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Friday 27 July 2012


being the theme for Victoria Slotto's challenge at dVerse Poets Meeting the Bar : Critique.

Everything in balance, if you please!
The colours warm and cool and light and dark,
tones and the intensity of hues,
the primaries and complimentaries
not pitched against each other,
but gently mixed - say red with green
or blue with orange, yellow with violet,
all these to be in balance, please.

This from a senior psychiatrist
to art school students with
a dream assignment: each
to paint a mural for the dining
hall in the sprawling hospital.

And this despite the fact that mixing these -
the red and green, the blue and orange -
kills them both. It's pitching
them against each other that enhances.
(Red is more red when next to green.)
This he would not have. But not just this:
colour, line, shape - emotion most of all,
the whole to be in balance, and to form
a scene of calmness and serenity.

I'll be along each day
to vet the work in progress.

This from another senior psychiatrist.
One mural I recall. A beach scene,
fishing boats parked up on the shingle;
nets, lobster pots, coiled ropes and paint.
As calm as any scene I could imagine,
but it did not pass. The fishing boat masts
cut across the faint horizon. Straight lines
crossing speak of violence. The patients
will become too frenzied.

One man's balance, another's violence.

Most difficult of all was balancing emotion.
What does that mean? What it meant then
I never did discover. Emotion in
the content is so personal - and yet it haunts
me still, seems to be the most legitimate
of all his strictures - and the one most
apposite for poetry. How easily - or not - can thoughts
of balance be transferred between the arts?
But I am sure that where emotion is concerned,
they should. Sensuality in balance with,
say, irony; tragedy with ecstacy, the sentimental
(baby food, but baby food that might taste good)
balanced by some meat. Matisee should have
the final word, I think: don't say the vase
is orange, but that the painting is!


Mary said...

Balance is so important in so many areas of life. I think it is something always sought but not as often attained. A reflective write.

rch said...

so true, nicely done.

Scarlet said...

I like that you used colors and balancing of emotions in our craft. As you say, one man's balance, another's violence.

Enjoyed your thoughts Dave ~

Daydreamertoo said...

This is all so true to real life. Sometimes I think, psychiatrist's need to see a psychiatrist themselves.
Loved your look at colours and how they ought to interact with each other and compliment one another. These guys sound like control freaks to me. If a straight line can incite violence, what hope is there?

Brian Miller said...

balance is ever elusive and moving it seems hard to stay on for any amount of time...one mans balance is another mans violence...well there is a thought dave...smiles....nice write sir....

Liz Rice-Sosne said...

"One man's balance, another's violence." This says it all. Your poem is wonderful showing us striving for balance ... thus letting it pass us by, flowing through our hands leaving them empty.

sunny said...

lovely post Mr Dave

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Crazy! I think of daubed brown! K.

K McGee said...

What is balance for one may appear to be imbalance to another. I think art (and your poem) speaks of this well. We tie to images the emotions we associate. There is no right or wrong. Balance is achieved only by personal interpretation. Well done.

Tabor said...

A delicate dance that balance thing. Interesting use of color as well.

Leovi said...

Without doubt, seek a balance is one of the purposes of art. You also need to find a balance to live happily.

Claudia said...

great verse...(Red is more red when next to green.) ...loved it dave..and yes.."One man's balance, another's violence." ...sums it up so well

ruma said...

Hello, Dave King.

  Your exquisite work leads my impression.
  The passion for the art.  It is universal.

  Thank you visit to my garden.
  The prayer for all peace.

Have a good weekend. From Japan, ruma❃

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Again great intensity and triumphant finale.

Anonymous said...

Very nicely written!

Anonymous said...

excellent Dave, thoroughly enjoyed

Ygraine said...

This balance that we are all constantly striving for - does it really exist?
And if it does, would we really like it?
Could conceivably lead to stagnation. Speaking personally, I need a little imbalance in my life occasionally in order to keep me on my toes!
Don't think Mr. Psychiatrist would appreciate me as his patient!!

Vaccinius said...

You address an important issue difficult to solve in a short text. But I believe the key to wisdom is Leviticus 11.

▌▲ •A• ▲▐

Cloudia said...

the colossal ignorance of psychiatrists as to the human soul and it's dignity (and the healing thereof) staggers me!

Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

kaykuala said...

It's good that they are given challenging interpretations to their assignments. It's all the richer in what they'll produce. But if emotions may cause difficulties it'll likewise result in varied responses. Great write!


Dave King said...

Too true. Thanks for.

Thanks. Good to hear.

So it would seem - like meat and poison, I suppose.

Maybe more perceptive than I first thought - but of course, it wasn't first my thought.

Sad indeed, but so often true.

Much thanks sunny.

Gotcha! Me too.

K McGee
Welcome, really good to have you and your comment. Thank you for it.
Quite true. The right balance as between two things will vary from person to person.
As so often in life, one measure isn't right for all.

I like the reference to dance. So apt. Colours, too, can dance, of course.

Indeed, but which comes first, i wonder, the happiness or the balance? Thanks for this. Thought-provoking.

Many thanks for the kind comment.

Thank you so much. Greatly enjoyed my visit.
All blessings to you.

Much thanks for this.

Hi, Thanks for your visit. Good to have your comment.

A warm welcome to you. Good to have you visiting. Thanks so much for the kind words.

Thanks for this very thought-provoking comment. Good to have a conflicting point of view sometimes. Definitely a thought to explore, I think, and one that would certainly be true in some situations.

Good to have your visit. You are most welcome. I shall look up your reference - though Leviticus is not my favourite book! Thanks for your response.

But they are not alone in this, I think. Thanks for the observation.

Yes, there wouldn't have been much point in an emotionless mural, I think - even if such a thing were possible!

chazinator said...

How can we encapsulate what might in the end be a mysterious conjunction of elements--or at least we hope so, since to think otherwise might make us humans less self-admiring. The subjective nature of art is one such element that brings us round to question its value. What indeed draws us to one work of art over another? Such questions are indeed important, and I thank you for writing about them in your poem that buzzes with the electricity of the open soul to beauty and mystery.