" . . . on the loom of light,
sea is woven to sky
in one seamless mantle----
there on the invisible horizon-breath
appear my visions . . " *.

Artist's Statement

Welcome, traveler, to my website.  I invite you to enter into this cosmology -- my virtual studio of paintings and library of poetic works. ". . . Home is where we start from . . . " and so my essay here on poetics is the Home Page for this site, a point on the compass where we start from.

As both a poet and painter, I marry myself to the landscape. My paintings and poems emerge from this process of "one-ing" with aspects of Nature -- all that is marvelous and surreal, to paraphrase Andre Breton.

Our landscape was created by The Great Glacier, Nature's monumental sculptor:

". . . after the glacier sailed on/ and iceblocks were floated into place/ by shallow meltwater streams,/ their lush waters upraised by the golden chalice of hill/ which is bone, breast and skin,/ dorsal and pectoral fin,/ the whale's mammal skeleton/ returned to stone and thin crustal earth. .

This is how the glacier gifted us our kettle ponds, Marblehead's Northeast-facing harbor and the harbor's rocky shoulder, and across Cape Ann, the wooded hill with its perched boulder,  serpent kame, and glacial moraine. And inland, north from here, winding along the Merrimack River, the alleuvial plain with its acres of rich and stoneless soil.


Nature includes human beings, and I celebrate along with poet Michael McClure when he exclaims: ". . . we are meat-mammalian"!  I continue to explore the dimensions of our human physicality in paintings --  in various mediums, watercolor, and oil and pen-and-ink, and in performance art, a melding of dance, music and spoken word.

Some poems and paintings emerge from the internal landscape and concern intrapsychic issues. My digital collage images, such as "Shipwrecked",  "INI On Wheels," "First Lady of the Sky", and "Kewpie Doll Sunset," do convey a narrative that is more an internal dialogue among personas or aspects of the Self. 

In my poems such as "Birdwoman", "Iris Messenger to the Gods" and "Black Joe's Pond", I bear witness to the disenfranchised, to voices that somehow remained silent until now. Through the poem we hear them. Their voices come to us from the deep Oceanic Floor of Silence or out of the great Void of Space.

The poet--she--empties herself  to hear the Voice of the poem. The poet becomes a vessel.  The poem created contains, carries and uplifts.

The poem is the magical eardrum, the poem is the sacred drum. The poem creates an auditory halo which as readers/listeners, we "hear" not only on intellectual and emotional levels, but also on a deep sensory cellular level to the vibratory core of our being.  Perhaps this is what Emily Dickinson meant when she wrote:  [As if]   " . . . all being were a bell." When reading the poem or upon hearing it read, we, as listeners/ readers recognize the poem's voice -- because the sound of the voice has always been " . . .fast-fettered in our ancient memory."

Through poetry, we are able to carry on a "melologue" of talking and singing with "the other" -- the mysterious other  --  with either another unplummed aspect of our self or beyond our epidermal border with another sentient being. Each poem, each painting, is an attempt at intimacy. 

Poet Diane diPrima's essays on Keats' notion of "negative capability" explores how "light" is a primal element in poetry.

In my prologue to "Black Joe's Pond," I also explore this way of perceiving in verse.  I am unable to articulate what I mean by this intuitive process in prose.  The words in the "Prologue" poem to "Black Joe's Pond," provide a navigational chart for how to approach and enter the poem:

" The quality of light will take you there
the light's intensity and strength
 luminescence or incandescence
depending on how far the sun
            has left to travel today
and from what determined station
        along the deep dark road of the year
          the sun fires and spins
through the Milky Way of time and space
                 above this heeling globe,
                                     our dwelling place.
The light's direction,       the light's focus
          will let you know     indirectly
 as lobes of light glow       
          upon windblown blades of grass
          moving in the easy summer airs
                 of Massachusetts Bay
 across the meadow
                      below Gingerbread Hill
 where Lucretia Brown collects
           dandelion leaves under bright
           yellow blossoms to make her tea.
The light's direction,    the light's focus
        will let you know         directly
as you stand on Stargazer's fishing boat
                          in Doliber's Cove
             floating on the edge of the sea
      your face uplifted to the sun that
     has slowly sailed  above his taffrail
                      beyond the main halyard
                           to the raked mastpeak
and sunlight drills his pine-planked decks
                    stained with the blood of fish.
The light will teach you what to look for
          through its myriad filters,
                  by their existence or absence,
as you find yourself in Joseph Brown's
applegrove               and the light dances
     a reel and a jig
                     through feathery branches,
       green leaves and red fruit shining
      with the soft gloss of worn sailcloth,
     the old topsail Joseph kept
         to protect the woodpile stacked
                   against  the tavern wall . . . "

Yes, welcome, traveler, and enjoy. Together, let's go on a ramble.

 warmest regards,

M-C,    Maryclaire Wellinger

March 3, 2003 (revised) (original lettter written on December 3, 2002)

*from "Gift of Vision," copyright 2001 by Maryclaire Wellinger

**from "Black Joe's Pond," copyright 1993 by Maryclaire Wellinger


M-C reading
 at "Black Joe's Pond"
photo by Mark Fisher   
 March, 1996

New Directions and Upcoming Projects
"One can readily see, therefore,
what the role of the avant-garde poet is:
to lead the reader toward discovery
of that vision beyond the finite world. "


click here to go to

















See also "Light and Keats" by Diane di Prima, in: 

" . . . as you find yourself
in Joseph Brown's applegrove
and the light dances a reel and jig
through feathery branches,
green leaves and red fruit shining
with the soft gloss of worn sailcloth . . ."



In Memoriam
Rachel Corrie (1982-2003)
Artist and Peace Activist
Student at Evergreen College
Olympia Washington
Killed on Sunday, March 16, 2003
at the age of 21 by an Israeli Army Tank while defending the home of a Palestinian family whose house was targeted for destruction. Rachel  fell and the Tank driver refused to stop and rolled over her, crushing her and then backed up once again over her body to the horrified cries of her peace activist colleagues. This photo was taken on April 18, 2002.  Rachel is shown wearing her dove headgear while working on a model of  Earth for the eighth annual "Procession of the Species", a community artistic celebration combining art, music and dance to give nature a greater presence on Olympia's city streets. 


photo of "Brown's Island" also known as "Crowninshield Island"
by Maryclaire Wellinger
September, 2002

". . .  fire and ice, the artist's soul . . ."
February brought to Marblehead first a blizzard, then a fire.
On February 17-18, 25 inches of snow fell  in 24 hours and within days,  a raging four-alarm fire consumed the historic Rogers Building on School Street .   
To view the aftermath, click on