Vættir: The Last Nature Spirit
Oil on board.
"To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion - all in one."
John Ruskin (1819-1900), from Modern Painters (1856) vol. 3, pt. 4 'Of Modern Landscape'
The following poem was kindly written by Barrie Singleton especially for this painting, and appears by his courtesy. Thank you, Barrie, much appreciated...
His eye, alone, perceives unmeasured loss
As manned ships bring man-rumour in their wake
Of new beginnings and a nailed man-god
Eclipsing Mother Earth for new-name’s sake.
The sanguine skies care naught what they portend
Menstrual or placental or fell-let
Henceforth shall blood of man an ocean fill
Till he drown in its tide, and time forget.
The Vættir’s bones, of earth and ages wrought
Absorb this fatal blow and yet endure
Caught twixt two worlds and denizen of none
He waits till Hel should judge his heart quite pure.
From cove and strand young warriors sail forth
To lodestone-lure, they tip horizon’s sill.
The Vættir’s lupine wights one with those kin
In empathy anticipate a kill.
Ere long the boundless sea is bound with lanes
Its archetypal freedoms compromised;
Great ships of war and plunder navigate
Each masthead-flag despising and despised.
Then rampant male goals and values rise
In unchecked Bacchanalian excess;
The Vættir weeps to see The Feminine
Purged from the Earth to ultimate distress.
Shamanic guardianship the world around
Cut down to break connection with the Earth
Unknown to new-robed guardians of truth
Takes with it all we ever had of worth.
Thus magic dies, displaced by empty word
And Earth - defiled - endures calamity.
The Vættir, mid the trees, absorbed as one;
Held evergreen, awaits eternity.
© Barrie Singleton