Definition of ekphrasis from Merriam-Webster.com: a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art
Ekphrasis was on my exceedingly long list of things to do sometime (along with sorting out my bedroom, refilling the trenches in the garden, cleaning the oven…) however a visit to the Royal Academy is unlikely to inspire a fit of wanting to tackle the tasks in the brackets… Fortunately, a recent trip to the Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined exhibition at the RA did remind me I wanted to try working on a poem to describe an artistic experience. It’s my first attempt at ekphrasis; I make no claims for it, but it was fun to do.
The exhibition runs until the 4th April 2014 and is recommended if you are that neck of the woods (Piccadilly, London, The World…)
Playing with Light
I come to write
With corniced eyes…
My brittle, bad, habit
But the ink stays wet.
Explore these mindspace secrets
Containing voids for our flesh
Spiralling into the firmament
To face down gilded mood angels
Inside, glean the skinned wood groaning
Tread the knotted smooths made of splinters.
I’m a noise hum-thrumming through
In search of softening spaces
Always, never, diverted
To forgotten whorls, loops and arches
Pressed against the lost twins in satin concrete
Both wearing the scold’s bridle
Trapped under hollow sheaves
And mussed-up smartphones
Reclining lovers plait
Hair into straw rainbows
Squeezing between valiant hazelnut switches
Close-by, a disconcerting grumble of beaches
Where the Sentinel reflects, only, One Way!
To the #Zen Garden
Lenticular clouds beam
Making me blink. Or think. Inverted
Clusters bustle under pointing corners
As we abrade our hides
Lurk behind bamboo ogees
Watch the game with cedared curtains,
Plus silhouettes… slow-dawning…
All playing with light.