Solitude

solitude

 

KEEPING QUIET
by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you stay quiet and I will go.

____________________________

Solitude. Acrylic and mixed media on panel. 20×16 in. 50×41 cm.

Instagram: @johnclinock

Portfolio: johnclinockart.com

 

The 100 #98 – Poet Mask

poetmaskHis lips are pinned to silence,

but behind the mask

the poet

speaks,

stuttering with knotted tongue,

spitting nails sometimes,

mouth burning, cracked voice off-key,

whisperings unheard

amongst traffic and crows,

and the static of stars.

 

Behind the mask,

with worn and ancient tools,

the poet mines his shadowed heart

opening bright shafts of light

through the deepest black,

transmogrifying caves

into cathedrals.

 

Part fool, part mole, part god,

he excavates the stratum of his soul,

wrestling cold rocks with bleeding hands,

always searching under stones

for elusive adjectives,

the missing metaphor,

the long-lost letter

from his dark-eyed muse.

 

Invisible in solitude

he digs from lexiconic soils

long-buried sentences,

faded phrases, corroded rhymes,

and plants them lovingly

in disheveled compost heaps

of synonyms, dank mosses,

nouns and rotted bones,

similes and verbs, fish-heads

and fractured fonts.

 

By candlelight and moon

goat footed spirits dance

on a deserted beach

with ghosts of Lorca, Eliot and Yeats

and behind his mask

the poet sorts and sifts his gleanings,

conjuring and reassembling

torn fragments of language,

for love, for truth, for madness,

his hand juggling

through clouds of unknowing

all he has to offer.

Poem and Mixed Media Painting by clinock

Please You

Please You_2

Please you.

Please me.

 

Emerging

from the chess game

with Time,

the fall of the cards

and the testosterone

of the mother board

the grim eye never blinks

and never pleases;

the stripped man runs,

but never arrives,

pleasing his desire,

but getting nowhere fast,

and the banner’s warning light

pleases only

low flying dreams.

 

Please me.

Please you.

 

Through the beautiful mess

of smouldering

and suspended animation

the totem bird topples

but cannot fly

to anyone

and everything hangs

on the edge of motion,

drawn by nature’s laws

to please you,

to please me

but frozen in eternal stasis;

a clock without hands,

a river of ice

and the solitude

of endless space

beyond the stars.

 

mixed media painting and poem by clinock.