Last summer we paid another visit to the Corbenic Poetry Path. For those who don’t know, the Path situated at Trochry in the hills above Birnam and Dunkeld. The walk isn’t too strenuous, it winds through glorious countryside and it’s dotted with sculpture/poems maintained by staff and residents at the Corbenic Camphill Community.
I’ve been up there regularly, not only because I have a couple of poems on the path, but for events, to take visitors, and just for a stroll about. This time, though, it was to check a new sculpture by Hungarian artists Vivien Leitart and Krisztina Gyuk, recently erected and taking its cue from one my poems, Sick Again.
You are searching for a missing piece of jigsawStranded in Sub-Atomica (donut Press, 2005)
like a kid that’s lost its mother in the big store
or an apeman who is scratching with a pig jaw
unsure, exactly, what it is you dig for.
This was written a long time ago and don’t recall anything about it’s genesis except that the title came afterwards and was taken from a Led Zeppelin song. I can’t see any connection with said song and in retrospect realise that I’ve never, ever thought about Zeppelin lyrics, they seem so utterly secondary. I suspect I was thinking of the guitar sound or maybe it’s just a good title.
Brian McCabe, at a Soutar House group meeting where I shared it, said “Cheer us up, why don’t you, with your ontological meltdown,” or words to that effect, which tickled me.
Anyway, the poem had been up on the path for some time in another form, with the poem on a post (an actual physical post) in a deep hole surrounded by sharpened sticks, as interpreted by Martin Reilly, but John Plunkett, the Aberfeldy/Norn Irish poet said that Vivien and Krisztina were quite taken with it and made this magnificent other piece of art.
We visited a couple of days after the piece was installed, which is when I took these photos, and sadly the day after the artists left the country. I’d like to have met them but I hope I’ll run into them when next they’re over. And I’ll probably have another look up the hill in the next few months to see what the weather’s doing to it.
And while we were up there I took some more pictures from the Path, one of which I worked up into a little oil sketch, and which, when posted on Facebook with no context whatsoever, was identified as being at Corbenic by Hazel Cameron. I was quite chuffed with that.
I can’t remember why I wrote the poem in the first place, and given the timing of it, I suspect my head wasn’t in the best place at the time, but then all these little connections spring from it, so I don’t suppose it even matters. Probably nothing does. Ah, you can’t beat a bit of breezy nihilism. Happy New Year.