December 7, 2020. BLEAK

– – –

"Frost" by S.J. Saighead
 It's fierce cold, but Dublin shines
as numb fingers hold pens and cigarettes,
and dusty hats and gloves appear
soon to be sogging with icy rain.
The winter is cold but rarely dry,
so morning promises damp clothes
and respiratory difficulty in later life.
Somewhere not far, young men trample
dried muck and glassy grass shatters,
under each deliberate welly step.
They watch clouds of steam rise from beast’s bodies
as here the same can be seen from buses
of hassled commuters stewing inside.

It's fierce cold, here and there,
and will be till March.
Till the sun emerges from it's yearly slumber,
And drives bleak winter days away at last.

– – –

“Crisp” (Acrylic on Canvas, 2019) by Vian Borchert

– – –

"Bleak Winter" by Vian Borchert
 The Winter barren trees
So cold, so bleak
A crow here and there
cawing everywhere
When the vultures come around
They stand there, hunched back
with their long necks exposing a bald head
but sharp eyes
A beak dripping with blood
from their last prey
Looking from underneath their shoulders
at the winter stark landscape
They hang around on branches with no leaves
on an old tree
that turned hollow and dark
So bleak, So bleak
They hang out there
like a gang
up to no-good
Ready to attack
for food at every chance
So bleak, So bleak
This winter will be cold
This winter will be long
This winter will come.

– – –

“Unfinished” by Louise Blake

– – –

– – – –

"They gnaw the black rock" by M.A.A.
 There was three of us, all in overalls 
- I, fed up with the tune of it all;
- a veteran of the industry, goggles part of his face;
- someone who came here just to visit, but stayed late;
smoke and smog were the scents of the day
dust and soot clearly commissioned and paid
variety of vibrating currents adjusted the theme
we sat around a table to which we were leashed
 
And I started
“so all my life, I've exchanged scrap for rust - thrash for glimmer, and that kind of stuff
but the market's bad and trade's clogged - now they're out of the silo, shit out of luck;
intonations long gone, sing-songs dry prose, running out of words
mining gold but it’s fixed in loans”
 
feeling of unease, anticipation for what?
waiting for the minutes to pass
and I see dreams about a furnace underground
ears ringing with a grinning sound
 
Well, never mind the warm conjunction
the lad with goggles had no care for confessions, glasses eyeing for broken relations
what is this - yet another complaint, another walking issue with no real problems
thoughts poorly transmuted, for all he said was "bleak"
- "but I'll drink to that, if you will"
 
And the other guy went
"I too haven't sold anything in years, but my craft is a way to vent
who cares about songs or fancy metres, or some fine-tuned verse
besides - you'll drink to anything, as we have observed and heard
negation comes to objection, when neutrality
is mistaken to be without opinion"
 
feeling of unease, anticipation for what?
it feels like everything is for look-alikes
experience as a scholarly exercise
it’s noon mingling with dusk
it has to end, it must
 
And the veteran was suddenly intrigued, mouth-closed laughing
"I'll tell you what we're gonna do, forget the digging - don't you find it amusing,
I never put anything in, yet here we are pondering the same thing
the furnace opens for volunteers, think of the opportunities it may bring!
but as the air on your pedestal is warming you up, take off your clothes
or jump down into the depths of smut -
see the dilemma? whether to be a long-lived roach or a dying star
to be particular – to reach for a persona, kiss the ground
hug the mound, pretend it makes you proud"
 
there was a moment of silence, a pause for thought, relations about to sunder
there was a moment of wonder, a twitch, a run from the cliffs of mental thunder
soon collective action took over the men, a firm pact was made as issues were tamed
 
finally, waited for these damn minutes, unprompted yet not uncalled for
suddenly they ate coal like there was no tomorrow
naked men as living corpses going through the rock
sunburned skins swiftly moving from a herd to a stock
 
 as some versions of the story say, tomorrow wasn't to be found anyway
grinding and crushing of teeth, emancipation from murky deeds
joy under the sunset, love under will of our physical means
brimstone firmly content, organs donated to its growing needs
 
at last they reached their destination
the table left as an undone appreciation
their roars left echoing in mortal husks
- one day it will all end, for it must

– – –

Next exhibition theme: COLD

Deadline: Midnight, December 20th

Submit at: artisticdifferencesproject@gmail.com

More information under ‘Submissions’ tab

Published by artisticdifferencescurator

My name is Seán and I am the creator and curator of the Artistic Differences Project. I started this project during the lockdown in Ireland due to COVID-19 in March 2020 as a way to get my friends and I creating during a troubling time. From there the project as gone from strength to strength and now we publish a new exhibition every two weeks.

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