River

River

River being river passes
before we know it, in force
with a rush of the loosened and thrown,
or dull with a mask of everyday sameness,
its currents secret, subcutaneous.

Sky-fed, sewer, street, and field-fed,
seasoned with drink-cans and leaves
in the sun going down, or the thrash
of dawn rain on its skin,
river is past before we know it.

 

Aura, AmosLAB 2018

The Birth of the Aura

The Birth of the Aura

Once, due to Finland’s acute shortage of public toilets – in ancient times as now – a stray Goddess crouched in the forest, beneath the branches of her bird-feathered hair, to take a leak. Thighs and crotch levered over pine needles and soon-soiled soil, she hums a tune by a Stone Age rock band we’ve forgotten.

Then, from down below, she hears a howl and sees with a shock it’s a baby girl she’s dropped along with the usual stuff. Gosh, hadn’t even noticed, been so busy lately! Must have been that one-night stand with the stranger from the North, loud mouth but poetic eyes, who she’d laid with a laugh in a spare aitta, and who left her in the morning strangely longing.

And because she’s a Goddess, and ours are troubled times in need of stories to unbury good news, I’ll sing you a saga. She gazed with affection at the gleam and drool of the wailing baby sat in the mudpuddle with ants still swimming to escape a downpour they never asked for. She stirs babe and brown water with gold from her breast to shape a river of mixed fortunes – brass and muck, milk and fish, war, wheat, blood, wool, kings, merchants, artists, bakers, builders, weavers, nurses, milkmaids, soldiers, moaners, singers, queens, shopkeepers, farmwomen – a people who’ll always need very bright sun to see the gold all around them.

She looks at the child.

‘Run down to the coast, Little Aura,’ she says, ‘Grow a harbour for those at sea, a portal for those who need to flee’.
Stands up straight, adjusts her skirts, and strides away to make trouble (that is, be godlike) in some other place.


Aura, AmosLAB 2018

Ferry

Ferry

On the red ferry, workers,
shoppers, children, people
with worries, laughter, gossip.
The ferryman looks tired.
A baby cries to the gulls.

Hauled on its chain,
busy in our busy city,
the ferry goes on its small
important journeys,
back and forth

across the water.
Night falls, and in darkness
the old church bell,
always the same, never
the same, here to there
the black ferry rides.

My darling, why
didn’t you meet me
on the other side?
You said you’d love me
forever and a day.


Aura, AmosLAB 2018

Aura

Aura

Aura writes a waterway
ploughs pages of fields
with a muddied script of
aurum gouged & versed
in earth’s dark matter

Aura writes away in water
aura aurora aureola
aathra and aura to å and bo
Abo Avram Abraham
wet tongues of men & mud

Muddled gold with golden mud
earthed ink scribbled
through fields and ages
on pages of ploughed desires
Aura dreams in water’s ways


Aura, AmosLAB 2018

The Song of the Poor in Certain Cities

The Song of the Poor in Certain Cities. Located on Rivers

In our old river city it was ever the same
Fort, prison, cathedral loomed in the rain
There to remind us of heaven and pain
And where we belong in the loss and the gain

Fort, prison, church, and the river between,
We worked and we died and are seldom seen
In the history books where the masters go clean
Lying and strutting and licking the cream

Now the river flows on at its seasonal paces
But power’s gone elsewhere and hidden its bases
Guns, locks, and Bibles have changed their faces
Fort, prison, cathedral are tourist places


Aura, AmosLAB 2018

Robert Powell, esittely

RP-by-Owen-Powell

Robert Powell

Runot runokartalla

Aura
Ferry
River
The Birth of the Aura
The Song of the Poor in Certain Cities. Located on Rivers

Robert Powell was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, and now lives in York, North Yorkshire. He has worked for many years in the fields of literature, journalism, photography, the arts, and urbanism.
In 2017 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in recognition of his encouragement of the arts in place-making.
In 2018 he was an artist in residence with the Kone Foundation at Saari, Finland.

Robet Powell syntyi ja varttui Kanadan Ottawassa, mutta asuu nykyisin Yorkissa, Englannissa. Powell on runoilijana ja toimittajana tehnyt yhteistyötä monien kuvataiteilijoiden (mm. turkulaisen Jan-Erik Anderssonin), muusikoiden ja performanssitaiteilijoiden kanssa.  2018 Powell työskenteli taiteilijaresidenssissä Koneen säätiön Saaren kartanossa, ja tutustui myös Turkuun ja erityisesti Aurajokeen. Joki ja joet ovat keskeisiä monissa Powellin töissä. 

(Photo by Owen Powell)

Home page / kotisivut: http://www.rjpowell.org/?page_id=198

Collections of poetry

Harvest of Light,  Stone Flower 2007 
All, Valley Press 2015
Riverain, Valley Press 2018 
Aura, AmosLAB 2018
A Small Box of River – a collaborative artist’s book with Jake Attree – was produced with an accompanying exhibition in 2016.
A pamphlet, Notes From a Border River (AmosLAB, 40 pages) was published in July 2020.