This week’s guest post comes from Joanna Butler, and weaves together poetry, photography and a small, very personal travelogue in an homage to journeys, landscapes and words.
“The world is already split open, and it is in our destiny to heal it, each in our own way, each in our own time, with the gifts that are ours.”
From When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
In October 2014, I took a trip to Medina Sidonia in Andalucia. During the trip, I attended a Gnosis of the Land seminar, which included visits to the Neolithic cave and rock art of the region, to La Laguna de la Janda, lessons about native wildlife, and cosmological studies.
After the course, I stayed on to explore Vejer de la Frontera, a labyrinthine Spanish hilltop town and municipality in the province of Cadiz, on the right bank of the river Barbate. This was a travel trip, an art trip, yes. But it was also something else.In the six years previous, my father died, my oldest brother died, a love relationship collapsed, I was made redundant twice and I had to move four times. To paraphrase the Terry Tempest Williams quotation above, my world split open.
On several occasions. The relentless wave of experiences rocked me to my core. Nature and the natural world began to appear profusely in anything I wrote, thought or dreamt.
The following are (number) photographs and (number) Fibonnacci poems which attempt to capture the strange, wild and necessary days I spent in Southern Spain, a landscape that encouraged me to echo its own stark transformation with the recent history of my shifting internal and artistic landscape.
A Fibonacci poem (or Fib) is a multiple-line verse based on the Fibonacci sequence so that the number of syllables in each line equals the total number of syllables in the preceding two lines. The Fibonacci sequence is a mathematical sequence of numbers. These numbers are also of interest to biologists and physicists because they are frequently observed in various natural objects and phenomena, such as the branching pattern in trees, the spirals in snail shells, petals on flowers and the distribution of seeds in a raspberry.
the spent empty shell
to a lone subtle pyramid.
tired eyes desiring
sweeter palettes and lullabies.
dissolves the chaos
of yesterday’s grand terminal.
sharp secrets inside
their succulent fruited cosmos.
by water dragons
standing prime en route to La Janda.
plant whose spine
spiked and ruptured
fights back with sophistication.
draws us to
paint modern brushstrokes
infused with Neolithic lines.
along the shoreline
marvel at the kiss that lingers.
spurs a gold gut full
of ancient imagination.
as sun and rain fuse
in climatical union.
remnants still breathless with tempest.
said the washed up eel
on the sands of the Atlantic.
made with the cave walls
here now making contact with us.
close to fresh raindrops
in the silent private courtyard.
while voices with light
new accents emerge through the walls.
hair wild with strong bones
alive alive alive alive.
Joanna Butler is a multi-disciplinary artist who produces poetry, prose, songs, sculptures, photographs, films and live performance.
Joanna is currently developing an inter-species performance art project with dancers and horses.