On Saturday I attended a course about writing poetry based on paintings. It’s not something I’ve ever tried before but my poetry group was going and it looked interesting.
Most of my writing wasn’t great but then I was writing about very different subjects to normal. Throughout the day we wrote about being part of a painting, about moving into or out of a painting, about meeting the artist and being the person who was posing. It produced some fun experiments and got me outside of my normal thinking which is always beneficial.
For a couple of my exercises, I chose to think about a cave painting of a bison.
If I could paint like the cave woman…
…you would see animals dancing across the rock …you would feel the beat of your heart crash with each thrash of hoof
I would show you the creativity of nature so you want to reach into the stone and pull out your own magic – personal, powerful, empowering
and then you, you could create your own universe with your own mystical imaginings
I want to be like the cave woman
I want to be like the cave woman feeling the rock and knowing that’s where the spirit of horse or bear or bison lay & knowing how to release them from their prison of stone.
I want to be like the cave woman who knows earth, and air, and stone as kin & the plants that crowd the forest floor as well as she knows her child.
But I reach out in the dark of my bedroom, not cave, to the untamed sculpture that is my bed with its heap of books and phone chargers searching for the lamp switch.
I could never be without my sacred night space, it’s coccoon of safety edged with fleece and teddy bears and the convienece of electricity that the cave woman could never have dreamt of
I want to be like the cave woman. I want to know my home and land with the intimacy that comes from survival, but with the comforts that turn survival into certainty and in doing so, render the relationship between the land and me nul and void.
The making of bats
is an act
that must take place
in the darkest of spaces;
no full moon,
no starlit skies.
Instead shadows and coal,
Silhouettes and pitch.
Hand to heartwood,
whisper wishes to the owls,
pray they take them, swift winged,
to the goddess of the night.
If you are blessed,
hear the sky fill with wingbeats.
The making of bats is a gift,
not a right.
If you haven’t already, take a look at my post on spontaneous generation and read about some of the ‘recipes’ that were believed to create animals prior to the 17th and 18th centuries. You’ll realise that my own recipe isn’t that unbelievable!
When I grow up, I want | When I grow up, I want
to be a campanula, growing | to be a campanula, self
tight to rocks | sufficient, hard, persistent
to stones | resistant
to walls. | resistance.
Spreading and reaching | Reaching and spreading
into the crevices of the | roots creeping though
humanmade world. | cracks in domesticity.
Patiently establishing myself; | Weakening structures
dainty, delicate lilac petals | forcing a new perception,
– miniature stars. | a new perspective.
When I grow up, I want
to be a campanula, a paradox.
Lover and fighter.
Darkness and light.
And no one to expect any less from me.
I struggled with wordpress formatting this.. I tried all sorts but it wasn’t playing friendly with me… The first three stanzas are two columns, side by side, the left column is aligned to the right so they butt up against each other. I’ve used |’s to separate the sides.