THE TURTLE’S PRAYER
I am meandering and ancient
reptilian and patient
with wisdom that twinkles
just like the milky way.
May stars and currents guide me
through silky cool clean uisce*
and may you always strive to
pour your heart into the sea.
ABOUT THE POEM
Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed by thoughts of environmental destruction, writing poetry helps me to process things. This is important for my mental health. There is no point in repressing one’s feelings, and as uncomfortable as it might be I prefer to feel everything fully, talk about it if necessary, then move on.
This poem emerged when I began to ponder the impact of visual art on the planet, or more accurately, the materials used in the production of art.
‘Ignorance is bliss’ might be true, but once we learn about the impact of certain actions it often means that there is no going back. In recent years I have faced a conundrum with painting.
Even though they are water-based, my acrylic paints cause pollution every time I wash a brush. Plastic particles end up in our water supply, and so I stopped painting for a few years. Instead I looked to writing to satisfy my creative needs.
When it comes to making changes, does being rigid and hard on ourselves ever work? Not for me. Colour is my therapy, and I am a true artist. Visual creativity and text have been part of my daily life for as long as I can remember. I really missed painting, and felt quite down in the dumps without it after using up all the left over materials around me.
So I decided to look at new materials and options. By being more conscious about how and why I make art I will find new ways of self-expression. It is my soul’s calling. As for the turtle and all other sea dwellers if we all shared one language then of course we would hear the creatures call for us to show more love to the ocean and to be aware of how we are all connected.
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*uisce (pronounced ‘ish-keh’ is the Irish word for water.
Kathryn Crowley is a writer, visual artist, and wellbeing teacher based in Kerry, Ireland.