Brain Tree

In my brain is a tree. 
Its trunk is the brain stem,
its leaves are thoughts, a myriad of them, 
many that look the same. 
Its roots spread out along the byways 
to the very edges of me where they take in 
air and sunshine and sustenance.
The trunk divides in two, one leader 
in each half of my brain, and in each, 
amid the complications of branches is a crow. 

They sing. 

Now, you may not recognise the voice of a crow 
as song because they’ve had a bad wrap, 
but they sing of sunshine and wings, grubs, 
the dank delicious flesh of the freshly dead, 
and they sing of love and babies, just like we all do. 

And what they sing with, is air, like the air 
on the intricate surface of our skin 
or in each alveoli of our lungs, 
the air that courses through 
all of those byways of brain and body, 
and trunk and leaves. 

No wonder they sing. Wouldn’t you?

Tanka Sequence, Spring 2020 (plus fire recovery update)

having been 
burnt to its roots 
the parsley thrives 
and I take it 
as a metaphor

the wagtail 
on its wings of frailty 
expresses 
in its flight 
something like joy 

sometimes 
my dead mum comes
wearing a sun hat 
flowers and secateurs 
in her hands

the heart 
that breaks and breaks and breaks
until 
there’s beauty 
even in that

a seedling weed
it’s virility pushing 
towards seed 
what will I plant now
in the burnt garden of my heart

these happy flowers 
of the onion weed 
nod their heads 
and here I am with 
my murderous intent

twittering 
out of sight
some unknown bird
about its business 
of eating and loving

following 
the heart’s happiness 
I find 
I quite enjoy 
hanging out washing

that I am earth 
lying here on it 
gazing at the sky
sometimes the mind 
needs rest, and so …

.

By Sunday, we will have a roof on the structure that will be our home! Lock up next week. Wow! It looks enormous perched on the hillside on its piles of excavated dirt. With the partly enclosed veranda it is a slightly larger floor plan, but is actually a little less tall than our old house, but because it has no trees around, it sticks out like … a new build on a bare hill. The old house nestled in like it wasn’t there. It was, in fact, just as visible but no one noticed it. Now we have people saying, ‘Dean called me out to the veranda the other day and said, “Look over there. We can see Ervin and Belinda’s new house.”‘ They always could because I looked, standing there one day.

The veranda will be able to be closed with shutters, if it ever has to face down flame again. Otherwise we would have to shift anything flammable inside, not something you want to have to do while running.

Today we will finalise choices on the kitchen cabinets. On Friday it was choosing for the bathroom. All I can say is I am glad I have our wonderful daughter managing all this, and managing me and holding my hand when confronted with a vast array of possibilities, tiles for e.g..

A3 is a good size for thinking. Sticky tape helps too. In fact my brain feels like it is held together with sticky tape.

Brain oozing out

A bit inundated lately. I feel like the guy on the right; my brain oozing out.

Still, I’m enjoying this notebook that I’ve been keeping for the 30 days of drawing. It’s longer than thirty days now. Usually I go through a notebook in less than thirty days but this one is mostly drawing. It will be on display. That’s new. My notebooks are usually quite private.

The one in the left was done while watching TV. Right hand one is from Kasia Tons’ wonderful embroidered masks. Have a look at her work on frewster.com Amazing stuff.

Ink and handmade brushes and nibs. Very yummy fun.

We’re getting to the pointy end of this process. I can’t wait to see everyone’s work on the walls.

If you’re a Facebooker (and even if you aren’t) look up Big Draw Lobethal. Some of the other participants work is up there.

The brush goes on excursions

One thing I love about drawing is that the immediacy shows. Take something like this to painting or printmaking and it is very hard to keep that feeling of looseness. And even if you do it usually remains a drawing. Or looks contrived.

We are having lots of discussions in the group I’m participating in (30 days of drawing, for The Big Draw, in Lobethal, South Australia) about what drawing and painting are, and where the separation might be.

A friend of mine said she things of a lot of painters as drawers. Toulouse-Lautrec, obviously, but also Picasso because his images are founded in line. This is different from painters who build up images in colour and tone. Cezanne, I think, even Van Gogh, though I love his reed pen drawings too. Come to think of it, those drawings, even though monochrome, seem to build up the images with repetitive movement rather than define an outline.

What do you think? Can you think of good examples of both?