Monday, April 22, 2013

coughing up feathers...


Last night,

(in a dream
and with my permission)

you cut me open...

And from out of me poured
 all the world's oceans.

Last night,
you cut me open...

And from out of me slipped
 a silver crescent moon.

Last night,
you cut me open...

And from out of me crawled
 a giant black snake.

Last night,
you cut me open...

And from out of me fluttered
 ten thousand tiny red & blue butterflies.

Last night,
you cut me open...

And from out of me fell
 every single star in the Universe.

Waist deep in sea-water,
I watched as the snake
writhed & weaved 
& basked
in the salt-liquid & stars.

They stuck to its scales,
in the gentle light
of the crescent moon.

And the butterflies,
they all flew skyward,
blended quickly into
a giddy, heady blur of purple.

Some of the
lesser fortunate ones
got stuck
in tiny holes
where stars once were.

as usual for me in a dream...

I had perfect vision.


Since that dream,
colours and shapes have
changed a little

in my slightly expanded universe.

Some familiar faces & names too.

And I've been trying of late
to speak your name,

I try:

I just seem to
 cough up feathers!!

There's some black ones in there
(from a crow, I think,
or maybe a magpie?).

And some orange/yellow ones too,
perhaps from a canary?

There's even a couple of
blue butterfly wings hiding in there
amongst the feathers.

I was thinking of scooping them all up,
and making something useful
out of them...

I thought I could
sew or weave them all together

into a blanket
or a parachute
or maybe even a big pair of wings?

because I am now awake,
and no longer dreaming

my sight's not the best.

And I have
way too much
male pride & stubborness
to admit...

Even to you - especially to you!!

That I might
a little help

threading the needle.

So, instead,
I'll just keep trying
to say your name
a little bit longer.

And coughing up
 these beautiful (but useless) feathers...


It has been a while now.
A helpful (yet unhelpful) friend
has suggested

that if these symptons persist,
I really ought to see a doctor.

Or, at the very least,
in a shallow attempt to make some money
from this strange ailment,

that I should consider
opening a mattress & pillow factory.

(c) Brent M Harpur, 2013.

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul /
 and sings the tunes without the words / and never stops at all."
 (Emily Dickinson)

"Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time." (Jean Paul)

"Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers or wings,
 it is, for that reason, to be of no account?" (Jean Paul)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

artist's statement (fire and water)

You love someone else.
Perhaps I do,
But maybe this is
still a good thing
to celebrate?
Like fire and water,
there is something
more ancient, more primal
than merely the heart.
I felt it the very first time we met,
and we weaved & moved
around each other,
and when the drumming finally finished
you gently touched my hair.
You started a small fire that night.
I am not the same man I was then.
And you are not the same woman.
We have changed,
yet we remain
the same.
What was it your chart said?
A year of change...
Fire and water,
water and fire.
I have shed my skin again,
but I have learnt many things
in the last year.
Your smile is still
one of the most beautiful things
I have ever seen,
but I would love to see your tears, too.
I lay claim to being many things,
but never, ever a saint /
I do most of my painting (these days)
with words, not paint.
Things, last year,
they got a little messy,
didn't quite go as planned /
But I'm hoping
if you saw the bigger picture,
you might begin to understand.
This is a heady mix
of lust & longing on my palette,
on a sable brush /
If I were to tell you
what I long to do tonight,
your canvas
would surely shiver,
ignite in fire & blush!
We could talk (my dear)
of love
in pastel shades,
and yet! /
Tonight, of nights
alone with you,
I long to paint you
Fire and water,
water and fire...
The sun, it may yet rise
in those eyes,
but let me be /
The swollen,
pale, fullest of moon
that sinks into your sea...
These are not words,
they are my artist's statement /
They are written on your skin
in starlight & honey,
so profane,
yet so sacred.
You reached over,
& touched my hair again today.
It was all so brief.
I wished for it
 to stay there just a little longer.
Water and fire, fire and water.
It has been
some time
has set
 this watersign on fire.
(c) Brent M Harpur, 2013.
"There are some days that I feel I may die from an overdose of satisfaction." (Salvador Dali)