What is splunder?
A splash of rain
A dash of thunder
Through this I blunder...
I have always enjoyed and been inspired by verse... of all kinds. I have always read it... created it and encouraged my classmates to share their poetic thoughts. Poetry and prose are creative "connectors"... conduits for further personal thought.,.. exploration and expression.
Many of the poets that I admire and favour are well known to those who share my need to read verse. Others are unknowns. People ... young and old alike who dare to lay down their thoughts to paper... and to share it.
Poetry was always present in my weekly curriculum planning. Often... on lazy summer and spring afternoons, I would take my entire out into the deepest part of the playground which lay bounded by a gently flowing Butler's Creek.
Within minutes, that meandering creek couched small groups or individuals in quiet solitude... responding in their own way to what they saw... heard... smelled or simply felt. It was magical to observe normally boisterous and sometimes bored adolescents obviously harmoniously tuned into the natural world... no devices necessary.
What they all produced... to the boy and girl was poetry in its purest form. Both they... and I revelled in this activity... and I quickly joined them "at play" in Never Land. I wished never to return to stuffy... too hot classrooms. Our willow world... babbling and bubbling with endless possibility and freedom was the beginning of a path that many of us would follow for life.
The memory-evoked poem "Splunder" above was written on one such idyllic early summer afternoon c.1969 at Westminster School, Brockville. It was penned by a beautiful and gifted young girl named Lois. Would you ever guess... that she was twelve years young... but "an old spirit"... even then? She went on to create a lifelong acting career in theater as a regular cast member at renowned Shaw Theater in Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Stratford Shakespearean Theater in Stratford, Ontario.
Clearly... integrating the Arts into our early childhood education remains essential to the success of gifted students in their later lives. But as well... it offers an introduction and personal basis for respect by all students for the Arts... and therefore culture - specifically... their very own!
I am the product of such earliest influence and encouragement. My love of images from the Natural World... the Arts and my love of the printed word support such a belief. In an age where the love and fetish for technology and electronic dependency preempts the use of imagination... there still lies an opportunity for each of us to... "slip the surly bonds of earth... to go where none has trod on silver... to reach out and touch the face of God."
Capt. John Gillespie Magee said it all for me as an artist in his beautiful poem High Flight. But it speaks no more or less eloquently than twelve year old Lois in her terse... forceful bit of "Splunder.
Here is my "second voice" visual poem... recently painted en plein air in the company of my long time painting pal Frank Edwards. Perhaps it enjoins in spirit and meaning the wonder felt by the above voices. It is intended and fittingly brings to a close this autumn salute to the richness and pageantry of a rapidly fading October... a once-in-the-year pageant of sights... sounds and raucous colour
Good Grasping ... or Painting !... to ALL!
"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp.
Or what's a heaven for?"
"Andrea del Sarto" by Robert Browning
"Fall's Final Fanfare" - oil on canvas 10x12 inches