Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Colin McCahon

Bones and Light

I don't understand
how you'd cut the land -
deep into gold -
like the rush in Otago.

MacKenzie country bones
yielding such bright yellow -
as if sun could rise
from their gutted marrow.

Cut with spade or pick,
by men who thought that sun
could be held and melded
by hand

the way that gold
could drip to a canvas
from the artist's palette
like a cut from a knife

revealing a swathe of light.


Blogger benny said...

A beautiful poem.
Let me add what it evoked in me.
Under a burning sun some bark like dogs mistaking it for gold. They must have it somehow even if that meant death. But an artist brings it to earth for the discerning eye: he illuminates others in the way colors are mixed and in the symbols used.
Thanks for sharing your poem.

2:38 AM  
Blogger Chris Never said...

I googled his images online, and he certainly had a very particular style of art, quite prolific also by the look of it.

5:42 PM  
Blogger burning moon said...

Hi Benny, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Hi Chris, yeah, he had a definite style all right. It's not instantly appealing ... or even appealing at all to me sometimes, but he's very famous here, and I can certainly see that he had something to say even if i don't always appreciate his way of expressing himself.
I've seen some of his canvases in exhibitions and they are much more impressive in reality than they appear online. The black and darkness is never complete on the actual canvas. There are always deliberate shifts of shade and light running through them. Very interesting.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Chris Never said...

I guess art is almost always better seen in its actual form, rather than a visual image online or a photo of it etc, it loses so much life and impact in the transition from one to the other.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Plus Ultra said...

Excellent, excellent poem with a lovely picture to go with it, beautiful

7:04 PM  
Blogger burning moon said...

Thanks plus ultra :-)

7:47 PM  

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