Wednesday, September 19, 2018

This is not a Wolf Poem...

Last week, I went along to a local writing group meeting, catching up with old friends and meeting some new.  I brought some 'wolf poems' along to read, but then wasn't sure if they would make sense to anyone who hadn't seen 'The Wolf Bride' and I didn't want to spend ten minutes explaining.  So I pulled another poem out, nothing to do with wolves at all, and said, "I'll read this one, this is not a wolf poem."  And another wonderful writer present, Renee Pettit-Schipp, thought that was the title!  And we had a chuckle, and Renee said she still wanted to hear the poem called "This Is Not a Wolf Poem", because it was a great title.  So it's been on my mind the last few days, and early yesterday morning (about 2:30am, as it usual!), words started to come.  Of course, it IS a wolf poem.  This time it's the girl speaking...oh dear, is that now going to be the next never ends!  It's still not quite there yet, but I like where it's going.

This is Not a Wolf Poem

This is not a wolf poem.
For there are no words that I can bring to heel
To make you hear
The pulsing of his heart
Beneath my ear 
As we lie skin to skin.

I have no spelling skill
To fetch the smell of him,
Mouth bloodied with a winter kill
Each hair on his back frost-kissed in white
Breath hanging in cloud
Each silent footfall
Falling soft,
Into this small closed space
As you sit
Book balanced on knee, half-empty
Cup at your side.

I have no consummate tricks of the tongue
That you might lie back
And rest your head upon
His warm and gently undulating flank,
As eyes and thoughts drift lazily up
To seek blue nothingness between
New green-gold leaves in Spring.

This is not a wolf poem.
For I can no more easily conjure him,
Captured and pinned
To white page with sharp, black marks,
Than I can sing an ocean
In a line of wet, blue ink.

© Christina Cairns 2018

There are a few lines I'm still not happy with, so more tinkering will ensue.

There are also new pictures and experiments, but time is flying on fast and I've got to get everything sorted because I've got less than a month and a half before this happens!  And I'm squeezing in a new song and a new bit of story, so I have to learn that off by heart as well.

I took the drawing I posted last time, and turned it into a pen and ink painting.

Then I thought it might be an interesting experiment to add the text of the poem to it.

Then I thought this might be a nice style to use for illustrations for a little 'Wolf Poems' book.  I made a book a few months ago, in a very different style with only one illustration, but I don't think that style sat well with the rest of the 'project'.  I think this works better.  Just need to do a whole bunch more now!

Some poem editing, and drawing ideas.  I think quite a few of the Wolf Poems need to be edited and reworked before I make the book.

Another illustration...without text.

And with text.

Playing with paper stock ideas.  I think a heavy off-white will suit best, somewhere between the top two.

Simple, very rough, set ideas.  But I don't know if this will work, and I'm not sure where/how much space I will have in the venue yet, so all a bit up in the air at the moment.

Thought it might be interesting to show the paper cut-out, without the light, to show how it's constructed.  Again, very rough idea, using old cardboard.  

Working on the large visual journal which I will have on display.  I'd got to the point where I was feeling more and more restricted and was over-thinking far too much, so a couple days ago, I decided I needed to have a few pages of just pure play.

And then that very afternoon, my biggest munchkin (who recently turned did that happen!?), who is also my 'wolf bride' model, came home with a self portrait scribbled in the corner of her History homework (I think the teachers are well used to my girls drawing on EVERYTHING they do), and it's an almost perfect fit!  How amazing!

School holidays are coming up, so it will be very crowded in the shed all day, everyday, so I imagine there will be lots of cries of, "Mum!  Can you move your STUFF please, I've got homework!"  So I may not get a whole lot of painting/drawing done.........


Anonymous said...

Great pictures and poem . Love the wolf & the bunny.

gz said...

good work,all of it!

sarah said...

I love the poem! I'm so glad of the funny misunderstanding because it birthed such a beautiful poem. Also I love your art.

sarah toa said...

Hi Mermaid, I'd really like to catch up with you one day and talk about wolves and dogs. I'm still obsessing over the 'dingo makes us human' theme and thinking about formalising it into a project/thesis/not sure.
Please say gidday to Renee for me :~)

A mermaid in the attic said...

Hey Sarah T! Will say Hi to Renee...if you're around town on Thurs next week (or maybe it's the Thurs after, can't remember!), the next writer's meeting is at 5...or maybe it was 5:30...god, I'm hopeless, brain too full of BNW! ;-)

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