TODAY! I installed an interdisciplinary community poetry meets cyanotype bonanza project that I started last year at the Round Rock Public Library. If you’re local, I would love for you to check it out! What you see above in the cell phone photo is a preview of the first piece of it in progress – and yes I know there’s a mistake in it. This is art, y’all, not perfection!
Because I am aware of the fact that the final product isn’t the easiest thing to read, I’m sharing below a plain text version of the poem. Also below you can read about the project itself and (hopefully) give some love to the many people who participated in it.
POETRY IS. . . .
Imaginative leaps of profound wonder
in the language of the heart.
whispering from worlds unseen,
revealed in a moment’s breath.
A gate opening
to a sky starred with flowers
and streets paved with moons,
making fluid sinuous shapes
of feelings with rectangular word blocks,
written from the heart.
Poetry is mindfulness,
words for all people,
bringing the unseen or unknown to life,
bringing what lies hidden in the heart into the light:
the language of the heart,
the melody of our lives,
and all that breaks language
back down to its first tremblings
to speak as the soul.
A flicker of hope
a divine intervention
a soulful pursuit,
painting with words
beyond this lifetime,
stirring of spirit and love.
Words rise to sense
beauty in written form,
sometimes real and raw,
but always magic:
life’s rich tapestry
tossed into the pond to make
a million ripples,
dreaming in imaginative leaps of profound wonder:
poetry is the language of the heart.
APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!
These cyanotype prints and the poem they showcase are the result of a community project from 2021. I asked the wider world for a response to the prompt “Poetry is. . . ” in 10 words or less OR in haiku form, and once I had what seemed like “enough” replies I wove them together into a poem which I then turned into prints.
Here is a list of the contributors, along with links where you can see more of their work (please check them out!):
Jenine Bsharah Baines https://medium.com/@jeninebsharahbaines
Ralph Whitehead http://www.instagram.com/photonfixer
Melanie Faith https://www.melaniedfaith.com/
Janaka Stagnaro https://www.janakasartandbooks.com/
Vinitha Dileep https://www.vinithadileep.com/
Sarah Palmer http://www.instagram.com/sgpalmer77
Ann Marye George https://www.anngeorgephotography.com/
Steven Tryon http://www.instagram.com/pearwoodphoto
James G Brennan https://medium.com/@jamesgbrennan
Joseph Lieungh https://www.steppingintothecanvas.com/
Kevin E Pittack Jr https://medium.com/@KevinPittack
John O’Neill https://medium.com/@johnoneill1947
WHAT IS A CYANOTYPE?
It’s a photographic printing process that uses natural salts and UV light to make an image that is naturally blue. That’s the nutshell version, but there’s so much more to know! My friends at Alternate Photography.com have some great info on it:
and you should know that World Cyanotype Day is the last Saturday of September each year.
WHAT IS A HAIKU?
Poetry.org says: “Haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry often containing (in English) a total of 17 syllables shared between three lines that are arranged in a pattern of 5-7-5. The first line consists of 5 syllables, the second line 7, and the last line contains another 5 syllables.”
WHAT IS POETRY – to YOU?
Want to get involved? Let’s make a local version of this! Answer the prompt: “poetry is. . . . ” in 10 words or less OR in haiku form. Write it on a slip of paper and pop it in the box. Be sure to write down your first name so I can list the contributors, unless you’d prefer to remain anonymous which is ok too. When this exhibition ends at the end of April, I will turn it into a poem!
OH YEAH ONE MORE THING!
My friends at the Downtowner Gallery, right across the street from the library, have kindly let me put copies of both my cyanotype / poetry books (including the one I made with my daughter) on their local author for-sale shelf. Local friends, please stop by and take a look at all the great books on offer – not just the ones by yours truly!