the Fabric

That is cast upon us for the passing years

In which they are no more

 

There are more people who visit –

Day to day

Standing, staring

Never forgetting –

 

Than those who were the victims

Of this space which now descends in rushing water

To the depths of futures we cannot foresee

 

So it is for those of us

Who meet them

Now that they are gone

 

They are but the footprints

Of their buildings

And the steel of lives

Who live no more

 

Yet there are more of us

Together

Unbeaten

Here

 

In a place that is the memory of another

Place

Which used to be

 

Those who seek

To break the human Spirit

Should first understand it.

 

The water will flow

Into the unseen

And we will watch

The droplets

 

Dust

It has been a long time between posts, and is so often the way, the longer you go without writing, the harder it is to begin. Even more this time, for any explanation I should give would seem to drag out my soul and lay it bare for everyone to pick over. Some might argue that this is what I do with my art, so why should writing it be any different?

I don’t know. It just is.

Perhaps the gulf would have become all together too large, and maybe I would simply have ceased this blog, slowly letting it fade, but for a chance moment. A choice to step out of the small cocoon I have been inhabiting to visit an exhibition opening.

It was there, at the opening of the immensely talented Janusz Wozny’s first solo exhibition that I saw how I should proceed. Janusz includes poetry in his exhibitions; these are the words which intersect with his amazing images, which, it seems both inspire the images, and are harmonized with them. They are powerful, and the depth they imbue is gritty, honest and rewarding.

For so much of my work I have written poetry that is an integral part of my images, and yet until now I have never included any of these words on my blog. My poetry is not grand in scope, it doesn’t seek to set the world on fire, it is a journal of my feelings, fears and experiences. It is me, in a nutshell. Not Hamlet, just a pair of ragged claws, exploring my silent seas, trying to understand, and in understanding, to move forward.

In a book which I am sure I will quote far more of in future, “Still Life with Oysters and Lemon” Mark Doty wrote that

“A still life is more like a poem than a portrait”

I found this so touching, as if it twanged a sensitivity in my creative side. For it is in my still life series that I tend to include my poetry. So it is true. And yet it is so very not true, because my poetry is in fact a portrait: an intimate, challenging self portrait. And my still lifes, contrary to what so many critics hold, are narratives – of time, self and alteration.

Life has been hard for the last month, simply because it is my life. And sometimes I struggle to live it. Here are some words – in the form I love best – to go some way to explain how and why.

 

Dust

 

Sharing will not flow one way.

 

The ghosts have gone to dust now, so

There is only space.

My hollowness is mute.

Without the memory of communion

There is only lack.

Without the veneer of empathy

Is Alienation.

The sofa beckons

Once these words are numb.

Realisation reflects,

But the surface does not

 

I am empty.

 

Time does not change me.

It does not even make the

Doppelganger more palatable

Still, step to step

The madness tingles round the

Fringes

And the anger sniggers.

So little greatness,

But so much washing.

Time disintegrates the illusions,

But it does not

 

Is the future really this inane?

 

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