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5 May

  By Rhea H. Boyden

Validation came in the end. Why did she search for it where it did not lie? He spoke the truth from over the mountain, behind the mist. The veils of fear were lifted. The rainbow is a bridge to validation, far, far from the land of rainbows. One must walk it before it fades. Seize the moment, for that is all we have.  It was Gilgamesh who first saw the colours, who sang the song after the raven never returned.  Do they hear the music? Do they know the difference between philosophy and naivete? Between corruption and caring? Do they care? No, they do not. One can only listen to the poet, for he is the one who will listen to you, brew your tea exactly as you like it. Making it sweetly, sweet, with sugar, but not sugar coating it. The truth of love and validation has no sugar coating, but sings its own sweet song.

The above poem is a response to my friend and fellow poet S.D. Clifford’s poem ‘For the Poets will Love You’ recorded here with piano accompaniment:

Phases of Matter

12 Apr

by Rhea H. Boyden

She stands solid as a rock. The force holds her. The bond ties her.

She flows to liquid in a watery dream. The raindrops penetrate her skin. The tears flow.

She watches Mercury’s wings lose their form. He turns into gas and floats away. She stands invisible, yet full of form. She turns back into rock as she kisses Mercury goodbye.

Pacman and Heart

24 Feb

By Rhea H. Boyden
She ventures back cautiously to that place in her skull that holds the memory. That place and time when, as she slowly pulls up the zip on her well-worn, high-heeled boot, the gin slides down her long and lusty throat. He caresses the jeweled neck as she hides the pain. She longs for him to see the heart cut into the grass, as his name was cut into her own. But he doesn’t see the heart. His thoughts are focused on a tiny, yellow, ravenous monster that eats every bit of her patience. Her eyes are as yellow as the monster’s, he sees that, but sadly she does not, and so they both continue the game until all the score cards read zero.

Venus and Satyr

18 Feb

by Rhea H. Boyden

The nearer she gets back to Earth, the brighter Venus shines. Having the strength to grasp Earth again after the madness of spending too much time on another planet that was cold, windy and desolate. Poor Satyr does not know the extent of this new birth. Does he know how he has been pulled into fantasy by Venus as she emerges from her shell? Venus loves the water. It makes her feel whole again. As Schopenhauer instructed us with good intention. Water suffices, humans need not drink anything else, he warned. As Venus’ shell grows less hard she learns to love the world again, but poor Satyr does not like water as much as Venus does. Venus has her helpers, the beautiful Nymphs who drag Satyr to the water against his will. But wait! Give Satyr time and maybe he will come to the water willingly. The way cannot be forced. Venus stands spellbound in an empty hall and then she sees herself in a Gustave Courbet painting. ‘Ah, there I am’ she says. ‘The Woman of the Waves’. She spies the madness in herself, her coy and unshaven manner. ‘Does Satyr love this?’ she wonders, ‘Or does it scare him away?’ Venus is shining brightly now and feeling much revived. She emerges from the room and walks out into the bright, hot sunlight and there she sees the passionate kiss. The one she imagines. She looks up and sees the banners that signal that the vast water that separates their love has vanished in a hot, dry day.

The Grapevine

17 Feb

By Rhea H. Boyden
The grapevine has been harvested of its succulent fruit. One can draw a sweet sip of wine to ones lips while pondering lofty art. Or one can sip on water as Schopenhauer instructed, and try and see the truth. She tries to decipher the bright colours, to glean meaning from the soft strokes, but she cannot. Art’s salvation is not present today as she had hoped. In desperation she flees the bright and colourful place that used to bring her so much peace. Where to go? Where to run to? She does not know.  She rides the train, forever, knowing suddenly that she is alone and terrified. And then she sees the child’s art, the simple drawing that tells the truth. She eats the grapes, both red and green, and knows that she is safe at last, in the company of those who speak the truth to her, even if she does not want to hear it.

Morpheus and Iris

10 Feb

By Rhea H. Boyden

Iris knows that Morpheus will fly from her, just as the winged Mercury had done before. She allowed him to remain in his sweet slumber for long enough. The truth had to be spoken. It was no longer in a dream that she saw him, but she caught him shocked and awake in the land of rainbows. Iris, who sits in the middle of the dream like a rock, conscious at last, that she is the rainbow. Morpheus, mercifully saw her colours and heeded them humbly. Her wings are weak in the ice of winter, but they have not been stolen from her as she had feared. As soon as the ice melts from them, she will fly again, far, far away from that wet land of dreams, leaving Morpheus to wear whatever face he pleases.

Image is the painting ‘Morpheus and Iris’ by Pierre Narcisse Guerin

Orpheus and Eurydice

3 Feb


by Rhea H.Boyden

Like Eurydice she feels the sting, the bite of the snake. But she remains in the underworld with her. She is not ready to arise yet. The ice-encrusted wheel is spinning in the brook, round like a timepiece. It is not time yet, it warns her. The truth has been spoken, it was time for that. Somehow the stars were aligned on that night. Like a simple, straight, dark line that honours simplicity and serenity it was shot like an arrow. She still loves Orpheus and the strum of his lyre. Desiring truth she dares to pose the question. Can the irrational and the rational coexist? Or will they collapse? She is sure for one bright moment that they can coexist through the truth and beauty of art. Art, as it has done before, will save her for one day.

Painting of Orpheus and Eurydice by Edward Poynter

Image 7 Oct

Flora and Zephyr

by Rhea H.Boyden

Flora has carefully sown her seeds that will blossom in the spring watered tenderly by Zephyr, God of the west wind. She will not bare all too soon. She prepares herself for the long, cold retreat to the underworld where all is crisp and covered with ice. That same ice that does not feel as cold as winters past. Zephyr flies to her and adorns her with kisses and blossoms to give her strength. She slowly leaves the warm, wet place she wallowed in for too long with Satyr the goat man, in a fairy tale of unspoken words. Satyr remains cheerily chomping grasses in that wet fantasy land that she could never penetrate, so cloaked in clouds it was. She sees Venus shining ever brightly as her guide. Patience is the seed that will blossom for Flora in the end.<

Image is the painting 'Flora and Zephyr' by John William Waterhouse

Queen Louise of Prussia

18 Aug

by Rhea H. Boyden


What can one do to console the great King Frederick’s grief as his beautiful, young and devoted wife perishes in his arms of a summer’s day? His tears are hotter and more bitter than hers were when her own first Princess was dead before she ever breathed her first breath. He can allow his loyal subjects to cast her likeness in bronze and cover them in wild spring flowers to honour her. They will do it willingly. She gained their respect. She came to court merrily from the land. Being Queen allowed her to hold people’s babies and kiss them tenderly. Allowed her to spread her copper coins happily among the ragged townsfolk. Frederick heeded her well when she spoke, whether in her Prussian tongue or the tongue of Napoleon that she mastered before he attacked their fair land. Schiller and Goethe captured her young heart and Frederick would make her his guide and love. Her lovely crown of turquoise that she wore so well, did not oppress or hurt her beautiful head full of blonde locks. Her big, round inquisitive eyes still stare out from a far more telling likeness. One of oil and not of bronze. Do the modern Prussian girls know of her savvy and loyal way? Do they also use their inquisitive eyes and minds to use her as a guide? The browning flowers on the fair bronze head must not be forgotten. They must be replaced with the fresh lushness of colour and life of our newly blossomed petals. The same lushness that once bestowed her rosy and lovely cheeks.

Portrait by Josef Grassi

Documenta Series

16 Jul

By Rhea H. Boyden


                                                                                                      Photo by Erin Reilly


Documenta 1

Not heeding the mangled faces and forgetting their importance, she wages a war of fairy tales. Only thinking of the proud bee hive and its self-centred importance in the world. But the magical bees and the honeycombs only mask the mangled faces, barbed wire and camouflage that we so easily forget, locked in our own silly dreams. Is there any importance behind this screen? How can one give so much energy to a game on a computer? It is senseless in the grand scheme of things. How can one fill a whole grand hall with meaningless scribbles in pastel that also make themselves so important behind their plush blankets. One can only see half the picture in this too. Half the picture on a screen, turned into a fairy tale, half the picture behind the blanket. Yes, we must look at the mangled faces as hard as it is to do. We must stare, as painful as it is, and not cover them in warm blankets. I am not all insane. Just a part of me. Just that little part that enables me to create something worth looking at outside myself and away from the screen. Why, oh why must a fly have a whole marble block all to itself under a crystal covering? That too deserves respect. A simple fly puts everything into perspective. You can’t stop the clocks, they keep on ticking, so to freeze yourself in this moment is pointless. Perpetual motion is all around. The screen creates the myth of the perfect. Sometimes a person never comes back from the event horizon. There is no turning back to the screen, you have smashed it and scared it away. You must find entertainment elsewhere and not regret the past. It served its purpose. I nearly missed this nice image here while staring at the screen. Here I can find time to meditate. Watching the lovely spinning tubes, filled with singing fish and flashing lights turning life into a playground. But wait, there is a gun! Do not forget the mangled faces! They will come back to you under your own plush blankets and make your flies of problems seem positively minute. Even the playground is sinister. You can never escape the mangled faces. They will always be there. Always.

 wooden loom

Photo by Erin Reilly-Documenta 13

 Documenta 2

The seamstress can work hard to make a futuristic suit to protect us from the unwanted Nordic Nuclear energy. But will it make any difference? How can she sew such a garment on a machine made of wood that refuses to budge? Hours and hours go into carving out the fine and intricate curves of the wooden garment press. And all the work is lost in a protest that is dragged out of existence in the middle of the night. The banks and energy lords won’t listen to this. The plant will open anyway and they will drag away the Real Occupy Camp and leave the Art Occupy Camp there to try and quench our thirst for protest. ‘Oh, how quaint’ they may say. A faux white tent with the word ‘Greed’ written on it. Beware, Bankers! Art is more powerful than you think. It speaks a language that is beyond your scope.

tents at doc

Photo by Erin Reilly

Documenta 3

2 young women sit in a restaurant bemoaning the fact that they cannot find suitable mates. The Restaurant is aptly named ‘Il Convento’. At least the food is excellent. There is no modern map to help them chart their futures. The traditional maps have either been sucked into a black hole or burned in a lava flow from a volcano trapped in a dark hall. Art will rescue them for one day.

blinds over tracks

Photo by Erin Reilly

Documenta 4

There is no time to ponder an ocean wave in a landlocked city. Only the rushes can linger to enjoy that. The silver blinds are hanging over the train tracks and the clocks are ticking ever louder. The pistons are pumping and the mercury is rising. There is limited art for limited spaces and limited time to see it. Our calendar gives us more days than the Chinese, but still we must flee. German trains do not wait.