The poetry within the painting - Hare's Dream

I like to write poetry withing my paintings; sometimes I source the poems from writing that I've found, but I think it gives it a more personal touch to write something myself. I have often used the automatic writing technique and write directly into the painting, without planning the words; but in this case I wrote the poem out first (but with very little editing) when I was at the idea stage of the painting.

Hares Dreamsmalljpg
As you can see, it is extremely difficult to read the poem - which is actually my intention. The words are supposed to add another layer to the painting, with just the odd word standing out. However, as lots of people would like to read the whole poem, here it is in full:

Hare’s Dream


I run with Hare, bound to his shadow;

We, he/me in the cool night air.

Frosty moon-breath, misty dry-ice,

Clouding vision of darkening countryside.

Amber highlights gleam on hedge tops,

Edges, branches, watery reflections of the Moon.

Ivy trails, threatening to choke thorned rivals,

Spiralling its strangling journey around ageing trunks –

Reaching for the hills.

But Hare races faster,

Leaping obstacles, escaping to the heights.


He sits, statue-like,

Eyes wide, alert to danger, aware of predators,

Ready to spring at the slightest sound of movement.

Above him the Moon hangs large in the heavens,

Glow enhancing frost;

Glitter sprinkles on cold surfaces . . . .


Across the valley on distant hill

Hare spies a figure, watching silently,

Shining brightly like pale gold,

Yellowing alabaster under the Moon’s spell.

Hare’s twin, a distant echo,

Mirrors him across the ivy.

Head tilts, fur bristles, whiskers quiver, legs brace for action.

The doppelganger mimics, but comes no nearer,

Watching across the chasm, separating.

They sit, long distance book-ends.


The Moon enchants, concentrating her luminescence,

A gilded pendant,

A pendulum brought still,

Hypnotising amber eyes.

Misty breath pauses, tendrils dissolving away;

The Moon is revealed in frigid clarity.


A speck, an eye-mote, half imagined

Within her glassy circumference;

Coming closer, becoming clearer,

Metamorphosing into a bird,

Transforming into a Phoenix.

Long tapering beak, ornate jewel feathers,

Cruel steely claws, eyes black beads.

A Lunar Phoenix, mirror opposite to the fiery Sun legend;

The lesser known cousin.

Glinting hugely overhead, wings flapping,

Creating moon-breeze,

Encrusted with diamond feathers of iridescence.

Bird and Hare study each other.

They have no means of communication

But somehow they recognise in each other a kindred soul;

Both myth-makers, the source of legends;

Subjects to weave stories around, sitting by lonely fireplaces,

To inspire and to embolden.

And both are hunted by predators, for sport,

Without regret or fear of wiping out a species,

To make them extinct.

Now Phoenix can only exist in a dream

And hides safely camouflaged within the distant Moon.


She soars into the cloudless sky,

Creating patterns in firework elaboration,

So fast she leaves copies of herself;

Feathers float down like beautiful ashes.

She hovers, then faces Hare


Mesmerising each other.


Then she takes her leave

On long glistening wings;

And slowly shrinks from view,

Dissolving back into the confines of the pale orb;

A Moon Shadow.


Both hares stay gazing upwards,

Transfixed by the waxing and waning,

Searching for remnants,

Proof of the fantastical figure.


But eventually the mood breaks,

Hare’s distant reflection turns tail,

Merging into the horizon.


Hare scratches, nonchalant;

Memories a distant dream.

Alone again.


Vikki Yeates