Who Else Weeps but the Sea

darker spitting cave

Spitting Cave, sacred and sleepless

under the sheets of the sea

turning ,murmuring,

in the impression

that even the most solid of walls

dissolve eventually.

A breath goes in and sometimes death comes out,

with a tremendous mist

like the projecting of a myth,

a requiem for the unfortunate of fate

drawn to the edge of this place,

only to recede back

then double forward

like the delicate dance of the tide.

They are as bold as they are blind,

concealed in an earthen fold,

not muted by time,

something of them remains,

a spirit expressed in spray,

a raised image in salt

the ocean cannot wash away

the residual scar

raised like a plaque,

sunlit and speaking of those

who never crawled back to shore.

How reason turns to rock here,

madness in the spectacle of leap.

The rush of adrenaline,

one plunge into the snare of the sea

luring from within the energy

of internal proving grounds.

Young men mostly,

coming again and again to tempt providence

but without victory,

they become victims to the same trajectory,

tiny ripples in a massive wave of remorse.

In the mind’s eye all of Argos can collapse

into darkness, into the recesses of cliffs

where white rocks of deposit

are like ancient offerings to a coming crest

when history repeats itself

from pools of unspeakable depth.

Brief, our comparative windows,

the difference between life and death

just a shade or a hue,

cloud shadow and a stranded moon

mark the fleeting presence

on the edge of this precipice.

Another massive spray paints the perfect surface,

where we can glean something

from this museum of lost souls

sucked back into undulation and gone again.

The early light,

makeshift wife to empathy,

reeling from decades

of supporting something fading.

Time sets them free in the end

and with only memories, we’re left to grasp at air.

Cliff diver, into the sky you disappear,

your crystalline skin like a cracked lens,

roseate at the edges of traumatic moments

we piece together bit by bit.

You can still see the fateful flight,

how it surfaces and replays

for you alone this morning,

for no one else weeps for them but the sea,

cascading down the cliff’s face

like a torrent of emotion

symbolically stirring

in the watery graves underneath.

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The Aisling Stairs

aisling stairs

I’ve had this dream before.

Where I am lost in a labyrinth of stairways and corridors,

deep in the heart of very old buildings.

I pause on cast iron balconies

and gaze over the lines of dim-lit stacks,

incomprehensible text to a chamber of shadows

and the recurring restlessness that pervades this place.

Whether I am searching for something or being pursued,

it is clear that not all is as it appears.

So I keep moving,

going deeper into more claustrophobic spaces.

Ducking under a shelf, there are rows behind rows of books,

an ancient elevator and further stairways to corridors

each more decrepit than the last.

The walls peeling, unpainted for decades,

with large holes in the floors

to lower oneself through to other levels.

There, in the fear that it may all collapse,

is the tenuous grasp of any concept of time or place.

In the depths of these recesses

I usually encounter a maintenance man

sweeping up the darkness. He is disfigured,

terrible to look at, with a face full of sores,

appearing like a spot on the floors

that never see the light of day,

only the artificial glare

destined to flicker and stare

here for eternity.

This specter in the shadows,

blackened as a lung full of dust,

with a voice like a guttural growl,

unintelligible.

There is always the knowledge

that he is at the bottom of or behind

this restless feeling,

tending to the furnace

or fitting pipes in a vast boiler room.

He’s in there, like a manifestation of fear,

a cancer in these cells, in the bowels of every building.

What else did you expect to find?

What do industrial noises accompany

like strange soundtracks to the illogical

landscapes of the mind?

You cannot measure the sky

or the spaces in-between

but note the temporal shifts,

like shades of the past,

bound here like ghosts.

Each is a subtle impression

or a tiny transmission

that is nothing if not familiar.

The man in the corner,

ever-present author

tosses another cigarette

to the floor

and in the impact,

the flicker of fire

is transforming

into the flapping of a white bird

now flying towards

a shaft and up to the rooftop.

Vaporous, transparent,

it is no longer trapped

but leaving a trail of smoke in its wake,

it moves through objects.

I’ll follow its trajectory

towards the edge of this wasted city.

Listless as it travels

to the periphery,

where lifting from memory,

the dormant imagery

that nourishes its flow from captivity.

This is how it usually ends.

Free from these stairways and endless corridors,

no longer bound to these cells or these selves,

no longer merely a shell

but akin to water

flowing from a source somewhere

in emerald mountains

and immeasurable distances

under brilliant skies.

 

 

 

All is Interwoven

burnt fabric

I tend to your memory

like one working a small flame in the wind.

Blowing the end of an incense stick

to give scent to the formless

to sanctify and bear witness

to the chaos that follows change.

What does it accomplish,

putting new roots in the decay?

Cleaning out the attics of the old

by the light of silent entry,

while the past falls through the cracks of dawn

hovering above the roof and chimney.

Shifting seasons awaken with smoke

the smoldering clouds and coiling snakes

many hued in a moment’s wisp

that won’t support the weight of the present.

Watching as it evaporates,

all can appreciate its exit.

What is memory but the imprint of a passage?

Immaterial marker

in the consciousness of a dreamer

who conjures pictures

to match the feelings of departure.

“We are never here for long”

says nature

but I remember the paths

we made to the water’s edge,

though the footprints fade

and the wind works on

what was designed to outlast us.

Fire, the great leveler

starting small until

crawling out of proportion.

It consumes the highway

and covers the sky.

The horizon is lying

like a steel plate in the sun

burning

balancing on a melting moment

you can almost hear crying

in kindling

creativity to capture the shifting colors

in the mirror pools of effervescent lakes,

where the sky dabs its face.

Subtle transformations,

day to night

light to grey

all is interwoven

in the poem of knowing

no stitch remains.

Symbiosis

DSC00005.

DOMINICK TAKIS:  Symbiosis:  Sicilian, Irish and Other Travel Interpretations with Lichen

Symbiosis:  A close prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may benefit each member. 

When I began to incorporate lichen onto my surfaces as a weight and balance for composition, I was mostly interested in it’s textures and patterns.  Lichen has an ancient and weathered look; it makes me think of civilizations that revered the circle as a symbol of the connection between the harmony of nature and the cosmos. The patterns of the lichen appeared on man-made Dolmens and portal tombs as well as naturally on stone. 

I began to read more about lichen and it’s symbiotic relationship to algae; how they create their own existence, yet are attached.  I found parallels in my own life; the distance that comes from independence, yet still remaining attached to my ancestors and culture. An outcropping of land, a farmhouse, a church or a graveyard may take on greater significance when it contains some familial connection.  This became apparent when traveling through my ancestral Sicily and in my wife’s native Ireland.  Whether drawing inspiration from the Cathedral mosaics in Monreale or through the neolithic stone of Drombeg, this work resonates with a desire to come full circle.  What began as physically traveling back to the land, has left an impression, influencing my work’s narrative.  Whether figuratively or intellectually, I have recognized this symbiotic relationship with my ancestors and culture and how it informs my art.

I recently collaborated with my father (who is a painter and mixed media artist) on this statement for his most recent work that will be shown in the Galatea Gallery in Boston during the month of June 2015

The Opening reception is 6-8Pm on Friday June 5th,  feel free to stop by if you are in the area.

Galatea Gallery   http://galateafineart.com/

Address: 460 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Phone:(617) 542-1500