Kenny among the angels
On a small strip of land alongside a Louisiana bayou a loner searching for soul pitched his tent threw up a one-room shack and cast not seeds but his thoughts on the land; mapped out his quest with bricklayer’s hands in the concrete, cement, bricks, household paints his fingers knew. Through tight-knit winding paths, over ten years his sculpture labyrinth grew. A lighthouse in bright fairground colours hosts jazz players, cowboys, horses, strange creatures; a naked boy climbing, reaching for ‘jeans / T-shirt’ Kenny flanked by two angels one dark, one light—devils off left. No turn, no corner below without angels: blessing & guiding, judging & vengeful, harp-playing, smoking a spliff. See Christ figures, eagles, symbols of circles, with everyday folk, all colours / sizes / ages, a part of the whole. And Kennys —features changing with time— sitting in peace / listening to shell words / raised high by an eagle / cross-bearing / brought to his knees / nursing a bleeding heart. He’d never explain what a sculpture meant but let others in to wander, see with fresh eyes; knew perhaps how fragile is meaning’s grasp, how quickly changed. One day he vanished, sculptures abandoned, a Christ head smashed to the ground. Left the only words he ever etched in cement Enter into my heart—it is empty Hell is here But the garden endures; charged with unanswered questions, questions in solitude maybe each of us asks. Where locals work freely, show you around. Where the shrimp fleet moors alongside each Festival Day to be blessed.
I sought you in the clouds In all their floating, towering, glowering forms I sought you in the rain In softest benediction, lashing storms I sought you in tall grasses Some light as air, some dense, impassable I sought you on yielding turf On rocks and screes In moving water Birdsong Rustle of leaves I sought you in every sound That touched my ears If I could say I found you Then I would All I can do is walk and suck and soothe The splinter of belief deep in my flesh That you are somewhere, somewhere Within reach
From collection Hidden, Oversteps Press
A Meditation on Windows and Sky
All I ask of a window is that it should open to sky Sky is truth elemental however it changes sky does not lie is raw beauty hope the filter of life Sky lifts our eyes connects reflects all that we feel shouts with our anger shines with our happiness laughs with our loves races with grey rafts of doubt weeps with griefs Sky wraps the rare gift of all that we are in layers of fragile tissue to cherish handle with care Feet were made for the earth Sky unshackles the mind lets us fly up and beyond
©2020 Patricia Leighton
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