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Saturday, 10 November 2012

if art should fail humanity...

If you could find a place
where no one would find you,
if you could paper that place
with a paper to suit you,
if you could make a garden
to surround your lonely place
and live there like a hermit
'til you knew what human was,
if you could send a post card
delivered to my door
to describe in single syllables
what human life is for,
and if the world at large
could be invited in,
I wonder... would that open
your brave new world to sin?
And if you took to painting
would sin besmirch the vision
of your world seen at its best
or seduce you from your crusade for
explicit this, explicit that -- 
in which the vast majority
by definition don't believe.
(Blessed are they 
that have not seen
and yet believe... etc, etc.)

If you could keep your place
for both the secular and holy,
free of false dichotomies,
a land of god and no-god,
seeing god as both a shorthand
and a longhand form of art,
seeing art as sign and semaphore,
a dance with flags and dazzling lights,
unverbalised theology
bringing music to the sights --
a cannabis for scriptural faith...
And if you left your haven
to dance down dirty streets
would it all be out of kilter,
would you need the magic philter,
explicit sex and revelation,
to return you to your station?
If you could paint a tenet
for a faith that's yet to be,
would a fine brush or a wide brush
or a roller set you free?
Would you nurture a small parcel
or a landscape or some scree?
And if art should fail humanity,
where then would prayer be?


11 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

I think, that having established my lonely place plus garden, I would not be coming out for anyone or any event. It sounds a very safe place to live in this precarious world.

Dave King said...

The Elephant's Child
Like your thinking!

Brian Miller said...

i think even in our aloneness we would find sin soon enough, no matter how holy the garden...better for me to dance in those streets then return to my garden...while the dew is still on the roses....

Dave King said...

Brian
What a propensity for sin you do credit us with!

haricot said...

The last question which was shown as the title is quite subtle. Actually I so often read Japanese short poems which seem to be not really himanity and they are well valued. Amen.

Tabor said...

Sin is such a morphing thing is it not? If you think you see it and then look away...it can be something different.

Helen said...

... 'And if you left your haven to dance down dirty streets would it all be out of kilter, would you need the magic philter, explicit sex and revelation, to return you to your station?' Don't know if you are familiar with the music of R.E.M. ~ retired now from performing, composing, recording ~ so many lines of this immensely satisfying poem mesh with their style. As you might guess I'm a fan of their music .. of you!!

Mary said...

Ha, I think there is sin no matter what. Even if a person had a beautiful garden to live in and was just by him/herself he /she would LUST for more, I think. The human species would sin daily whether anyone else was around or not! Whether surrounded by all of life's beauty or not.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

It's an engaging poem and the final question suspends the message powerfully in the air.

Cloudia said...

your opening gambit describe my hermit life and one syllable posts quite well!


Aloha Saturday from Honolulu
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Dave King said...

haricot
Very pleased to hear you appreciated the repetition from the title. Thanks for saying.

Tabor
I do so agree, but many seem to see it as if carved in stone, unchanging and unchanged for ever. Thank you for saying this.

Helen
Thank you so much. Yes, I did have a REM phase back a bit now, but wasn't aware of the echoes. I'm flattered that you think so. Also find it very interesting.

Mary
Yes, I do think this is so. Interesting to have this response and others like it. Thanks.

Tommaso
Thanks. That's much what I had hoped for.

Cloudia
I find the first bit interesting, puzzled by the second. I think you are under selling yourself, thou knows!