Travel, landscape and poetry

La Laguna de la Janda cr Joanna Butler

La Laguna de la Janda © Joanna Butler

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.

Note:
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 cr Joanna Butler

Wax

wanes

citric,

transforming

the spent empty shell

to a lone subtle pyramid.

 

 

tired eyes desiring cr Joanna ButlerClean

strange

folded

sheets romance

tired eyes desiring

sweeter palettes and lullabies.

 

 

 

new surroundings cr Joanna ButlerOne

dawn

in new

surroundings

dissolves the chaos

of yesterday’s grand terminal.

 

 

 

So

lime

globes hold           

infinite sharp secrets cr Joanna Butler

infinite

sharp secrets inside

their succulent fruited cosmos.

standing prime cr Joanna ButlerWe

kill

engines,

ignited

by water dragons

standing prime en route to La Janda.

 

 

Harsh

land         

spiked and ruptured cr Joanna Butlersun slayed

plant whose spine

spiked and ruptured

fights back with sophistication.

red ochre cr Joanna ButlerCave

red

ochre

draws us to

paint modern brushstrokes

infused with Neolithic lines.

 

 

 

the kiss that lingers cr Joanna ButlerI

point

the square

frame weather

along the shoreline

marvel at the kiss that lingers.

 

 

 

gold gut full cr Joanna Butler

White

bird

feather

on horseback

spurs a gold gut full

of ancient imagination.

 

 

 

climatical union cr Joanna ButlerOne

point

of blue

pierces through

as sun and rain fuse

in climatical union.

 

 

 

Tides

spread

skirts of

saltwater

remnants still breathless cr Joanna Butler

weaving gossamer

remnants still breathless with tempest.

 

washed up eel cr Joanna ButlerDeath

is

small but

ferocious

said the washed up eel

on the sands of the Atlantic.

 

 

 

making contact  cr Joanna Butler

 

Dots

show

contact

ancestors

made with the cave walls

here now making contact with us.

 

 

Rose

star

resting

motionless

motionless cr Joanna Butlermotionless cr Joanna Butler

close to fresh raindrops

in the silent private courtyard.

like flags cr Joanna Butler

 

Towels

hang

like flags

of victory

while voices with light

new accents emerge through the walls.

hair wild, strong bones cr Joanna Butler

 

White

black

woman

reflection

hair wild with strong bones

alive alive alive alive.

 

 

Joanna ButlerAbout the author of this post

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.