The Visual and The Verse

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well wishes of her youth - SGibsonArt 20

Jack

 

Wake up Jack,

what you loved is dead.

There is no heat in her bed,

Her mouth is dry,

the teeth are wet,

there is nothing left

but regret.

 

Stand up

from your venal,

coffer'd, chair.

Attend to her

measured,

mortal, cares.

Step out of the madness

and purchase

her self-respect.

 

Lay out her corpse

to collect the tears,

and well wishes,

of her youth.

Receive the benediction

and cede the truth

to the troubadours

of her death.

Well Wishes of Her Youth

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

48" x 36"

click on image for details

click on image for details

Breath

 

I have never sat with the dead,

but this can't be you.

The sleep that covers your bed

hasn't taken away your form.

The hands have not lost their touch,

and your face remains too familial.

Nothing has changed

but your breath.

 

Breathe.

 

I know your stock,

I know your frame

We share the same heart

same blood,

the same skin,

same bone.

Take on this world,

and live beside me.

The air is too heavy,

Don't leave me to breathe alone.

 

Breathe.

 

Open your eyes and breathe beside me.

Breathe, Before I am left to breathe alone.

Breath! - SGibsonArt 2019 - front.jpg

Breathe!

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

34" x 34"


In Berwyn The Rain Is Falling

‚Äč

In Berwyn
The rain is falling,
And she is dreaming
About feeling good again.
She is steeling herself 
To soften under the 
Heat of her own breath.
And the other,
She is moving closer,
Stepping in where
The cadence allows.
Stepping between 
the warming shadows,
And the chilled stillness. 
A shuffle brushing up
Against an unplanned melody 

 

A Shuffle Brushing Up - SGibsonArt 2019

A Shuffle Brushing Up

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

10" x 34"

click on image for details

Sunday, in August.

 

Mid-morning stretching into late.

The sun’s full expression is muted

behind a canopy of trees

on the eastern side of the yard.

 

The dog keeps guard,

along the fence line,

to protect against the incursion of squirrels.

Birds measure the distance

between me, the dog, and the seed,

and then quickly swoop in

to pull seeds from the feeder

before the calculation changes.

 

The hierarchy of birds

is uncertain to me.

It seems all defer to the finch,

except for the nuthatch,

who dispatches seeds from an axis

no one can defend.

 

The dark eyed junco

stays close to the ground,

confident that the dog

has cleared all cats,

and eats unchallenged

from the finch’s litter.

 

The chickadee,

more cautious waits,

until the feeder grows still,

and then carefully, tentatively,

takes one (but only one) seed

to the safety of the trees,

and from there waits

for the next interlude of stillness.

All Defer to the Finch

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

23" x 17"

sold

How do you dream of God? 

 

How do you dream of God 

falling forward at 1,000 miles per hour? 

At 460 meters per second?

The speed of light is

299,792,458 meters per second,

over 650,000 times faster

than a dreaming man falls. 

I have lived the distance

of nearly half a billion miles.

Every second falling forward

and slipping further back

at one 1300th of the speed of light.

Falling Forward at 1000 mph - SGibsonArt

Falling Forward at 1,000 MPH

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

34" x 34"

click on image for details

Northbound Sounder

 

The world fills in, 

occupying each vacant seat,

pushing out the silence from the cab. 

Each body

introducing a variable of dissonance,

a pause in a story

that began hours before. 

Stale smoke,

a cup of coffee,

or perhaps a breakfast condensed into a sandwich;  

All the smells

of another life

overlaid onto a commute of strangers. 

A leg crossed,

or a foot left resting in open space,

spells privacy. 

A weak shelter

that only holds back the occupation

for a stop or two. 

A Pause in a Story

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

10" x 10"

sold

icon XIII - I have loved the starts too

If There Were Ghosts

 

If there were ghosts here,

I could sleep.

But the host lures every spirit into itself,

and elides my life from me.

Each specter pulled inside this body

tenders its toll.

Their lettings and leavings

ceding me no title;

only license to glean my birthright

from the edges of this table.

To have the fill of me

would permit me the grace to sleep

allowing those who loved

the quiet witness of five chairs

that could not hold this family together.

I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

36" x 36"

click on image for details

To See Her as Beautiful

 

To see her as beautiful 

You need to stand with her ashes 

And look forward from their past

To breathe in her youth 

Before the darkness stole the light from her eyes

And draped it darkly across her shoulders

You need to move from beside the track 

And step between the rails 

And hold your arms out to receive her

Even knowing she will be struck down 

Struck down and wounded with every step

Knowing her body will be turned

Turned to salt

Turned toward bitterness

When I believed the world was magic

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

36" x 36"

sold

known not impossible - SGibsonArt 2019 -

Known Not Impossible

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

36" x 36"

click on image for details

Advent

 

You were waning

before your fullness ever was realized,

and you eclipsed into darkness

before I could fix my point along the meridian,

leaving only the declination of stars and planets

to set my truth against. 

 

Here, in that orbit,

I have set my things in order,

covered my walls with meaning,

and lit certain candles to hold off the chaos

massing behind the light of the farthest stars.

 

For the Christ in me 

was never a fixed light

but an airy transit,

waxing and waning across the evening sky.

The circuit of that orbit

broke and fractured at unset intervals

and darkened the circumference of certainty,

preparing the advent of a new declination. 

I Wish that Remembrance

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

22" x 46"

Terce Hour

 

Before you knew to worry

you could lean into the curve of time

and let yourself tarry

as the sun warmed the room

and coaxed the covers

away from your shoulders

 

The clock’s hand

having neither rounded

the northern most point of time

nor set in to motion

east of the hour

held you quiet and unfixed

 

Between time

when the earth moved below you

and the sky slid above you

and you lay languid and still

sold

time ago and now again - SGibsonArt 2019

Time Ago and Now Again

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

36" x 22"

click on image for details

For Her Delight

 

Damaging the stem,

she plucked the bud,

and carried the flower,

amid other possessions,

In her pocket.

Carelessly,

she pressed the petals

into her palm,

to feel the coolness

against her flesh.

A soft yielding,

that would give up

its odor for her delight.

Staining her hands

with its fragrance.

Yielding,

press upon press,

until despoiled

of its beauty.

everyone in heaven - SGibsonArt 2019 - f

Everyone in Heaven Thinks Somebody Else Should Do the Laundry

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

Triptych 23" x 17" each

Iona Fell Apart

 

Iona fell apart

and with it

a remembrance

of earth, sea and sky.

 

We came together

at the end of the world,

and then sojourned away

alone.

 

Out of Iona we carried

small marbled stones

polished smooth

in St. Columuba’s bay

 

We assembled alters,

both to remember,

and to vouch safe 

our spirits.

 

But these sacraments

professed nothing

outside

the body.

 

And without

the mortar of martyrs

Iona fell apart

rolling away a handful of stones

as witness.

Always Unspoken - SGibsonArt 2019 - fron

Always Unspoken

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

22" x 46"

Words clicking like ticker tape

 

Words clicking like ticker tape,

telegraphing likes and dislikes

on to the floor.

The self-market

always self-correcting

and trending into irrelevance.

The careful curation of

a public persona

indexed against the

securitized tranches

of monetized flesh.

At the close of yesterday’s bell,

what did you like?

Statistically speaking,

does anyone care?

Alfred has a secret life - SGibsonArt 20

Alfred Has a Secret Life

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

34" x 34"

click on image for details

He thinks of death mathematically

 

He thinks of death mathematically,

an outcome that is inevitable.

The truest nth value of any calculi,

a value that can never be subverted.

The axiom that each soul must resolve

to the same value in the last part.

A good life, a good death,

those are for the benefit of the living,

not for the benefit of the dead.

The dead are the most equal,

and that chafes against the skin of the living.

If there is divinity it is written out as comedy,

A worn and weathered script that suggests agency.

Each person using the same

plot lines, letters and numbers,

to differentiate a role

that leads to a common grave.

A proof whose outcome

is mathematically inevitable.

Certainty comes easy - SGibsonArt 2019 -

Certainty Comes Easy

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

46" x 10"

click on image for details

The needle that threads our lives

 

The needle that threads our lives

was set against a cloth

that clothed the universe.

Suspended,

it was neither up nor down,

east nor west,

but always pulling us

to the right place,

at the right time.

 

Always pulling random threads

into self-determined patterns.

Narratives

that we affirmed

and easily discarded,

all depending on a given weave,

at a given moment,

in our given lives.

 

These self-testaments

made self-evident

without apparent edit or correction

were inked on our hearts,

wrapped around our wrists,

and tied at our waists.

A spiritual bondage

that unraveled

against the probabilities of time.

Sometimes the shadows hold the meaning -

Sometimes the Shadows Hold the Meaning

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

34" x 34"

click on image for details

As Much as She Knows

 

She sits distracted,

poised purposefully

at the edge of her chair.

Her chair,

she says ruefully

and means it,

much as she means anything.

Her hands curve to grip its shape.

Its shape feels

like her chair when she says it.

And her words round her lips

in much the same way.

Not as I would say it

(especially its shape),

because its shape

is not my chair,

and she would say as much.

It is her chair,

and she knows it,

as much as she knows anything.