Tag Archives: creativity

Finished Work

Finished Work

I hear that Michelangelo
walked out from the circles of the city
to go down paths where time moved slow
to stand on the rough floor of a quarry,
his gaze on a massive boulder,
till in it he could discern a figure,
from the head down to the shoulder,
and then the chest down to the feet
till the figure was formed complete.
He then began to carve the boulder
with his chisel and his hammer
till the figure he first saw
was the statue stood before him,
be its expression calm or grim,
be it an athlete or a god.
It was he who drew the line,
it was he who held the rod.
Relate that to a novelist
who sees a story on the page
before he writes a word
or to a song writer
who hears a song in the air,
finer than the chirpings of a bird,
then puts words and tune together
but feels his finished song
falls far short of what he first heard.
No creator can be content
when the finished work is done.
The only thing to do
is to begin another one.

Original Rag

Original Rag

Scott Joplin played piano,
he had all the notes in the bag.
Wish I could compose a similar tune,
my own original rag.

A tune a tonic to play,
a remedy to mend a mood,
a jangly round to summon happy times,
a refreshment interlude.

A vacancy in the air,
a hollow ache in the heart,
wait to feel the pulse of my melody,
heal by the strum of my art.

I sit and play my guitar,
find the right rhythm, random chord,
the shallow place in this rapid river,
stable stones to help me ford.

Must not yield to winter cold,
must continue to use my gift.
Subtle syncopations are not my skill,
I have my simple load to lift.

I plunge my mind in the pool,
and gather the notes from the bag.
Time to turn the tap on my wayward tune,
my own original rag.

Collage Of A Life

Collage Of A Life
poem by Philip Dodd for the Best Six Poets Project
painting by Kathryn Carlyle

A collage of a life painted on canvas.
Images separated by pale tone spaces.
Is that just a random tree?
Could it mean nothing to you but something to me?
And what are those buildings?
Why are they there?
Did you walk by them one summer,
the south wind in your hair?
It is strange, seems to do us good,
the way we create things with words,
pictures and sounds,
steered by the spirit we tune into
that moves through the air.

 

Matterhorn

Matterhorn

These chords were never played this way before,
never will be heard like so again.
No moon or star and no sound from the shore,
I finish my song, put down my pen.
This tune now born, I wonder what it will be.
You may listen to the wind in the corn
to try to find your key.
You don’t have to climb the Matterhorn
to feel free.

I go up, ascend in a lift to the topmost floor.
Once there, by itself, opens the door.
I climb stone steps, to stand on the roof,
and all around me, I see the proof
that life is good.
But really, I am only in the kitchen,
waiting for the kettle to boil,
so I can have a mug of tea.
Your loom may be broken, your tapestry torn,
yet you can still weave in the air
more beauty than first you could see.
You don’t have to try to hear
the pipes of a dolphin to plunge in the sea.
You don’t have to climb the Matterhorn
to feel free.

Red Violin

Red Violin

This wind, this space, these vacant rooms,
I leave behind.
I know no one will notice,
no one will mind,
and I will try to find the essence of the paper and the pen,
delve deep, stretch wide,
and when the work is finished,
I will lid my eyes, but not be blind again.

I would like to paint
on canvas sapphire shadow,
in one corner, a red violin,
almost in the middle,
a candle in a crystal holder,
lit for constancy and hope,
and though a climber without a rope,
find the place where all the stories begin.

Like a carving on a stone,
like a fresco on a tile,
I want to work with words
on something that will take more than a while.
And though you will never know,
on you my gift I will bestow,
for it is a fine thing a man can do,
to make a woman smile.

White Web

                                                    White Web

White web a spider spun,
made bright by winter sun,
stretched flat on window glass,
wonder at what’s soon to pass.

Admire the spider’s skill,
web weaves to trap and kill.
Rare catch of fly or flea
rewards such industry.

Brushed off with fluff and dust,
removed with burnt bronze rust.
Gone from the glass and air,
white web appears elsewhere.

In some slot, spider sleeps,
well hid, its secret keeps.
Its life though brief and frail,
still of worth its weaver’s tale.