Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Impermanence


image borrowed from kiwikiwikiwi.com


Impermanence

“Nothing exists longer than an instant except the thing
we hold in memory.”--Sam Savage.

When we behold Art
in any of its many forms,
we question our roots.

Antiquity is rife with grandiose
               statuary & architecture,
               mysterious paintings,
               oriental rugs,
               medieval tapestries,
               Native American dolls & dream catchers,
               hand-painted vases & urns & pottery,
               tattered scrolls & parchments,
And scraps of paper containing poetic lines left unsigned--
          all fabulous to behold, to discover & share.
          all anonymous, carefully, maddeningly cloaking 
          their creators,                  as well their motivations,
                                 muses & back stories.

                                 For me, historical relics,
                                 knick-knacks, furniture & art
are just a magnificent particle     of a much larger mosaic,
                                  a cosmic mandala.

Recently, my brother & I stood on a high ridge in the jagged foothills
below Mt. Adams, taking photos of the mountain, & as we zoomed
tighter for close-up shots we both were delighted to find three faces
formed on the edge of a melting glacier--where the exposed boulders
had formed a perfect rendering of a trio of distinct physiognomy.

I remember thinking about all the other faces
        and animals I have seen in the vermilion cliffs of
                 Utah & Nevada, or powerfully poking up out of dense
                          forests everywhere for some of us to marvel at, or
                  marching out to sea, broken off of continents, worn into
        wondrous shapes by wrathful waves--some into graceful arches,
others to stand alone or in groups, but who/what is the
                  magnanimous Muse that enjoys the creation of
                  these artistic & poetic anomalies, these elephants,
                                                                                  ships,
                                                                                  covered wagons,
                                                                                  turtles,
                                                                                  alligators,
                                                                                  camels,
                                                                                  bulls, horses,
pyramids, geometric shapes & human faces? Because some men
are so fascinated by Nature’s handiwork,
that in South Dakota, they have
transformed mountains into Art,
imprinting their visions into sheer cliff sides.

You know, whether we believe in Genesis or Evolution,
                                                     Scripture or Anthropology,
                  there was a time that we worshipped Nature,
                  & accepted it as divine--but today we have
        allowed our technological hubris,
        greed, pride, & ignorance
to plunge our entire planet into peril.

I think that somewhere
out in the vastness of void,
midst the star-choked swarm
of a billion-billion solar systems,
there are eyes watching our fatal folly,
merely observing, unwilling to intervene,
perhaps even making wagers on the
eventual timeline for our
destruction & extinction. 

If we co-created
this planet, let’s revisit our
own motivation.


Glenn Buttkus

12 comments:

Claudia said...

a mosaic and cosmic mandala - i like that - seeing art and things in the bigger context and questioning the motivation.. think it's good to do that every once and a while - getting honest with ourselves..

X said...

It is a stilling call there in those last lines, to revisit our own motivations - because we are all creators, every day.. And are we intentional about what we are creating with our words and actions. I think often it is in what we leave behind and others will then determine if it is art - so what are we leaving, you know.

brudberg said...

I like the thought of finding the art in nature. The maybe random images, the ideas, the constellations. It's like deciphering the hieroglyphs that nature's left. Alas we fail to understand that we destroy the biggest piece of art...

Abhra Pal said...

" there was a time that we worshipped Nature,
& accepted it as divine--but today we have
allowed our technological hubris,
greed, pride, & ignorance
to plunge our entire planet into peril."

So very true - we are so oblivious. I absolutely love the ending - brilliantly done Glenn....

charliezero1 said...

I love your lines on here.

all anonymous, carefully, maddeningly cloaking
their creators, as well their motivations,
muses & back stories.

For me, historical relics,
knick-knacks, furniture & art
are just a magnificent particle of a much larger mosaic,
a cosmic mandala.


wow!!! You took me as your reader to a whole new imagination of wonder, beauty, and creative freedom.

Brilliant! piece my friend. :)

Victoria said...

Nothing can compete with nature's art. How many hours as a child (and, I confess, as an adult) have I searched clouds and craggy cliffs for animals and faces. I wish blogger would let me go back to the poem as I write--my poor memory doesn't allow me to mention more wonderful images you offer us in this terrific poem. But I do remember your nod to NV! :0)

Truedessa said...

there was a time that we worshiped Nature, & accepted it as divine- I wonder what happened to that time. I think nature is the greatest artist so much beauty for us to behold. The largest gallery is the earth and the universe above filled with magic. I am always amazed when I find faces in trees or stones and a painted indigo sky will always leave me breathless.

Kate Mia said...

Oh.. as above.. so below.. inside
outside.. all around standard
words of ancient
philosophy
and truth
and light
that ART
is everything
and human
can be
the furthest
from it in
illusion of stone
heart without art..
just as he.. will be
alone without HE AS
allONE Beauty aRt REAL..:)

Marina Sofia said...

Art in nature - so true, so richly satisfying - and you point this without belittling the art and creations you describe within the first few lines. It's like an orchestra swelling - from the single, breathtaking instrumental solos to the chords of togetherness.

Grace said...

And I hope we continue to remember that mother nature is wiser than ever, and will ever be ~

And to think that however grand and majestic our creations are, everything will eventually fall away to dust ~

Love the quotes, haiku and exquisite prose Glenn ~

Hayes Spencer said...

Nature is art, no matter how we try to imitate. We never come close. And yes,we are responsible and must remember to protect that which we have been given.

Gail said...

Deep. Wise. A wonderful creation.