Monday, 18 October 2010

Poetry from the MoA

I am going to do something I will likely regret. Due to my continued absense from this blog, resulting in equal parts from overwork and procrastination, I feel the need to post something, even if it's not great. As such, I am going to present some shoddy poetry I wrote at the Museum of Anthropology. I thought it would be cool to go to the MOA and sit down in front of artifacts and just write free verse poetry on the objects I saw. And on this forum I am going to treat you to the poor poetry I wrote.

The Lion and the Owl (in the Koerner Ceramic Gallery of the MOA)
15 Oct 2010

Gold and baroque
--as baroque as a piped waltz--
the lion holds his shield and helm
which blends into his unruly chest
On the red shield is his little twin
rampant and roaring as silently as his larger self
Ornate golden lion, your glazed stare
plumbs the empty space before you

Smooth, blue, yellow, and white
--as plump as a jar--
the owl too looks wide-eyed into
the air, shining with the tinny chords
He comes to the lions shoulders,
his wings by his side hold no shield
His own flat plumes will do for his colours

Hamsalagamł (bumblebee masks) at the MOA
15 Oct 2010

Eight faces, eight dwarf cherub faces
their yellow seive-noses high between their eyes
cheeks sink down
and there is a man, a boy-man
looking at you across the room from an armchair
trying to see you with his poet's pen
seeing only your empty faces
But are your faces empty?
What history would those eyes dream
which looked through yours?
What do your eyes dance?

On Bill Reid's Haida Bear in the MOA
15 Oct 2010

the bear looks on
the canoe down whose length he stares is more polished than him,
worn with the grease of hands
but it is painted in the same colours, its prow the same red as his tongue
the man he sees through the arches is traced with the same black veins,
but these veins contain yellow and white,
unlike the bear's
the double serpent on the arch is the same weathered wood as the bear's long claws but they do not see that
the bear, from his corner, looks on

In the shadow on the chairs in the MOA
15 Oct 2010

there is a hummingbird
with a long beak
and folded wings still as wood
and it sits on a disc held by
seven stiff men who hold
their hands palms out against their many faces
--some faces shorn off--
and their small doll-feet hang suspended
above the eagle's cracked face
with a fissure running deeper than the frowns it cuts
past the pale end-less beak
over its chest and down its leg
into the claws that
clutch a disc sitting on
the heads of twelve men with unreadable expressive faces
and naked formless bodies and
who in their turn stand on
the head of a creature, human-like,
with no nose but a knotty hole
and the fault running through her eye
(she holds a child, damaged
in her sibilant asymmetrical arms)
and her knees turn together and that
crack still runs between them right down
to her crooked feet and vague toes
which hold the weight of them all.

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