Un-mortar my walls.
Crumble brittle stone grit
to honest sand.
Dissolve me through skin,
whispering to skin.
A story place made real,
like mirage challenged light,
crazed to uncertain travel,
tear steps evaporated,
one world’s rumour,
diffused in another.
By sheer coincidence more than any sort of planning I’m reading with two fellow Wyvern poets at DCA’s ‘Echo’ event next Thursday. The Echo events are visitors’ responses to exhibitions at DCA.
The Echo will be at DCA on Thursday 8th February at 6 o’clock. It’s free, but you do need to order tickets in advance.
In the tradition of something a little scary near Christmas…
Sometimes it seems my existence falters, my
touch fails on phones or pads or screens, is it
only aridity, or am I momentarily – gone?
Once upon a good laugh, the world paused,
after we smiled unflinching through another
late staked old un-scary tv movie.
It can’t be easy to be a Dracula Lee so
terminally camera shy always the mirror’s absentee,
a suavely dangerous kind of unkind quantum ghost.
Back then, after vanishing spot and a long sharp tone,
analogue static shushed the speckled shades of night –
no more stars to steer by, straight on ’til morning.
Washing afterwards, it usually began as a pull,
rapidly suppressed, a twitch tap touch somewhere between
the spine and one shivered shoulder blade.
Knowing nothing’s there, but following that compulsion
to take a rapid confirming rear-view glance –
how ridiculous, to have to check.
Doubt hangs somewhere in the looking, not behind,
but returning to the mirror, from face rinsed hands,
fearing an unseen absence reflected there.
With plenty of help from exhibition organiser Tansy Lee Moir, my projection/montage/video piece was safely installed at St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh last night. My piece is based around readings of three short poems from Drawing Breath.
The Grown together exhibition opens on Saturday November 11th. The exhibition (seen in preparation below) shows a marvellous and very varied collection of tree inspired artwork. Chuffed to be in the company of so many fine artists.
This poem was written after reading an article in New Scientist recently. The article shone a light on current thinking about human brain transplantation.
As the magazine’s leader suggested, whatever we might think about some of the ideas discussed, it is important that they are talked about. Scrutiny matters.
The title of the poem refers to a
World War I airman’s song:
The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling / For you but not for me:
For me the angels sing-a-ling-a-ling / They’ve got the goods for me.
Oh! Death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling? / Oh! Grave, thy victory?
The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling / For you but not for me.
The man who would transplant
a human head, or properly,
exchange a human frame,
Frankenstein or Doctor Strange?
He talks his plan, so far so good,
and sure, well, perhaps, maybe?
Until chillier air keens a chime,
whispering the unsafe word,
An itinerary reminder bings aloud,
it’s Monday, almost midday,
whether my head is there or absentee,
in two minutes the Bute in test
will scream alarm like a scorched banshee.
And in my arms a little twitch,
fingers flicker startle ready,
fumbling set to save my ears – fair warning
for you and for me.
Darren McFarlane’s painting of D’Arcy subject to one of his own mathematical transformations!
I enjoyed a visit to the exhibition Harmonious Complexity at the University of Dundee Tower Building. This is part of a season of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of D’Arcy Thompson’s book On Grown and Form. Continue reading
Some more information about the Grown together exhibition in Edinburgh next month…
click to enlarge
This exhibition brings together 18 artists, makers, poets and designers whose work is intimately connected with trees and woodland.
Though their works span a wide variety of media they are all united by a strong affinity with woodland; as a place to observe and connect with nature, as a rich source of metaphor, as a place for reflection and healing, as a link to distant myths and inspiration for new writing, as a sustainable resource to work with. For some, trees are their singular subject or their raw materials, for others they represent a starting point for their imagination.
Timed to coincide with the launch of the new national Tree Charter, ‘Grown together’ seeks to highlight the relationship between artists and trees and remind us of the reasons we should value and protect them. By considering trees in new ways, we can learn much about ourselves.
‘To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed. It is where you travel to find yourself, often, paradoxically, by getting lost.’ Roger Deakin, Wildwood 2007
The exhibition has been curated by Tansy Lee Moir and includes St Margaret’s House residents and invited artists:
Lynn Ahrens Charlotte Eva Bryan Isabell Buenz Chris Dooks Anne Gilchrist Aileen Grant Adele Gregory Full Grown Teresa Hunyadi Aliisa Hyslop Alan Kay Rona MacLean Kenris MacLeod Tansy Lee Moir David Mola Steve Smart Katherine Sola Robin Wood
Exhibition opening event 1-4pm Saturday 11th November.
Exhibition open daily 11am – 6pm until Sunday 26th November.
Events during the exhibition run – to be confirmed.