Meditation upon “Annunciation” by Mati Klarwein, 1961

Saharan angels chant their song of abundance before a Cainite altar where the enigmatic artist laughs a jibaro-hippie laugh / Red conga-anima rides the rhythm / signalling to the drowsing Queen of the South lost in a vision at the wall of Jerusalem / she must lift her gaze to heaven / turn from her vanity and behold the celestial sign / Aleph-Alpha the cipher of Messiah / the egg breaks open: flowering zygote of conception / blood of the pomegranate, granada / blood of the goat flayed on the altar of mammon / terraces of chilies exuding fire in the crystalline torpor of a Mexican fishing village / hear the clear salt water at the foot of the stairs / hear the music’s underwater depths / hear the syncopated overcoding of this annunciation / the lilies rise, shoshannim / Shushan the citadel / nomadic deserts of the outer horizon threaten the opulent decadence of the jeweled elephant-headed idol of the world / Orpheus looks back emerging from the portal stairs into the burning light of the living / BEHOLD: Eurydice one last time in perfection and it all vanishes



PROMPT # 22: write a poem that engages with another art form […]
a wonderful painting, film, or piece of music you’ve experienced –
so long as it uses the poem to express something about another form of art.

Wayfarers All

Abrax Annunciation

‘In due time,’ said the third, ‘we shall be home-sick once more for quiet water-lilies swaying on the surface of an English stream. But to-day all that seems pale and thin and very far away. Just now our blood dances to other music.’

They fell a-twittering among themselves once more, and this time their intoxicating babble was of violet seas, tawny sands, and lizard-haunted walls.

Restlessly the Rat wandered off once more, climbed the slope that rose gently from the north bank of the river, and lay looking out towards the great ring of Downs that barred his vision further southwards — his simple horizon hitherto, his Mountains of the Moon, his limit behind which lay nothing he had cared to see or to know. To-day, to him gazing South with a new-born need stirring in his heart, the clear sky over their long low outline seemed to pulsate with promise; to-day, the unseen was everything, the unknown the only real fact of life. On this side of the hills was now the real blank, on the other lay the crowded and coloured panorama that his inner eye was seeing so clearly. What seas lay beyond, green, leaping, and crested! What sun-bathed coasts, along which the white villas glittered against the olive woods! What quiet harbours, thronged with gallant shipping bound for purple islands of wine and spice, islands set low in languorous waters!

from: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Chapter IX

WISDOM on The Wind in the Willows, Ch. IX

image: The Annunciation, Mati Klarwein 1961


Pair of Pentychs

Quick post about two artists I like:

Two years ago, at a Job Lots-type discount store, I found a trove of art postcards on sale. They were produced by  Pomegranate  in CA. I bought two unfolding pentych postcards by artists I did not recognize. That’s how I discovered Mati Klarwein and Cliff McReynolds.

One pentych postcard was the  Saint John Pentych by Mati Klarwein. I read a lot into this painting;   the  desolate mediterranean view from within a cave and the fair damsel with Greek written all over her chest bring to mind  Saint John on Patmos and the “woman clothed with the sun” of Revelation .   Did the artist intend this?

The other postcard was Cliff McReynold’s La Jolla Pentych.

McReynolds output  is  far less, but I find it equally illuminating. I just learned that he did an album cover for Flora Purim. I can’t find all five frames of his pentych online, but here is a link to Now (available as a poster) and below you can see the central painting (Life):

Looks like poster is available here:

Klarwein is better-known since he established himself as an album-cover illustrator in the 60’s and 70’s.  You have probably seen his work on Santana and Miles Davis albums among others.

ABRAXAS annunciation-1961

In this part of the Saint John Pentych below I found the perfect graphic
to match George Harrison’s epiphany at the end of  It’s All Too Much .

I won’t go on about these two – just look at the links and the artist’s sites.