Thursday 29 August 2019

Deborah Pipe - groving / Acts of Resistance

Deborah Pipe's miniature monumental relief has found a home in the Abbey Gate.

Horses for Courses

I sit at the back
of beyond.

And, yes,
the horses came

but left again –
as in some mid-century

by Kenneth Armitage,

or reminiscent of
a poem by Edwin Muir –

pre-dating Bill Viola’s
visitors from another world.

This is (clearly) sculpture –
having all the qualities,

all the hall-marks, (hoof marks),
of process

demonstrating the elements
that went into its making –

even more than painting –
more evocative than reality,

as art can be.
Or like Chinese Warriors,

newly discovered,
half buried in earth,

in their own history,
like memory –

the back-end of course –
like the back-end of a horse

8 horses, of course –

the four horsemen
of the Apocalypse

and their doubles
nowhere to be seen –

8 being a nice round number –
arranged in this

rectangular frieze.

Melting into
(their own) history

of silence, a wall –
as if running away

from life itself,
or something beyond.

Beyond words –
representing mystery –

beyond meaning –
recognising memory

as a dance
or play without

plot or words.
This poem (also)

about leave taking,
about absence,

about images
in the fog of history,

about disappearances
or simply disappearing.

Phil Barrett

Phil Barrett taught art for 27 years, then retired to his home county of Norfolk where he concentrates on writing. He teaches creative writing, in schools and libraries across North Norfolk. He has won prizes and commendations in national competitions, and has been published in anthologies including In Protest: 150 poems for Human Rights (2013), Word Aid Anthologies Did I Tell You? (2010), and Not Only The Dark (2011), the Ink, Sweat and Tears webzine, and Poems in the Waiting Room in 2016 and 2019. In January 2017 he published a book of poems, Writing Me, about growing-up. ​​

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