Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Locusts


Don’t be afraid of the locusts
But know they’re coming
Don’t be afraid
We’ll steer you in the right direction
In time
We’ll protect you from them coming
The corn is bursting in fields
And we will wait for summer harvest
They’re coming
Don’t be alarmed until we let you know
And than we’ll make you go
Away from that safe place
The corn rising in the fields
We’ll tell you how to see
And how to feel
When it’s time
But know they’re coming
We will facilitate
Evacuate
Mandate everything you’ll need to know
We have channels where you’ll listen to our words
We’ll comfort you
We’ll keep you warned
We’ll keep you updated daily
On their progress
Though you’ll never see a wing
We’ll protect your children
From everything
We’ll show you who is the enemy
We’ll create the image
We’ll advertise
And fill your dreams with dread
We’ll make you question
Starvation and the impending death
They’re coming
Most of the corn is already ready for harvest
We’ll keep them safe
We’ll spread them around
We’ll keep you feed
We’ll clear the clouds above your head
Buildings in the city coming down
Empty storefronts crumble to the ground
But don’t move
And don’t make a sound
We’ll tell you when it’s time to be alarmed
You won’t be harmed
We promise
We’ll herd you to where it’s safe
We’ll keep you feed
We’ll save face
The dying cattle
We’ve hauled them away
Nothing to worry about today
Until we tell you it’s time
The corn burned in the evening
You never smelled a thing
They’ve come and devoured
Everything
We kept you safe
We’ll spread what’s left
To who deserves the most
We will keep you bound
To that post
So we’ll rebuild
And we will conquer all of this fear
All the hunger
Rest assured
We’ve reached the deepest hole
We will need from you
All that’s left
We will keep control
We will keep you calm
We will keep you never feeling the pain
Of convulsing
Starving
As all of you do
We will spread what’s left
It’s what we do
When all the harvest disappears and next years’
Seems to be half as much
We will warn you of the locusts
The beasts you feared so much
And we will feed upon your corpses
And lay you all in the ground
In a small box
In that tiny dusty town
Where storefronts fall to the ground
No food, no belongings
Only the starving, with hands held out
And we on evil wings
Will persevere
On to the next small town
Or small city
Where we’ll devour
All the summer harvest
Before it comes to be true
And when you try to warn them
They won’t believe you…..
We are locusts
It’s what we’ve done
It’s what we do……..

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Unspoken Page-Nature, art, life, death, politics, religion: Funeral for a Celebrity

The Unspoken Page-Nature, art, life, death, politics, religion: Funeral for a Celebrity: The body in the standard layout, the same state, the same ritual,  a line of cars, the press were pallbearers taking pieces of t...

Funeral for a Celebrity


The body in the standard layout,
the same state, the same ritual, 
a line of cars,
the press were pallbearers
taking pieces of the corpse like ants
bits of anything left
scraps of dirty remnants of their lives
nothing sacred
nothing safe
all of those human moments exposed
sadness was the standard costume
crying eyes of those who took posesssion of the corpse
but no one knew her
sterile bits of words
from voices of strangers
tomorrow the front page
all the wars their demons rage
all the things they shouldn't have said
no respect, no emotion
for the dead
the possession
a celebrity becomes
the possession
all decorum lost to the story at hand
speak the words like vultures at a feast
without choking on a single word
cast out across the news
every dirty, filthy thought they ever had
and how they once did drugs
and how they beat their kids
facts like seasoning
that add or detract
to fill the space and compensate
for all the dignity we lack......

The Unspoken Page-Nature, art, life, death, politics, religion: Blame....

The Unspoken Page-Nature, art, life, death, politics, religion: Blame....: A child’s suicide Because he was being bullied What do we do in this world That gets more violent ignore or Punish the violence ...

Blame....


A child’s suicide
Because he was being bullied
What do we do in this world
That gets more violent
ignore or Punish the violence
Raise the child in a warm wonderful place
That hides societies' cruel uncomfortable face
Ashamed of our darkness
Ignore the disgraceful
Tear down idles of sports
And movies
And wonder why
Our children are mean
Attack fast food for hurting our children
And wonder why our children
won’t take responsibility
cockroaches in expensive suits
sell lottery tickets
for damages rendered
everyone is a potential victim
everyone is a potential donor
and let’s sell the kindness of disasters
join together with tears
and ignore all the corruption
and the fingers reaching
imprison the Christian
dismantle the church
disgard God from every corner
of our lives
and question who’s responsible
for a child suicide.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Unspoken Page-Nature, art, life, death, politics, religion: A Winter Sky

The Unspoken Page-Nature, art, life, death, politics, religion: A Winter Sky: You don’t know what road to take Your eyes are cold and gray like winter How do you fit in your skin When your not like them...

Another Landscape



Indifferent blackbirds in pastel fields
Demons entangled
In last years broken stems
Broken rays of light
Find tired eyes
How quick and quietly
Compromised
That  I can not see
The sun
Or wake without the light
Without noticing
Gray
A shadow across the lens
Keeping blackbirds from getting in
When all around me clouds
The silence of  words
streaming out

A Winter Sky




You don’t know what road to take
Your eyes are cold and gray like winter
How do you fit in your skin
When your not like them
And the winter drags like the flu
As all the trees that grab the sky
Seem closer and darker to you
And the orange sky you remember as a child
Was the beginning of the snow
How quietly the sound of emptiness
In harmony with being lonely
You grow in size and weight
The forest dark and foreign
How many days did you walk by the stream
Searching for a reflection that never came
But it was you in that dark place
So close and dark like the dying trees
How sad that no one knew your face
Even you- a stranger on your own set
Where all the vines pulled at sinews bleeding
Did anyone notice you had forgotten your lines
Did anyone think to mercilessly leave
You behind
But you in that dark place
Remembering December like a life that passed you by
All the gray sky
The sadness of trees indifferent in the cold steel breezes
And that orange sky that hung for you like a beacon
As if there was a safe warm place
Not too far away
And if you found the road you sought
You could simply walk away…..

Friday, April 6, 2012

Art by Gordon: Community-it's where we began and where we're goin...

Art by Gordon: Community-it's where we began and where we're goin...: Community is something that is innate in our culture. With the rise of the web and the increasing state of anonymity the web offers, we have...

The Unspoken Page-Nature, art, life, death, politics, religion: What's so great about poetry? What's so bad about ...

The Unspoken Page-Nature, art, life, death, politics, religion: What's so great about poetry? What's so bad about ...: I almost hate the word poem or poetry because of the stigma it has taken on. People who don't get it seem to think it's some foreign, incohe...

What's so great about poetry? What's so bad about poetry?

I almost hate the word poem or poetry because of the stigma it has taken on. People who don't get it seem to think it's some foreign, incoherent rambling of words for the sake of being artsy and creative. I think we are force fed poetry in high school and choke on words we don't only not understand but at that stage don't particularly want to understand. I have written all of my life-since I was ten and when you tell someone about poetry you can almost see their eyes glaze over. It's some foreign overly artsy intense thing that makes most people who don't care about it think your some kind of babbling foul.

I would prefer to call poetry-a verbal snapshot of life. It captures a description of intangible elements of some ones life and creates a tapestry of colors only through words. It would not make sense to speak in poetic terms in prose because there are too many elements that blur together and support each others processes. Another aspect of poetry for me is that it touches parts of the brain that aren't normally accessed. You will be speaking about a feeling and describe it with words that people can relate to-for example-depression; the great steel vice that crushes us or the black chasm that always looms above us, a language is created that isn't so much the sum of simply words but the sum of multiple feelings that people address with words. This way the poem starts out from the writer as their experience but when it is read, the reader injects their own feelings from the experiences they equate with the words chosen.

In a more self motivated process, I learn about myself and others every time I write because it is not the standard way of relating. From the subconscious, decisions and opinions are formed and reworked in every poem which grows the breadth of understanding of people, nature and that all encompassing theme of death. I see the world and people from various different perspectives from a subconscious bent and every time I write I learn more.

I believe if it was not for writing my coping mechanisms would definitely have been tested as poetry is a release valve that contains all of the fears, hopes, happiness and sadness. It filters the feelings and allows them to be processed first in subconscious and than to the conscious. I am working on a book on dealing with depression and living through the process and writing has helped a lot in getting through it. It tends to be the vehicle for writing as well as an illness that is alleviated through writing.

So when they glaze over when you mention poetry, lose the word-it is not poetry it is a word snapshot.
A language that transcends feeling, words and life, a way the inside speaks to the outside-okay I'm getting artsy now.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Painting an Effect Instead of a Scene


Saturday was the first class of a new painting. It is a totally different process from the previous painting as this painting is very simple and low on details. This makes it hard to lose focus on the overall painting because you are in the process of working the whole painting at once and all the processes support the overall effect. The previous waterfall painting was all about detail and technique and it was easy to get lost in the details-teach a technique and an idea of how to quickly render an area and let the student take over the process.

This painting, because of its lack of detail and the subtlety of its effect demands light overlays of color, not a whole lot of paint piling up and an intricate weaving of light and hue to capture the focus of light, movement and hue. The main point of painting water is that you are not painting water-you are painting the sky, the landscape or anything that interacts with the water but the water because of its colorless characteristics can not be captured only by the movement and color of objects reacting with it.

Another problem with painting water and a simple image of a leaf on water is how do you explain the fact that their is water and that the leaf is not just plastered on a wall flat like it is envisioned. The  image needs visual cues to explain to the viewer what they are seeing, visual cues that are assumed and felt because of the fact that we know by watching water that the leaf is on water and we hear the water and know that the leaf is on water. In a painting there are no sensual cues to explain there is water so unless you can explain to the viewer how the leaf rests on water and that there is depth before and behind the leaf the image is a flat leaf on a two dimensional plain.

We have to notice changes in detail, contrast and color, without the changes the eye has no concept of what it is seeing and the photograph from which the rendering came from has successfully captured a three dimensional image and rendered it as a flat, evenly contrasting image. As artists we need to exaggerate certain aspects of the image and clarify what the viewer is seeing.

So how hard is this to teach? For me it is even more like trying to explain the color you see on a regular basis to someone who has never seen color but even harder than that is without certain words like warm or cold. I would move paint around as I was constructing the original painting and as it worked or didn't work I would adjust and refine my rendering of the painting depending on the process. In teaching you have to reach and move paint without being able to rely on the idea that this is an experiment, there needs to be clarity with a student and you need to show the way when your way at times seems somewhat cryptic.

We moved paint around the leaf and continued to refine the image-If I say refine to her one more time she's going to shoot me, but just as in the other more detailed painting the process begins with refining where light is, where the leaf falls in your plane of vision and how the contrast and color changes throughout the painting. As the textures and the colors form and push each other into the position on the plane the image will create itself almost like a puzzle that becomes only with the relation to its parts and how each appear. So just like not painting water, we are painting the way the sky looks and how the leaf looks and in the end we will have how the water was affected by the leaf and the sky.

I will continue to comment on the steps to getting there and have a final video of the class in the end when the final puzzle creates itself. Thanks for reading and stay tuned.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Places to Paint and the Places Painted from


I try not to be too abstract about art and the intricacies of inspiration and creativity but there are many intangibles that are hard to explain. I am a landscape painter-I paint places but the place from which I paint tends to be varied depending on mood and circumstance. The word place could better be described as tense as in writing or maybe even atmosphere. I  paint from states of being either extremely happy and feeling content or being somewhat dark and pensive. There definitely seems to be a need for extreme of mood when I paint because I rarely intend on painting a pretty landscape I more want the viewer to feel
cold or lonely, or the excitement of light and vibrancy of color so the landscape becomes a secondary backdrop to a state of being.

The most uncanny of this is in the past having painted a landscape which for all purposes was a simple landscape but having music in the background while painting caused the painting to have a somewhat dark uncomfortable  feeling-the music in the background was Hunters and Collectors-Scream and it touched on a darker more uncomfortable place in my mind and that's what came out through the painting.

I am impressed with mystery and darkness. I think depression probably has also lent itself to the darkness in my paintings-I just sometimes don't feel comfortable in my own skin and I often think that comes out in the painting. I want the viewer to walk down a road in the evening and feel that tension of fear but the enjoyment at the same time of that fear and uneasiness and that is probably why people like haunted houses-the fear takes them safely out of their comfort zone.

My writing is actually more dark and tends to be more of an open door for the uneasiness because it is unattached to a specific image which at times might be completely contradictory to the scope and ideas I convey. I like a landscape that you can enjoy the beauty and natural feeling while at the same time feeling that there was  a bit of tension and you don't feel completely comfortable being there. I think one painter that has captured the idea that I express is Edward Hopper-his paintings are about dark places in city streets or in bars and there is a tension I just love.









I've included a pastel that is probably a bit more over the top than intended as far as the mood but the name is Halloween. It's a perfect example-a wonderful family time out with the community and yet the underlying idea that there are goblins in the trees and ghosts abound. I've always loved that feeling and that's what I tend to paint.

The second pastel is of blackbirds which is a recurring theme in my writing. The last image is of sunflowers-I thought it was a bit alarming of that one light in the evening on a silent house-begs the question who is staring out the window?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

At the Cremation


At the Cremation
Smoke filled the air
Joy and sadness mingled with dust
Twisting writhing spirits in the sky
Dreaming of the day we touched the ground
All the love and time that streamed across the plane
And wound down
The pyre floating in the sea
We watched for remnants
Of what used to be
All of our memories
Written across the sky
How could we be happy
But we needed to be
As this is what was meant to be
Time is just a measure
It’s the words that create the page
The chapter ends
Another begins
Eyes staring out across a horizon
Of light
All clouds unobscurred the path
A smile and a conversation had
As tomorrow might not be so sad
The journey begins today
Discarding the weight of the body
That reaches the sky
That touches us with rings of smoke
And all the loved ones wave goodbye
The portrait measures its final stroke
And we remember all the words,
Written or spoke
How will they see us tomorrow
When we’re on our way
What will they say another day
When the wound is somewhat healed
Only a glimpse of the pain
For the soul that’s gone away
We wait here on the shores
And will follow
One day soon
To rise among the embers
Of our lives
and forever shine anew.
9-26-11

At the Burial


At the burial
The long drive and the street is dark
The sky is a backdrop
Of rain
But you won’t feel a drop
Not the moisture
In the grass
Not the salt on your cheek
Only the chore
Of preparation
Only the position
And the box and the place and time
Wills to attest
And papers to sign
Down the long green mile
Of grass so green
Its sickening
I watched blackbirds
Filling in the blanks of the sky
Forming forests and trees
In peripheral eyes
The cold grey day
The green felt gives way
To a hole that no one can ever fill
Only with earth that will cover our cries
Forever stain our frightened minds
Fill the depression
That nothing will……

At the Wedding


At the Wedding

All of the moments before
Were a preparation for this promise
And I promise
The weight we carry together
Will always be more barable
You take my words
As they bind us
You listen as Gods breath instills
A key between us
That keeps our wills
Restrained
I have no desire to capture
Nor cage
Though will it be my detriment
That you are yourself
Separate from me
And the two of us
Will always be
Two
We will have rules that neither will ever voice
But we will know them
We will have boundaries
Neither will test
They will mean everything
And trust is the block we’ll forge
A structure
With all its cracks and remnants of the past
That will stand as a testament
To a promise
For as long as we last.

At the Birth


At the birth-

The light broke through clouds
A crack in the gray and pale white
She in
Her final bout
All her weight carried
Her voice loud
The steam erupting to the cool autumn air
The silence is deafening
The pause
And the moments becoming
Memories crawling off of walls
And into albums
I remember the hospital white
The bed
The room
The simplicity of timing
The impatient nurse
And the tv fading into the silence
As the room spun around
The doctor in all his formality
And every moment before and after
Pointless
The one great divine moment
Of creation
And God shows his window
One small glimpse of this perfect soul
Captured just before
The world robs its eyes
And slowly steals
What was only for a moment
Hers and mine……

The Media Teacher

The Media Teacher


I’m so glad to have the media
To teach us about the world
To teach us how to talk with our children
To show me that most things can be unsafe
To show me how to use common sense
To instruct me how to eat
And what to eat
And how to feed my child
And what my favorite celebrity eats
And what insignificant thing they said
That I need to hear
And what product will kill me
And what I should be afraid of
And what I shouldn’t fear
How I should feel
What’s fake, what’s real
To distract me from the government
With their fingers in my life
Teaching me what’s wrong and right
Showing me how to decide
Keeping everything bright for the side they choose
Teaching me which politician needs to win
And lose
Showing me what the weather is like
Every moment, every day, every night
but don’t look at the electorate
they’ll decide
keep my eyes
on kims new dress
or her marriage failed
tell me rumors about celebrities
show me how to watch sports
and who’s guilty and who’s not
the story, the most important aspect
trumping true or false
courtrooms on tv
mesmorize me
so I don’t notice the real
I don’t know what’s false, or what to feel
They keep me tuned to tv
On the radio
On the web
Show me how to analyze sports
And how to understand celebrity
And how all my heroes fall
And most people are bad
And most things that happened aren’t good
What is sensationalism
What is a theatrical event
Rats in a maize we are
Listening to them feeding us
Spoons of words that mislead
As we follow
The news
But no one teaches propaganda
versus truth…….