In the landscape of poetry

Where does the poetry and artwork come from?  Not from me but through me. It’s all already there and I, the artist, am blessed with the vision to see it and gifted with the skills and materials to capture the fleeting, shifting beauty and make it manifest.  Each poem, photograph, video and piece of fibre art is a prayer. And what is a prayer but a dialogue with the Divine.

In your light I learn how to love.

In your beauty how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest, where no one sees you.

but sometimes I do and that sight becomes this art.


I love my bicycle journey to and from work, along a road which undulates and curves with the river valley it inscribes.  Every day that I ride, I enter into a poem.  I read the poetry of the landscape around me in scattered lines of verse – a heron fishing in the shallows as I ride over an ancient stone bridge, a necklace of Devon Ruby cattle strung along a narrow field like prayer beads, a flutter of autumn leaves, mist hanging high over the River Teign, frost-brittle bare hedgerows, lemony sun pools poured through verdant summer trees.

One morning last April, I rode through a dew-drenched morning.

Night Washed

Here on the shoreline where night meets dawn meets day
A pearl encrusted dandelion glows like a seacreature brought here by the tide

No precious spumes of seafoam here, but diamond drops of dew
Stud each blade of grass

A seashell scattering of wildflowers is left upon the shore of morning
Now high above the tide


In a valley washed over by the dark ocean of night.

– Melinda Schwakhofer, 2009


2 thoughts on “In the landscape of poetry

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