Thursday, November 13, 2014

Once Fallow

image by glenn buttkus

Once Fallow

“Leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready
for any seed the winds may bring.”--Henri Frederic Amiel.

I  M  A  G  E S
                           have always haunted me,
day & night; somehow
                           my recall catalog is a depository
for snapshots,
                            & moving pictures--
                                            & I constantly flash
                                            on memories of things seen,
                            of scenes from movies, or static
                            images posted by others, shared from every
corner of the planet        while busy at other tasks,
                                           while daydreaming,
                                           while exercising,
                                           while gardening,
                                           while meditating,
                                           while showering,
while writing/composing poetry or prose;
a never ending cavalcade, a zephyrous stream
of mental pictures; always distracting,
                                  almost maddening. 

But things changed five years ago
                 when Phil Photography
                 knocked at my door, wearing
a snappy digital suit,
a black Borsalino with a 30 mm hat brim,
                               & offered to move in with me, as
                               he made 40X promises
of joyous adventures,
               breathtaking iconography; further enhancing
                               my worth,
                               my reputation, &
                               my imagination-- said that he completely
           understood that back in the day,
when 35 mm ruled, 
when lenses were detachable,
when film had to be processed,
when walk-in closets became dark rooms,
when red lights & stinky chemicals were essential,
               that clearly I had been too poor, too insecure
                  to solicit his companionship,
or any other ship,           but damn my eyes          this
                    was a brand new day.

So what the deuce, on that very momentous occasion,
Philip Photography
                     came to live with me.
                                   My wife was bothered by him for a time,
                      but even she learned to tolerate his eccentricities
when she saw how happy his comradeship made me;

& wouldn’t you know it,
                       every sparkling boast of his came to pass
as squads of digital photo cards
                       filled with thousands of formerly elusive
                       images, filled dozens of digital albums
                                     blossoming brightly on hard drives,
                                     & in clouds; 

I mean every stunning place I cherished,
every quirky thing I was attracted to, began to pile up,
                        image upon image, as
                        my own vision,
                                            perceptions, &
                                                  memories were all
transfered/transformed into
stark completely in-focus Photo-Art. 

I love it when Phil & I sit down
in front of my computer with the big monitor,
sipping jasmine tea while reviewing
                                road trips, forays, hikes, strolls,
                                & divers fantasies.
He has a very keen eye, & he often cajoles me
                                into pressing the Delete key
more than I want to, but hell, his standards
                 are high, & in the end I do respect that.

We have become lion tamers, 
                                tiger teammates, 
                                bear brothers,
as the wild images are sweetly caged in cyber cells
& the visiting hours are 24/7. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?



Björn Rudberg said...

I really like some of the simile you have here. the slick player of Phil.. and yes you can be absorbed in that digital imagery.. (It was my other option than music)... a sidenote.. I'm glad you read my carefully metered verse as free..*smiles* it was written in iambic hexameter..

Kate Mia said...

The power of visual images is beyond imagination often for me.. and only comes together.. much later as meaning for me in synchronistic ways...

And yes.. OMG my mind is a visual thinking one when hell truly came when the eyes and pain no longer responded in love of light and colors...

The path back.. was through a retina screen and a guy called Apple.. as beauty was finally a tea..

i could once again taste..

and the rest...

is in around 60, 000 philiped photos..
in a little over a year...

As the light of life is a delicious taste..


Sabio Lantz said...

Personalizing Phil was fantastic. The reading wonderful. Great job.

Anonymous said...

Groovy piece- love how digital photography was a character that moved in with you and your wife.

janet said...

I can so identify with this paean to photography. I have my camera (phone) with me every day and everywhere. It's wonderful. Love the anthropomorphizing of Phil.


Justin Lamb said...

This is awesome. I love how you brought the camera to life.

It is also awesome that you used "what the deuce" in this poem. I know few people who use that phrase and it was hilarious.

Wolfsrosebud said...

so different from your other writes... glad the wife understood...

Victoria said...

Terrific voice in this, Glen. I especially enjoyed the personification of Phil (what a perfect name choice). I can visualize the photographic film strip running in your head. I wonder how many other readers here remember loading the 35 mm projectors, hearing that wonderful click, click, click as the frames passed through, and then the frustration when, oh so many things went wrong. But then the digital age is wrought with hang-ups too, isn't it?

Claudia said...

photography is fascinating...and a good photographer really can make you see the world in a way you didn't... i also find photojournalism very exciting with steve mccurry being one of my favs

Kathy Reed said...

How cool that one now can do almost anything with a camera...Phyllis, my little Nikon, was less than $300 but she can bring the tiniest mushroom as close as one can get, see the large pores..and I can layer and texturize and edit to my heart's content. Fun how you ran through the different motions in hyperbolic fashon, the many places and crannies you took your are the one with the keen eye for images and digital art; Phil is a cool friend!

Vandana Sharma said...

The technology catching the beautiful nature.

annell said...

Yes, the images and the memories do pile up.

Sherri B. said...

I relate to your words completely...this is wonderful.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I so enjoyed reading every line of this. I can see Dapper Phil with his snappy suit. LOVE your sweet closing stanza. I am in the midst of the joy of creating photobooks for my kids for xmas and I so know what you mean - I am addicted to the pleasure of arranging the photos just so to bring them much fun!

Anonymous said...

A brush of stroke,
a painting for cinema,
A language seen or felt in color,

Your words breath fresh reality
and new other-worldly dimensions.

I love this piece sir. :)

Anonymous said...

First love your opening quote - wonderful! And love Phil's entrance and his continued companionship in your art - wonderful, Glenn.

peach blossom moth said...

This is great. :)

Anonymous said...

"zephyrous"---what a spectacular use of that beautiful word :-) Also, I love the metaphors used in the last gripping and visual.

Anonymous said...

Glenn - sometimes I think of the blade runner quote - about the things he has seen - and I think that images and visions I have seen - though ordinary - make me yearn to share them.