ALCHEMY Alison

Nature often taken for granted, holds many secrets; in the heart of its forests and in the niches of the countryside, its ecology contrives to produce chemistry, still without the knowledge of mankind.

‘ALCHEMY’ Dimensions: 23cm tall x 50 cm wide x 50 cm deep

 ALCHEMY

Summer rain thins and fades,

leaves glistening drops as pearls on grass.

Still, a balmy mist sways on the air in joy.

Broken sun breaks on rock outcrop

catching eye on a rainbow hook.

Stout thistles robed in purple cloak,

ermine stole and crown of thorns

stand as scrub to pasture turns.

Dandelion and Buttercup dot a quilt,

a cast of yellow on the meadow green.

Hedgerows white with May,

draped in Honeysuckle, Sweet Bay.

Dog Rose climbs, offering scent to wind,

completing perfumed floral feast.

Intense, in sense, as frankincense,

fills the air; a narcotic breath.

Deep amongst this verdant crush,

the great apothecary; she moves.

Bending, touching, tasting, smelling,

harvesting the jewels of nature’s swollen store.

Timelessly she labours, as for millennia before,

with ten thousand helpers she gathers in a trove.

Then, with ageless skill she works

to make a wondrous transformation;

creating nature’s balm;

the soothing touch of myrrh.

A healing salve of peoples past;

potent now as long before.

Evolving as a living thing.

Sweet draughts of pure ambrosia

in wax amphora side by side,

                              a golden gift to future’s hand.                   Rob T

The poem describes the variety of plant life and the richness to be found in and around a temperate meadow. It describes its beauty and its lush abundance in spring. It then looks at how nature (through the Honey Bee) harvests this resource and lays down rich stores for future use. It also marvels at the chemical wonder of these stores (honey). The bounty of the countryside is entwined within the poetry with references to Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, referring to the properties of honey and its gift from God through nature for the benefit of mankind.

The sculptural bowl represents the natural world in which the bee roams; it is tinted golden yellow reflecting the rich harvest of honey. The pattern of hexagonal piercings reflects the wandering pattern of the roaming honeybee. The intricate configuration and delicate lattice work delineated by the piercing pays tribute to the wonder of the honeybee as an engineer building its nest from wax in the form of honey comb to create a nursery and for the storage of honey. The ‘queen cell’ free moving within the bowl illustrates centrality, interconnectivity and the structured but paradoxically chaotic nature of the honey bee hive.

Compassion – the relationship with the natural world is reflective; we support it and it rewards us with its harvest and with a sense of wonder. Similarly with compassion; in being compassionate we are bathed in the joy we give to others that enriches our well-being.