Leaf - Agnes Martin - 1965 - Acrylic & graphite on Canvas, 72 1/16 x 72 1/8 inches
The underside of the leaf
Cool in shadow
Smiling of innocence
The frailest stems
Quivering in light
Bend and break
This poem, like the paintings, is not really about nature. It is not
what is seen. It is what is known forever in the mind.
The silence on the floor of my house
Is all the questions and all the answers that have been known in
The sentimental furniture threatens the peace
The reflection of a sunset speaks loudly of days
In my best moments I think "Life has passed me by" and I am
Walking seems to cover time and space but in reality we are
always just where we started. I walk but in reality I am hand in
hand with contentment on my own doorstep.
The ocean is deathless
The islands rise and die
Quietly come, quietly come
A silent swaying breath
I wish the idea of time would drain out of my cells and leave me
quiet even on this shore.
Agnes Martin (b. Macklin, Canada 1912 - d. Taos, New Mexico 2004)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Drift - CB - 2011 - preparatory sketch - Ink, pencil & whiteout on paper
Not knowing where to start
I start with what I know; Time
Cannot thwart the determined scent
On the tide line, red kelp -
The heart's vast garden.
A painting's been sloshing about in me for some time
And wants out. Chances are it will be a messy business
But - don't I know - sooner or later squalls make way
For benevolent waters. Paintings are tidal; miraculously
The things we need are brought to shore, offered up
For the making - visor, welding torch, life
Jacket, oars, orange, barnacles, boat.
Sometimes it helps to stand on sand And yelp to kelp. Everywhere we look
We see darkness and dazzle.
Small Points of Light.
Here. There. Elsewhere
Shadows settle on the shoulders of air.
Spirit level. Level spirit.
For more Tuesday Poems, please click on the quill.
Sarah Jane Barnett is this week's Tuesday Poem editor. Sarah has posted an excerpt from a longer poem ("Wall-of-China' long!) by Yeager.