The artist and poet meet on the charged and vulnerable ground of nature. Let language and image confide in each other, like the soulmates that they are.
Dean Williams '13
Dean & Ronda, around 1970
On the Process
In this phase of our Art x Poetry project, inspiration flowed from image to word. Once Ronda finished a painting, Dean used it as visual inspiration to compose a poem. Like liner notes for a music album, the poems enrich the aesthetic experience, providing a verbal resonance that might lead the viewer in new and unexplored directions. We suggest that you read the poems out loud, or have someone read them to you, while looking at the work. You might be surprised at the result. The next phase of the project will go in the other direction. Ronda will create paintings based on Dean's poetry. Just as the poetry is no mere verbal appendage to the paintings, the visual work will not be simple illustrations of the poems. Instead the two forms of human expression work in concert to create a synthesis that is at once new, mysterious and entirely unexepected. Enjoy!
Lift up your weary head, my love.
Your path, it’s true, is no easy one.
But look, the sky has flung open
its broad welcoming arms, and
it’s time, it’s time,
you taught the stars to shine.
Here it is again
this furious peace
this tranquil revolution
born of night and time
and engraved with a single human truth–
all was meant to be.
The architect of the sky-
vast but inhumanly sensitive
to the hues of birdsong
and the dripping
of water off moss
deep in quiet caverns.
Steely Roman precisions;
heavenly gears crushing
what mercy could space ever grant time?
a field of grain.
Somewhere light's not aching
buried under muddied marble
and a winter traveller might rest.
Once, strangers’ children took dreaming passage
across this blue continent.
Orphaned echoes of their laughter still wander
here through shadows, endless corridors of trees.
Lost in thought, you stand idly at the heart of
the forest, humming snatches of a lullaby.
The glade pales; a gaunt breeze picks up its
hobo stick and moves on, hounded by scolding leaves.
A distant flock of birds is mercilessly carving out
arabesques of love, of loss.
Of the calmness in you
of our thousand lush moments
when blood was banished
and blessed shine came on
beautiful as a singing child.
No one ever told us–
beyond’s sunset’s ramparts
looms another lofty peak
and then another....
Why were we given one brief life
to climb them all?
As an artist, Ronda Waiksnis has sought to convey both the power and delicacy of the natural landscape. Bold brushstrokes and an often startling, uncompromising composition coalesce into an original aesthetic that is protean and open to fruitful interpretation. Living in the traditional art center of Kyoto, Japan, playwright and poet Dean Williams attempts in his work to reclaim a purity and authoritativeness for the written word and the oral tradition, captured in lyrical poetry.
D & R, 2015
Find more of Dean's work at www.puritano.wordpress.com