Here’s another inspirational talk on TED. Jill Bolte Taylor had a stroke and talks about her incredible recovery. She not only recovered but saw life in a totally new way!
I visited Cherryburn last weekend. Its the birthplace of Thomas Bewick who is regarded as one of Britain’s greatest wood engravers. I wonder how well known he is outside the UK. Answers please not on a postcard but here on the comments! I wrote this poem, partly in my car, after walking in the woods.
After Visiting Thomas Bewick’s Birthplace.
Here, the chainsaw carver’s used the stump
of a beech to carve a bat.
Bewick used boxwood to chisel
his woodblocks – then
his pressman pressed
damp paper again and again
onto his blacked birds and beasts.
I walk further into the wood
and see one hand beckoning
and one hand offering.
I sit in the palm
of the offering hand and wonder
at the patience of trees
and Bewick’s meticulous chiselling.
I’m working on a longer eco-poem about red kites. In the meantime this one was inspired by one of Ted Hughes’ where he personifies/anthropomorphises a hawk.
Red Kite on Pylon
I sit on a strut of a pylon,
on top of a hill,
scanning the ground.
My kind rarely kill;
we scavenge for corpses; bits
and pieces of flesh.
This is our life most days.
It took a billion years
to perfect my amber eyes,
my brown forked tail,
and my scavenging ways.
Have a look at this brilliant TED talk.
Back to Edvard Munch
Hell (The Scream)
Sartre famously thought it was
other people. An art critic thought it was
being locked in a small room
with Edvard Munch for all eternity.
The Nordic Cartographer of Hell said,
“Disease and insanity were the black angels
at my cradle.”
His men and women writhe
in anguish – staggering from the canvas
into our cities, into our waiting rooms,
into our laps.
The scream crossing
the bridge reverberates throughout time and space,
turning Wordsworth’s view of nature
“Spiritual seekers look for self-realization or enlightenment in the future. To be a seeker implies that you need the future. If this is what you believe, it becomes true for you: you will need time until you realize that you don’t need time to be who you are.”
Now for some light relief after Edvard Munch!
Cat curled up
in moment’s miracle.
see the atoms dance
sculpting her binocular vision.
the predatory pounce
at the buzzing fly-