The Studio presents: Amethyst
25 May 2014
Consider, a stone suffused with the tears
of a repentant god, the colour of grape
and intoxication; at its centre untouched
and pure – a heart of innocence.
I say, the amethyst is not a poet’s stone,
a philosopher’s stone perhaps.
Legend bestows on it powers to
stimulate and soothe the mind and emotions.
“It carries the energy of fire and passion,
creativity and spirituality, yet bears
the logic of temperance and sobriety.”,
thus I am informed. Like the sense of contradiction
I write of the dark, I have dwelled there;
stumbled blinking and confused into the light.
Dystopian dreams in the night, awake,
doubt and dissatisfaction dwells deep.
I want to soar on wings poetic,
make sense of the carnage, the ruins;
walk proud, feel strong; seek a place
where I can feel I belong.
For reasons unknown an image
of an amethyst comes to mind:
an attempt at irony, an oblique approach.
I seek your honest response, not reproach.
There is a legend, it goes like this. The Wine God Bacchus was aggrieved,
he was determined to avenge himself and decreed the first person met
would be devoured by his tigers. That person was a beautiful young maiden
named Amethyst on her way to worship at the shrine of Diana.
As the ferocious beasts sprang she sought the protection of the goddess.
and was saved by being turned into a clear, white crystal.
Bacchus, regretting his cruelty, poured the juice of his grapes
over the stone as an offering, giving the gem its lovely purple hue.”
The act of creation is associated with violence,
not a physical or bullying variety; perhaps disruption
would be more apt: a disruption of order perceived or imposed.
A re-assessment, re-arrangements of elements or focus.
Writing, creating is intoxication; it’s a game, an infatuation.
Dervish dances, dystopian dreams – nightmares;
delve into themes of death, devastation and despair.
It is not for idle diversion; doubt and dissatisfaction does dwell deep.
I do not intentionally bare my soul; in process it will happen.
That which is written says much about the writer. So, for the record:
I am a sucker for grand visions, universal themes; make me feel special;
anything that tells me I am not alone. Stare into a void? I have done that
more than once. Is hope of achievement beyond repair?
Yes, I’ve asked myself that. To pick an amethyst to explore such themes?
Then I meditate on the measure of metaphor. is “literal truth” an oxymoron?
I consider the legend, maybe that will give me illumination.
The power of metaphor is to express universal “truth”.
Through suffering, do my words gain merit,
do I gain your respect? Are my phrases stronger,
the picture brighter, my song sung clearer?
I re-consider my stance: “the amethyst is not a poet’s stone”,
Perhaps it should be. The passion of the moment is nothing
without the contemplation that follows. How can I walk in the dark
without some core of purity, integrity of intent?
Enough will never be enough; always something more.
The heights of exultation are followed by the fall.
I have been in or involved with many plays,
many projects. The initial burst of energy
and enthusiasm subsides, panic sets in;
so far, so steep; to plunge so deep – play victim
to nightmares that stalk and haunt a restless sleep.
Dark dalliances with demons, in the light of a full moon.
Then I fake it to make it. Tease them, please them,
they are mine to play with or exorcise.
Peace? That would be nice, for a while;
bask in a sense of achievement.
The storm will come again. I will seek it.
The adrenaline rush is addictive.
This is a struggle I embrace with fervour;
an odyssey I embark on heedless of the cost.
The goal is defined but elusive;
persistently beyond my grasp.
I want something spectacular.
People would say, his life was of value.
Les Bush lives in Auckland, New Zealand. He was born in Christchurch, then the most English of cities. His love of reading is rooted in his childhood, and he began writing poems in his youth. His love of language is eternal. Eleven spellbinding years participating in all aspects of live theatre (including acting, backstage, front of house and management) gave depth to his ability to communicate emotion. Beginning at a time with the home video entertainment industry was merely a startup and continuing with first a free nationally distributed monthly magazine and then a trade magazine, writing became his passion. His flare gained him a commission to write for Variety and several magazines in New Zealand, and Australia. In 2011 he returned to his first passion, the joy of writing poetry. As in many cases, it was partly therapy (tragedy is a cruel and whimsical mistress); partly, re-discovery of the inestimable pleasure of self-expression and, quite simply, the sheer need to articulate that which resides in his imagination.