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"Gift of Vision" Libretto in Poetry and Paintings

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


Artist's Statement

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

The Great Glacier, Nature's monumental sculptor, has left us with her gifts;  meltwater streams once flowed, gifting us the kettle pond, our Northeast-facing harbor and the harbor's rocky shoulder, the small wooded hill with its perched boulder, the serpent kame, and glacial moraine. And North from here, winding along the Merrimack River, the alleuvial plain which the glacier left to its human caregivers, to our friend Eero and those who farm the land, over 50 acres of rich and stoneless soil to the depth of inches.

Nature includes human beings, and I celebrate along with poet Michael McClure when he exclaims: "We are meat-mammalian!"

Through poems and paintings, I bear witness to the disenfranchised, to the voices that somehow remained silent until now. When the poem is written, we hear them. Their voices come to us from the deep Oceanic Floor of Silence or out of the great Void of Space. The poem is the magical eardrum, the poem is the sacred drum. The poet--she--empties herself to accomplish this. In this way, the poet  becomes a vessel, the poem contains and uplifts the voices of the disenfranchised.

"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 lights direction, the lights focus

will let you know indirectly

as lobes of light glow upon the windblown blades of grass

moving in the easy summer airs of Massachusetts Bay

across the meadow below Gingerbread Hill

where Lucretia Brown picks 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 show you what to look for,

through its myriad filters, by their existence of 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 old sailcloth . . ."**


I welcome you into my studio of poems and paintings.

It is messy --  I work in many mediums.

Walk with me around "Black Joe's Pond"

here in Marblehead and hear my blessing,

part of the Prologue to the "Black Joe's Pond" poems:

". . . Now as we move into these [poems and paintings]

focus on the gentle blurring of the light's love objects,

on Joseph and Lucretia Brown,

and those who gather at their tavern,

on their souls presence.

By the grace of poetry

take the measure of space

between Earth and Sky,

one-ing yourself with the light

through those who dwell and build and think

at "Black Joe's Pond."

Receive the light

as it rises and sets in loving rhythm each day

within your own soul's dwelling place. . . ." ***

warmest regards,

Maryclaire Wellinger

December 3, 2002


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

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

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

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