Monday, April 20, 2009

Smashing Monday Poetry #1:

If you're not familiar with Smashing Magazine, you need to check it out. If you're a designer, artist, photographer, or just love any of those things... you REALLY need to RSS it. They have a ton of lessons, collections of free fonts/icons/stuff, links to tutorials by theme, general "how-to's" on all-things-graphic, and, on Mondays, inspiration.

On Mondays, Smashing puts together a set of art that is just, well... inspiring. Or, at least, it's supposed to be. Here is where I will admit to a certain cynicism. I am, to be blunt, hard to inspire. Being on the inside of the marketing/advertising game, as well as a writer, means that I tend to over analyze art, especially from the point of view of, "What is the creator *trying* to get me to think/feel?" And, because I'm also a bit orn'ry, I tend to not want to do as I am bid. To wit, if thou wouldst inspire me, either bring thy A-game, or do so without artifice.

But... I had a small epiphany tonight, courtesy of Smashing Magazine. Inspiration need not be automatic, nor need it be instant and without work. If the goal of being inspired is to do something... which, from an artist's point of view, I think is the point... then it's not going to (usually) come at you with a bolt of lightning, etc. If you want to be inspired (I'm talking to you, Havens), maybe you have to *work* at it a bit.

So, OK. I've always enjoyed the Monday inspirations at Smashing. I've just never found them that... inspiring. And there's the rub: "found." I didn't look very bloody hard, now did I? And while some things are, I admit, immediately inspiring, I am going to heave-ho a little on this one.

Thus, when Monday comes out, and Smashing hits my RSS with inspiration, I will endeavor to *work* at inspiration, using one of their images as the kernel of a poem. Today's comes from, "The Beauty of Street Photography." It is the photo above. Here we go.

Over the line

Every night we give up, so easily,
the battle with Mother Gravity.

The Earth, this Gaia, so often shown
in strokes of giving green and hallowed brown.
The wheezy, water-eyed painters
they forget that she is also sharp stone, grey ash,
flowing lava, desert grit and empty, arid waste.

How do you worship your god? How do we
pray to She Who Turns Us?

We acknowledge. We abase. We drop.

The earth is under us. Every day until
we are under her.
We serve her best when marching,  horizontal,
beat by beat
into that clay.

There is no shame in falling down.
It is the way
we know. The way we pray.

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