2003 by Thomas A Clark
an island postcard (2) published by Essence Press
Essence Press publish minimalist works by artists and poets, predominantly from artist Julie Johnstone. island was a biannual publication for writing inspired by nature, though sadly it is no longer published. Happily, we have a postcard to remember it by and the poetry of Scottish poet Thomas A Clark. Inspired by the landscape and its evocative details, the work captures Essence Press’s subtle approach to printing where words, paper and texture are treated as elements to a composition. The text of Five Waves is given space to breath, so the poignant ideas seep into the surrounding emptiness of white, igniting it as words pull images from the depths of our imagination. As we would take in the view and expanse of a horizon – a sparkling sea of freedom and possibility – Clark’s lines gleam as the lines of waves before us, hovering in the distance. The repetitive ‘to learn’ begins each line as the lapping beat of the tide, the words ‘the sea’ answering with the shhhhhh of a wave each time. The blue, almost iridescent against the white, is softly violet as water, natural as duck-egg, betraying nothing of the possessive indigo or turquoise. The rippling of realisation whilst reading each line, as one remembers a lesson they too learnt by the sea, is quietly haunting; butterflies of feeling as we are lulled into a state of solace, carried with these words that spell the power of nature.