Jackson Pollock No 5 (1948)
This bird’s nest starts with a startling tweet
that wins a trilled, thrilled response. A flutter
of heart-string wings, creator, viewer, join
with the creation. Thin threads of life mix
and match their tangled weave, existential
tapestry, fathered in a feathered nest.
World without end, this labyrinth without
an entry point, without a beginning,
with a spaghetti-thread middle that meets
not in a breath-catch of the mind, but in
a brush-flick of coloured rain, a cycle
recycled of circled paint, circular
in its circumnavigation, its square
eight by four-foot globe of a new world whirled
in stringy whorls, reinvented beauty
drawn haphazardly from the bicycle
tour de force of this artist’s inner mind.
Comment: In my latest poetry book entitled The Nature of Art and the Art of Nature, I explore the relationship between art and the natural world. I have always been fascinated by what we see, how we see it, and how it affects us. The tiny print above is scarcely representative of the eight by four-foot world that the artist creates, or re-creates. And what is modern art? Is it a re-creation of the world as we see and feel it or a representation of a new internal world glimpsed by the artist’s mind and hand-turned into a new reality, the work of art? I guess it depends on the artist, his or her way of life, the way they approach the macrocosm, and how they view the microcosm of their own inner lives.
Creation: such a lovely word. Such joy generated as we create something new, be it something verbal, visual, or tactile. For me, it is more a verbal world than a visual one. My forays into art are wonderful, enjoyable, but very personal and artistically limited, even though I love taking a line for a walk or allowing the marker to trace images on the page. Dreams and a dream world: we need them. Sometimes reality is too much for us and we have to shut out the noise of the world and, in Antonio Machado’s words, ‘saber estar solo entre la gente‘ / know how to walk alone among the crowd. The loneliness of the long-distance runner. The isolation of the loving heart trapped within its cage of flesh and bone. The solitude of the spring nest on the pillars at Long’s Creek, overlooking the head pond at Mactaquac, as it waits for its restless occupants to return from their long journey back to the north from the south and start the rebuilding process, each twig, each straw, a minor miracle. And then the hatching and the fledglings and the return flight south that gifts the empty nest such loneliness as it waits for the cycle to begin again once more.