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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Restore



She paces among the dust motes, the old summer doors
with the wood and metalic clap barely echoing
among curtain rods and oak banisters that have come unmoored.
She paces and waits for the wind to sand the sun
free of clouds, for the steadiness of light that streams in
like an annunciation. When it comes
what she sees is how eyes and light conspire
to conjure radiance,
how we become what we see, how the reflection of bricks
makes walls out of windows.
The moment the camera's shutter flicks open
is a meditation on eyes,
how even when we sleep one eye opens inwardly,
how the thick green layers of glass look like the sea's eyes
studying the stillness of its own deeps.
Blood was spilled in the blinding
of Gloucester and Argos,
but it has been assuaged by the families who studied
the green and gold prairie light
through these windows, read the pages of winter,
then lifted each pane carefully down to pile them here.

This photograph was taken by Veronica Geminder at Restore.  Here's how they describe themselves:  "The ReStore sells new and used surplus building supplies (and other donated surprises) to help reduce costs for home owners, landlords, crafters, community groups and artists in Regina. The Restore is committed to solid waste management and diversion from the landfill." All of their profits to go Habitat for Humanity projects.

Veronica's photographs  are inspiring a sequence of poems we are working on for Hagios Press.  The poems are not, technically, instances of ekhrasis, which is essentially the verbal description of a visual object, first created by Homer in his description of Achilles' shield.  Rather, I'm trying to tease out the way they talk to me, they way they have stories implicit in them that I try to find or imagine. Here I'm trying to include the making of the photograph in the poem and to explore the idea of restoration that comes from the site where the photograph was taken.   I love working with them because they completely take me out of myself.

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