Ireland in my Mind

Empress 070

Kingsbrae 3.2
3 June 2007

Ireland in my Mind
(for Anne)

That cottage, stony and cold,
on Galway’s shore
where sunsets redden
the bay as the sun’s slow
candle burns low
across untroubled waters.

Overhead, the planets
await their call to emerge
from the sky-dark
and perform their Platonic
dance steps back and forth
as they have always done.

This limestone, barren
at first sight, now teems
with a hidden life that
emerges when the time
is right and its particles
dance their earthly dance,

the one that burgeons
into paint and flows with
beeswax down the canvas
to create a poetry woven
with lichens and moss, as soft
as this Irish accent

that leaves word footprints
and worlds, as dark as song,
with memories drawn, like water
fresh from the well, as starlight
twinkles and the day recreates
itself in memory and dream.

Journal: Last night, a magnificent and very entertaining supper, hosted by Mrs. Flemer, was held for the invited artists and the KIRA Residency Team. Afterwards, the residency group, consisting of Anne (Encaustic) , Carlos (Piper), Elise (Sculptor), Hanna (Cuisine), Roger (Poet), and Ruby (Painter) gathered in the residence at KIRA and began the first of many discussions on the new cultural world we are creating.

Carlos explained, through his interpreter, how he listened to other people’s music. First comes the rhythm. Then the structural division, segment by segment. Finally, there is the melody. In addition, Carlos looks at what techniques and themes he may incorporate into his own compositions. A general discussion followed on the nature of art and inspiration. Included in the discussion was the weight of responsibility that many of the residency artists felt. This was expressed in a need to produce something special while we are here.

This need to produce came in part from the desire to return to KIRA the faith shown in selecting this group of people, most of whom expressed their surprise at having been chosen.  A discussion followed on how each member had felt upon receiving the news of the selection. A fierce desire to repay the KIRA Team with works of value was felt by the chosen artists. However, the artists also realized that while some results might be immediate, the long-term development of the individual’s art, as a result of the KIRA Residency, might take some time to come through. Patience, belief, and envisionment were three of the themes that then surfaced. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day and Kingsbrae would never be revealed in all its glory on the first day of a 28 day residency.

Anne Wright presented a signed copy of her book Change Artistry to each member of the group. She also gifted us a delightful card collection of inspirational sayings. My own favorite for the day: “There is a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it does not change” (William Stafford). Other exchanges of gifts, some visual, some verbal, some musical, will occur, we are certain, throughout this residency.

9 thoughts on “Ireland in my Mind

  1. Roger, this poem is so beautiful. Thank you for being so generous with your offerings.

    On reading about the pressure and fierce desire you all feel to produce to pay respect to the Kingsbrae program, I think of the very best gardeners. They know the value of patience and giving plants the required time and space. The most beautiful gardens can take years to reach full splendour, so I am glad to hear the talk of patience with yourselves. The artists in residence, the works you’re creating, and the program itself are seedlings. But you’re in fertile soil and I’ve no doubt what grows in good time will be strong and lush. Tempting to add something saucy about manure, but I’m too sincere about my feelings in this regard.

    I think my uncle, Ralph Simpson, will be attending this residency as well. It is such a wonderful thing that Kingsbrae is doing and gives great hope to the future if the arts in NB.

    Enjoy your time there. I hope you get your hands in some dirt – the microbes contain bacteria that release serotonin 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful response, Jane … so kind of you … and I really appreciate your thoughts on the topic. So glad you like the poem, too. I really enjoyed the workshops and Blue Pencil in Saint John. I am in a truly creative phase at present. I do hope it lasts.


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