Art + poetry: A conversation

© Emma Lindsay 2011/12 She, watercolour, colour pencil + pen on handmade paper. Private collection.
© Emma Lindsay 2011/12 She, watercolour, colour pencil + pen on handmade paper. Private collection.

Sometimes a life provides a rare moment of confluence, where art inspires poetry, poetry inspires art.

I paint my words, my love of birds – and a poet replied. Thank you for adding me to your poetry conversation, RA.

x


Michael Dransfield in Tasmania

by Robert Adamson 

A lagoon reflects low sky:

clouds seen are clouds

as seen — words open

their shells in his brain.

We study a drawing

of Emma’s night parrot.

Imagination shifts,

fails us on the slope.

Campfire flares to feathers,

a parrot-green light

for the rescue party.

He patched up words

and paper in a loft, here

extinction’s ornithologists

thrive on the poorly

written histories.

The embers are scales

covering the legs,

feet adapted for ground

with slightly upturned

claws. Just after dawn

he swings a metaphor

to make the tea. The tent’s

gone stiff with frost,

on the floor his maps

await a torturer’s nib:

ink’s dark, although

not suite indelible, lines

begin to unravel.

Clocks and theories

slash leaves, clip wings

in remnant wilderness.

At Rushy Lagoon, birds

bow and call the light—

James McAuley wrote

sharp lyrics here. He walked

around the shore,

chanting: “the broken

trust, the litter and the stink.”

Mount Ossa’s dolerite

candlesticks can’t flicker

on a coast that’s never clear.

© 2015 Robert Adamson, from ‘Net Needle: Poems by Robert Adamson.’ Re-published on this blog with permission from the Author.

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