These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.
27 September 2015
Making the Red Mandala
As I begin the red mandala, outside the sky darkens for thunder.
‘Start with red,’ the teacher said,
‘The colour of sex and blood’.
I draw my circle freehand
with a water-colour pencil.
Then I make lots of scribbly scrolls
around the inside, drawing quick.
I get the result I want: the circle shape
imperfect, the scrolls wildly uneven.
I never wanted to colour in neatly
between precisely patternedlines.
I have only two reds to work with:
a hyper-bright and a deeper, purply stain.
I add a red wax crayon; I find
a water-pencil in tan, another in orange.
I fill in some of the spaces. I press
of deep red into the centres of the
Surrounded, still, by orbs of white,
they look like a circle of eyes.
I paint the whites of the staring eyes
orange, so they look golden.
The reds bleed, smudging the paper.
I mark them again, heavy.
I’m not a fan of the decorative arts –
none of those dainty, pretty things.
No, I want art that is power, bold.
I want the power of magick.
Outside, the thunder revs up,
cracking and roaring around the hill.
My mind keeps telling me I need green.
It isn’t red, not nearly red, but I must.
I know exactly where it goes, and how.
Now the red is redder, strong.
In the middle, moved by instinct
I draw long oval shapes that suggest a
It’s turquoise blue with green edges.
Behind it the air becomes bright yellow.
Now my mandala breaks all the rules. Now
with a top and a bottom, it can only be
one way up.