Writing

Selected Extracts

Review for ‘Waiting’ by John Evans

This poem is a symphony of words, tones and colours. “In a moment vast landscape…”. A language poem. A dance with words. Words being used as language rather than rhetoric. Words for words sake. Art for arts sake. Part chant, part spell and incantation, the natural imagery drawing language back to it’s more primitive and visceral origins. “Marbled stained mud grades curtained chomping bones tendons…”. You don’t need to “get it”. The poem drifts in and out of meaning; that poetic space between sense and non sense where true thought and emotion exist without constraint. New syntactic relationships emerge. Sometimes the combinations of unexpected words create a sensation of newly created, forever permutating sense, “squeaked heart ravaged like an old rag”. The writer pays careful attention to the musical qualities of the poem – the rhythmic weight, the alliterative connections, the sound, tone and texture. A fragmented narrative appears here and there, somewhere just under the surface, “Still here Still Waking”, until, at the last gasp a voice emerges for a moment, “You’ve lost And freed me / To love / Continue”. Inventive, challenging and very well written, another worthy winner

Waiting published in The Welsh Poetry Competition; The first five years 2007-2011. An anthology of winners’ poems over the five year period, ISBN 978-1-4477-3232-7

An extract from Bourgeois: A view from the bottom of the well

In 1875-6 Rodin made his first major work, The Age Of Bronze (spring’s awakening) which signalled a new beginning in art that no longer depended upon the primacy of subject matter, or narration, or mimesis. This visual experience derives from a concept in art that is no longer, “…beholden to specific anecdotal representation: a concept of art that has freed itself and is thus no longer clutching at the centuries old Aristotelian principle of mimesis, of imitating nature as truthfully and faithfully as possible.” 7.  (Crone and Schaesberg in Louise Bourgeois The Secrets of the Cells). He was entrusting it entirely to the genuinely artistic realms of free creative imagination. The developed concept of the fragment in Rodin’s work allows us to conjure up disjointed narratives and complete them with meaningful allusions. Confronted with a fragment such as Rodin’s La Pensee of the mid 1880’s the viewer is challenged to make his own independent, intuitive contribution to the dialogue with the artwork. Crone describes this process by which the viewer “…is inspired to abandon value judgements and to sound out for himself the possible ideas and multiplicities of meaning in a given work” (Crone et al) 8. Free of the detail of figurative sculpture, the fragment, by virtue of its succinctness gives a voice to something greater than itself. Such fragmentary sculptures as Meditation Sans Bras (The Inner Voice) and Torso provide insights into the energies and strengths that direct and determine human behaviour vis-à-vis the human being.

Thread or yarn is an ancient metaphor for the pattern of our lives, “…the thin,breakable thread in the child’s room reveals the unfinished process of creative construction, a loosely-structured world of possibilities” (Crone, et, al) 22. The fragility vulnerability of thread with its perpetual threat of breaking, snagging, knotting, distracted and enmeshed in a tangled web can also contain possibility of a freeing positive flowing of the thread

2000

Journey To The Sheep

Familiarity. A beginning. So what, that my boots are here. Sparkled shaft lambs leaf runners and climbers walk path of The Brute vertebrae snaking horizon. The sun still. Beautiful. Track of the track. Quiet green gone The Brute. Spaces. Motorways between trees. My friend pylon touching sky unthreatened. Where The Brute foxgloves sprung iridescent pools alive. Missed the purple parade. Dry raining leaves. Pee soup cress overgrowth black bubbles spawn. Pop. A bubble not toads, ancients, sheep. Sheep don’t grow in ponds. But, if they did, millions stark oily tranquil cress touched blackberries lost to fluid. Where the world is. Embankments. Sun raining needles. Didn’t look up. Not sheep. Man. Resigned, malshaven entrenched faded denim. V oaks snow of Snowden clouds of Rudry. Caged nothing bramble stakes. Chest. In the dark oranged velvet nipples bitten snug to trunk stalks climbing bark. Rubber not velvet. Moss covered rocks fallen glade home. I can see the bed blossom mushroom plates solar-ridged bulbous intertwine hawkclaw knobbled erruptions lazy branches. Where one begins undercarriage sunken. Nests elbows. Head of a gargoyle belly of a crusty hippopotamus lichen breasts thighs snouting orifice. The golden glade remember I loved you. Everything still. New stream in the stream. And, you all knew. Ferns grounds streams leaves. You know. No trace of sheep today. Raining over there. Purple downpours over purple coasts purple seas. Wind at back bridge sun-defined

2014

Journey To The Sheep (Part Two)

Too cold for sheep today. Nice though. Crown of thorns old prickles. Hear them in distant pastures. Black strap on a shaft. Black gloved pointing finger on a branch. Oak seeds like ferns reverse of leaves. This is it. And the green ferns. The left ones are old. Strong ones taken. Remember strong green. Fallen forgotten ridiculous. Loss of innocence. And the big smile on a horse. Banks raised tight. Unburnt. Right-angled ferns raindrops robin. Where do they go in the heat. Damp pepper grass gloop glug. Wagtail light. Fossiling acorns stream running clear. Black skins stuck to the verge. Drenched. Eerie mist trees alive fresh viridians Shrill baby birds yellow raindrops Wriggling things underside exotic fungi. And, the leaking between not imposing structure. True to intentions. It will get done Without dilution. Acorn in pocket Birds and the sun still Feather waterspouts 50 Niagaras’ racing Where’s it all going. Excitable bubbles homage to the falls Velvet poison Frons puzzle Tired legs. Remember the sheep 1407 loved bread. In the spring her lamb came for bread wet warm snuffling. Race to the fence. Sheep following 1407 and the trusting. Gone. Circle and mist still. Angels in the sky just below clouds. Lights. Sea in the sky. Van shepard driving sheep adrift almost ran me over “you haven’t got a dog, have you love?”  “No”  “well, keep him on a lead if you have a dog coz he’s killing sheep” “I haven’t got a dog” “good, enjoy yourself” Brick Encampment Sacrificial slab. Trunks, branches graded Greened rope twisted round tree. Squares of wood with holes Iron John W.C complete with seat and toilet roll Dead sheep. Vertebrae six feet from skull. Right-angled platform. Blue rope A knife. No, not a knife Empty sheaf. Pissing down mushrooms sheep out. And me. Racing for shelter. Crows crouching shuffling bums. Limping blue marked speckled faces growing black sheep green black shit. Spiky gel top. Blue stained circle round shag. Loud birds warning. Millions of acorns water rushing end of black fruit taken eaten mouldy sodd. Greeny black bums vegetarians. Where has the old man with the old spaniel gone. Raindrops pit-pat puddle paper leaves volcanic reds skeleton fern. Silt burying. Fog horn. Where are the ships. Angel fell from tree sparkly mud. Heavy heart Dogs barking Birds Earth Sunlit glade. J engraved J 19 bark 84 Tall feathery greens touching blue Squish squelch deep mud lightest rain Wordless vista Be Strangest trees make themselves Leaves Falling Warmest day Tree taken The Earth with it/ tumorous load umbilical straddling/ down-pipe leading where. Banana mixes fern soil. God Cloudwings Butterfly Rays Sky moving at a pace Rain Sky connected to millenium centre This is the place I found a dead lamb no blood no sign. Blowing storm

Journey to the Sheep – Part Two published in The Welsh Poetry Competition; Ten Years On 2012-2016, ISBN 978-1-326-83972-7

Journey To The Sheep – Part Two commended in The Welsh Poetry Competition 2014


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