Month: December 2021

Found in Translation

© Matthew Word Bain

window blocks the height of high line poles
power lines on the diagonal intersecting with gutters
and buildings built at bizarre angles
always larger at the near end
how would pictures appear to us
if we lived in a two dimensional world?

Invisible Presence

© Matthew Word Bain

any single image is a frame
that excludes more than it includes
and yet, we can imagine what else is here
what is the story behind this telescopic handler
sitting aloof with its trailer in this bare lot?
walk around the corner of the building
and a whole new story emerges
which provides context
and thus makes everything clear
but which is invisible to us in this frame
not so much esoteric as it is simply obscured
it is still present. doesn’t this happen every day?
isn’t this the case with people as well?
with the way their pasts, their home lives,
their desires and long forgotten dreams
influence the way they appear in the world
as must also be the same for us all
but when do we take this into account?
when do we take the time to walk around the corner
in search of the context which allows the real story to emerge?

Same Difference

© Matthew Word Bain

repetition reveals difference
as this asymmetrical pair shows
four windows, two sets of shutters
one full awning and one half
a difference in spacing
signage absent and present
one side missing a tooth
the other with a black eye
have you two been fighting?
it’s okay to be different
and still get along
so much in common
and each one still unique

Alchemical Feeling

© Matthew Word Bain

high line poles against a cold looking sky
having opened my heart to the cold of this day
I found more warmth than I had expected
in the feelings conjured within me
by the scenes I encountered
something about place
and the way it can speak
in the language of feeling tones
led me to forget the external temperature
and be nourished by the internal temperature
conjured as if by alchemy in the crucible of my heart

Regeneration

© Matthew Word Bain

slowly fading blue and chlorophyll diminishing
the blue paint seemed bolder in the spring
as did the deep green of these leaves
one has suffered under the sun
while the other has thrived
this paint will need a new coat
and this tree will make one of its own
and increasingly shelter this paint from the sun
nourished by the same radiation the paint only endures

Roadside Baptist

© Matthew Word Bain

the bright reflection of sunlight
off this bright white facade
mutes the cool blue of the sky
with its sculptural painted clouds
and hides the mountains just beyond
so brimming with the colors of fall

Half Past Sunset

© Matthew Word Bain

nestled at the foot of the mountains
the scale of this strip feels perfect
and the light suddenly sublime
as the last rays of the sun
fall only on the farthest ridges
and dusk settles in for the night

Smoke or Mirrors

© Matthew Word Bain

sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real
German car in the distance?
Italian mini for scale?
which one is a reflection
and which one is really real
no smoke and a mirrorless camera
but there’s something strange going on