This original piece was performed as one of the literary presentations at ClimArt 2018 held in the Wonthaggi Art Space, Victoria in late May 2018. It offers a poetic/philosophic/spiritual fusion of ideas reflecting on this time of escalating environmental, social and spiritual disturbance.
One of the key understandings carried in this poem is that our present circumstance has been brought about by a multiplicity of influences from both deep and recent history, and that the problem turns as much on how we see the world as how we treat the world. The steady increase in the earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (over 410 ppm in June 2018) mirrors the increase of our own separation and alienation from both the forces that have given birth to the natural world and those that sustain our own natures.
This poem offers an holistic view that addresses the historical, philosophical, moral and technical dimensions that interpenetrate and condition this time of lengthening shadows.
Kekule's Dream. A Meditation at Twilight can be streamed using the media player above. A CD quality mp3 file can be downloaded here.
Doc and Lena Selyanina: Steppe (from Songs of Vastness)
Lena Selyanina: Sophie's Song
Alan McKinney: Cold Howling Wind (Freesound)
Aifoon: Danskanaal (Freesound)
Andrew Jones: Owl (Freesound)
Vincent Di Stefano
No harrowing howl of scarred sky here.
Faintest whisper, fanning plume of feathered vapour
Belie fierce thrust of power hard-hurled through distant blue.
The snake, long coiled and fixed in ancient waters
Unmouths its tail, spits forth its guilty fragments
As fumes of broken chains entrain a growing fire.
In days beyond all human reckoning
Soft fury of the sun was tethered in ancient canopies.
It dwelt long within the earth, beneath the sea,
Until prying mind drew forth the ancient blood
Fashioned and forged in tectonic presses,
Now pumped through the metal hearts of strange machines.
And far from what is seen and what is heard,
The breath of frozen marshes escapes its icy cages
Gathering and fuelling a growing tempest.
Our freedoms, now enslaved to reckless will,
Have rendered mind impervious to draining colours,
To failing forest, to dying waters.
Minerva's owl takes flight over a battered history,
Wings through ash-strewn tailings of five chimneys,
Views gnarled skeletal girders of old Dresden,
Shadows seared on walls by fractured atoms,
Wheels through napalmed forests, tear-gassed fields,
Wails through blinding dust of fallen towers.
There is more at play in the thickening of earth's vapours
Than can ever be caught in the calculus of old carbon.
Our self-theosing masks a growing babble
As we reach the new Golgotha, where fates are fixed
And innocence laid waste under a freighted sky
To rest, before the earth reclaims her gentler rhythms.
And when the smoke has cleared and daylight's rays
Renew the hidden life within the death,
And waking mother sings her lullabies
To comfort and console the children's tears,
'Tis then that newly rising blades of green
Will wave in time, and herald winter's end.