O’Connor is a visual artist living in Buffalo, New York, USA. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting, a Master of Arts degree in Art History and has done further post-graduate study at Binghamton University and University College Dublin. His field of expertise at UCD was post-1960 Irish non-representational painting, studying with Dr. Paula Murphy. Besides writing, his recent work includes major outdoor installations near Buffalo.
for Felim Egan, after Seamus Heany
high tide on the strand rises steadily
up against the sea wall
to a level very near that of the road,
the Irish Sea an ever imposing, living entity
whose vast presence
thoroughly dominates the east,
much like a dark cape laid on the ground
by some good samaritan, or Christo.
across the bay, Ringsend, twin pillars
of Poolbeg assert themselves,
red and white bands, constant reminder
of times past, index to slippery present
and outright target, the arrow of time
arching imperceptibly, an icebreaker
tearing at the invisible fabric of an
unknown, perhaps greener, future.
walking the damp, clammy sand
at low tide, traffic is barely discernible
above the wall, and Strand Road
but a recent memory as the azure of the sea
beckons us forth, nearer and nearer
with each footstep, the distant horizon
marked by the soft but still rectangular
outlines of the occasional tanker
or ferry interrupting the blue of the cerulean sky,
silence disrupted only by the
guttural cries of swooping gulls.
in certain lesser light, our range of vision
seems to narrow, becomes too shallow,
the defining contrast of that panorama
momentarily obscured, a mesh of interlaced, muted color
not quite Turner, not quite Rothko,
a field of dark Prussian blue only slightly
accented by tales of Hofmann,
he who took Malevich and cast him center stage.
with Strabane a distant memory,
the balance of shifting luminance
seems to engage our senses
as discrete forms, not so far removed
from Scott’s fry pan formulations,
lie embedded in a textured color-field
taken in, as it were, from nature
adapted, adopted, a new lease on life.
© 2019 Frank O’Connor