The Play of Light in Wychwood

The Play of Light in Wychwood

in transformed space
friends, artists, and neighbours
in knots of talk under one roof
opening the door and letting in the city
one line one image one thought at a time
all of us entangled in the social fabric
waxed thread twisting through paper
through wood through canvas
thoughts woven among thoughts
shapes of words forming in the resistant material
one person’s state drawn in relation to another’s
relative to storms to cascades to a serenade
each one here a steward to their own work
ritual healing of the body politic
at this particular curve in space-time
broken threads losses labyrinths
elaborations going beyond each complex artist

in the no man’s land of the easement
between the tracks and the traffic
overlooked by public gardeners
where a city unmoored
stops protecting stops serving
where he improvises maps of a different code
amid the universal brown before spring
among sentient beings in their own nowhere
dry grasses holding steady in the wind
unobserved unpossessed unbroken
he is working at the site of the wound
where severed tree limbs
left dangling along the fence line
call out for the curative tenacity of gauze
he interprets the language of trees
willing to be one who listens
slowing his breath down
to the rhythm of a tree in winter

we’re entangled with gravity and uncertainty
the snarl of what’s not conscious
living in exile from the particular past
that flows through our unfolding present
the buried life of this city
daylighted by unassuming acts
by a woman sitting at a desk
listening then inviting
writing down perceptions
on small pieces of paper
while the wind moves through the tall grasses
growing along the edge of the park
near the criss-crossed wires of the fence
making a neighbourhood
out of her corner of the common ground
a whole story emerging from different sources
a river surfacing from underground streams
into the play of light at Benson and Wychwood

the cloud grasses hold the light
gracefully in their feathered plumes
the way he wants to hold the day
in a cadence of unbidden lines
keeping their own necessary time
like the slow expansion of sunrise
carrying the memory of 10,000 mornings
this is his nowhere in space-time
the back porch of his neighbourhood
beside the artists’ well-tended garden
the shaded playground the open field
momentarily silent
others sometimes joining him on the bench
he nods to anyone who passes always
another meaning unwinding in the moment
picking up twists of language on scraps of paper
reworking them into poems
as forms slip in and out of sunlight

in the sweet calm of early morning
she sees the world from a sparrow’s perspective
as it lands on her knee
the sky is translucent and
someone else is always arriving
if you stay long enough you can see
the spiral come round again in different form
the vacant lot of the transit graveyard
now a convergence of local movement
something better than your imagination
constantly invites you out of yourself
a lightness of expectation
the joyful seriousness of making
a portrait of the artist as someone
who leans into the wind
shifting perspective
in the small theatre of her living room
opening the curtains on the day

your hands deep in the dirt of a greenhouse
or numb on the handle of a snow shovel
or making up your own dances
leaving your choreography in the snow
the shadow of the number 5
marks a transition
between Christie and Wychwood
in the world of the park
there may be chaos
on the canvas of particulars
he is making sense
this is our commons our backyard
in the cloistered garden behind the barn doors
she knows every plant by name
the river unwinds in the earth beneath him
while the world breathes through us
a thread of desire
in a forest not of our own making

for the opening of
Community (Love) Creates Change


About Nicholas Power

The poetry of Nicholas Power and his reviews of singular poems in a sequence titled Cadence.
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