Songs of Words And Demons
Sometimes the words for a poem come all by themselves, triggered by an event, an image, a thought. Something triggers the mind, and words and images suddenly, uncontrollably, flow. The image writes itself out and the demon puts down the pen, returning control to me.
So, I give you the middle years of the demon scribbles: songs of words and images, thoughts, philosophies and visions. More
Welcome to Songs of Words and Demons, which is a sequel to my earlier book, A Tapestry of Words and Demons. For me, poetry is the oddest form of writing. Sometimes the words come all by themselves, triggered by an event, an image, a thought, even a book I’ve read or movie I’ve seen. Something triggers the mind, and words and images suddenly, uncontrollably, flow.
Other times, it’s deliberate. I sit down to write a poem about something or someone. Sometimes that works out well, sometimes, when I’m finished, I throw out the last few hours work and go have a cup of tea.
My favorites are those that write themselves, leaving me to do some minor clean-up, spelling adjustments, a word here or there, nothing more. The image has written itself out and the demon has put down the pen, returning control to me. However, suddenly grabbing a pen and scribbling for minutes or hours is somewhat disconcerting to those around you, especially if they thought they were having a conversation with you at the time. Other times I’d wake at 2 am with a poem or song full blown in my mind. Needless to say, that too raises the occasional eyebrow.
So, I dedicate this, with love, to my wife Gail, who somehow puts up with my sudden inspirations, and always encourages me in all my endeavors.
Alongside the impulse to write, there is also an impulse to create, on the artistic side. I develop a fascination with a type of art, and explore it for days, or months, or, in some cases, for years. As the two seem to go hand in hand at times, I’ve chosen to intersperse these poems with some of the art that I did around the same time as the poetry. Sometimes the two focus on a common theme, sometimes they run, unrelated but in parallel. Sometimes the art leads the poetry, sometimes the reverse. Both seem to be driven by demons of a sort, with their sudden onsets, amazing intensity, and wide-ranging curiosity. Something always needs to see what comes next.
Art during the early years tended to focus on tapestries, following lines and patterns. During the middle years, tapestry was replaced by the plants and animals around me. Some called to be reproduced as closely as possible. Others drew me into native North American motifs, sketching the animal but detailing them with tribal or mystical images. As tapestries were governed by the Fates, these images were more related to animal spirits. However, as I’m not native, I found the spirit forms extending into animals that were never found in North American.
As with any mystical motif, I found that working on the images created a gentle rapport with the spirituality, invoking respect for the concepts I was working with. Not being particularly religious from a western point of view, I found the native spirits both attractive and restful. This more peaceful approach to the art is reflected in the gentler approach to the poetry of the time. Having found, and thus no longer searching, the poetry was free to take on a more philosophical tone and rhythm.
Yet it is still amid the writing of words, the weaving of lines on paper, decisions made or not, the choosing of one pathway or philosophy to follow, and another to walk away from, that a life passes.
And so, I give you the middle years of the demon scribbles: words and images, thoughts, philosophies and visions.