Friday, September 12, 2014


Detail of applique curtains made to illustrate my first poetic journey to amrka 2012 - the wolf protects and indicates a belief in the group protecting one another, amongst other things. I see these curtains every evening, and every morning. They were made while watching Game of Thrones with my daughter, on my return to Aotearoa NZ.
 No matter where we find ourselves awake or asleep, any place may sneaky feel as if we know it well, eventually, when taken to heart.  A cat inching forwards, taking some food, allowing our hand to rub their furry cheek, slowly appears tamer. Various places or settings do rather cajole us too, and they may make us feel almost domesticated there. But are we ever quite tame?

 Everyday life grows to feel as true as a story memorised, with routine, common or garden behaviour, the known and comfortable, and how we can value this comfort. But also, the exhilaration of adventure, daring, trying something new....

Detail from applique curtains made to illustrate my first poetic journey to amrka in 2012 - the flaming sword does not allow anyone but the pure of heart to come near
New friends also gradually reveal more of themselves as they, we, grow closer, too, or simply, in time, the experience of each other changes and so do we, discovering more. Connections build, then strengthen, or they change, at the least.

Some of those close to us also may alter like they're supernatural, part-faerie, changelings, if we're fanciful about it, and this can't be easy for them. Some bizarre or ethereal friends, we love them, perhaps understanding their issues to an extent, while also knowing they're never going to be as close as we wish they were, so we could enjoy their company more fully. 

Through kindness nevertheless we open up more possibilities and our imaginings tend to appear calmer.  We need to genuinely feel and act kindly for this to bear fine results. And perhaps everyone is like a half-wild cat, with instincts alert, so we may never completely cosy up to anyone else, there are boundaries, limits, and mysteries.

There was a time years ago, too, when I felt like I possessed the ability to see into other realms, living in the past without warning, slipping backwards and sideways into strange visions, because I did that, and considered this was a sign I could be part-faerie. The things we tell ourselves when we've got post-traumatic stress, (or shellshock), and no such words to explain it at the time. 

Illustration - Gerda and the

Hindsight, it's as lovely as a cut diamond, and knowing such facts in retrospect may cost us plenty. Growing to know oneself as heartbroken, for instance, quite a journey. Acceptance of this is a sorrowful but strengthening experience, like recovering from a coma but missing a limb or years of existence.

This writing is about the unwriteable, so it has to be fiction. Freedom exists there. No one need feel hurt. It's not about you, these are characters.

Simply take from this story what you like, need, or think necessary. Here is where we choose the chocolate, sip some drink we like, decide for a moment we know it all.

Between a blue place and a great deal of water, words made stories, and some tales came alive. 

Two lovers turned into birds, and populated days and nights with feathery noises and loud squawks, sent messages to each other on the air. 

Then, due to daylight, because of feelings as strong as city traffic or a full orchestra playing a symphony about myths on fire, these heart-bearers showed their true selves. A glimpse, a moment, reality, blinding and true.

The man - made of glass - shattered.

The woman already fragmented, and mended, found her heart was completely broken. 

So they went on. 

Produce given to me by friends a year or two ago, from an organic garden

The man reformed from the fragments remaining the way he always did. This meant he had to forget some of the people from before, but could recall them if he felt like it, and could see them in a new light.

The woman adapted to her new disability, after a lifetime of practise. She was born hallucinating another world than the one she inhabited, and felt accustomed to living in various dreams, (she could sometimes choose them). 

Their true love for one another assisted them. Love mends and heals, smooths and swirls, makes music, creates calm, love does not mind change, love resists destruction and prevails like weather, or nothingness, or dark, or light, and all of those.

Their bunch of friends became a survival game based around how fast people could turn from oil fuel to solar, and also, still enjoyed beer and fast food, occasionally.

Fast. It may mean to do without... but....

Thousands of dollars were poured into planes, trains, cars, boats, trees for travel, and restaurants. People chased dreams, found disillusion, great art, fine architecture, a pedicure, endless conversations, and then, sensual delights.

That's it in a surrealist nutshell, really.

A more minimalist story could cast the entire range of characters in grey, black or white clothing, on a bare stage, each reciting lines of their most devastating poetry. The inevitable cacophony reaching a crescendo, and then silence, sudden, startling, empty. 

Each embracing the other and walking away without looking back, holding threads of each others clothing, unravelling. Taking some kind of connection, each returning to the shadows, the wings, the unknown.

No realist story exists for this. It cannot be real. It's true, which is not the same thing.

If this were as real as rhubarb, or bricks, someone would've spilled the guts of it by now, steaming, reading the resultant mess as if the future made a picture there. 

No, this is an unreality like films, close to music, nearer fragrances mixed to change your perception to belief in tomorrow and your part to play in it, easier. Night requires us to forgive ourselves the day.

Cover of a 1960s Classic Fairy Tales book

Anyone who wishes they could write this way needs to know how many tears fell in the making of this story. They'd wash along, float a boat to a cliff higher than anyone could climb. I let them go.

But o, the story, the true tale of this, it's worth the water and salt.

The internet. 

What's that worth?

None of us can exactly say what it's doing to us, not yet. 

We can't precisely define the friendships made there or because of its existence. 

What impulses are born from these screens and the information flowing forth? Material in every direction, overlapping, undercutting, some true, some half-true, some false, some unproven but probably false, all of it available all the time except when a government blocks it, or individuals remove easy access. 

But echoes, shadows, imprints exist in there somewhere, perhaps, your deleted messages too, maybe. Whispers of who we want to be, pretend to be, make ourselves look like, truly are, and yet, are also, not.

But everyone likes to feel wanted and loved, don't they?

Collage Tiny Title book cover 2011

Adapting to cyber-place. Growing wider eyes and buying tears to drop into them in case we forget to blink.

Just as we fitted into new countries, or older ages, or a move to another city, suburb, house, room, fashion sense, outfit, belief system, relationship.... We may learn to live here too.

In some ways we are the same, after all. We feel certain urges, at different times too,  Love, hate, revenge like that old song by The Avengers, ohhhh.... Broken hearts, young love, better days, wise sayings.... 

The order is all messed up but does it matter?

A broken hearted person, they may look the same as you or me. No one necessarily knows their pain. Do we ever precisely understand what each other goes through? Time to sit with pain in silence, this may assist us in acceptance, then healing. The value is in the giving of that day or week or month. Happiness results from freely giving to others, after caring for ourselves, did you know? Give and you shall receive happiness.

Ah yes but, damaged and also, still alive, the broken-hearted can seem whole, capable, amusing, helpful, however they lack the ability to trust anyone with their attention and belief beyond a certain point. Is that what grown up means? Is it why the idea of maturity is so sad?

Blurry copper pipes found in the garden, tied with string, and trees

Now, take a word picture, imagery, because these often assist us with seeing. It's like expecting a person in a wheelchair to dive into the sea, chair and all, off a wharf into deep water, to expect anyone with a broken heart to make the necessary, brave, terrifying leap into loving someone else and trusting them to care and love them back. A curious circumstance, and it feels like a war's been waged that no one else can see, ever, not even if the terrible story is described in detail. 

But the broken-hearted may love anyway, miraculous, no?

To write about this is sometimes like being inside a cupboard shouting for help believing no one can hear. Are you there?

This is home for me, here.

So where are the friends I knew and what say they now? Shakespeare echoes.

Enter, bring your gifts of writing, believe we're going to make it, laugh, sing, and swear, make mistakes, discuss anything you wish, and listen, is that music?

PRESS/ where the sun is bright/ the symphony volcano on the islands/ put on a disguise/ something cooled/ had strange notions/ work of the heart discovered the truth/ and went out at night/ like the ebb and flow - most famous/ the music garlands/ so find some land bordering the deep/ trees in their temple gardens/ important weather/ trying to make a long time that reaches out/ streams in the forests the instruments  

This picture is a collage using images from damaged or out-of-date books, including a map book of Aotearoa New Zealand, and words from an old encyclopedia, the volume was from Ghosts to House Plants. The poem is written also as a caption. I have a series of these in progress and hope to exhibit them soon.

Thanks for reading and please do comment, you're welcome.