Adam Donaldson Powell

My latest paintings (abstract, colourfield, geometric, abstract expressionist, minimalist etc.): 2016-2020

 

“From 2016 to 2020, I am making a series of paintings as documentation of how I experience this particular time period. Some works merely have titles and others carry texts which give more insight into my thoughts and feelings associated with the themes and the paintings themselves. Many of these works describe the search for security and understanding in a particularly tumultuous era where suspicion, fear, hate, lies and pain abounds together with joy, disillusionment, and just not wanting to give a fuck about real problems that we feel that we cannot do anything about anyway (climate change, terrorism, pollution of air, water, land, fishes, food etc.). The temptation to drown ourselves in materialism, reality show life, and other banalities is great. This is also an era where many “old truths” are being exposed as having been fallacious, and where social concepts are challenged and flipped in the twinkling of an eye (or a media/social media scandal). Some of my works address specific persons in history, such as Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau, Jacques Brel, and others who I now see quite differently than in previous decades. I too have different “eyes” than before. And thus, many of the themes that I paint about in this series are (as usual with my work) issues, questions and ideas that can be experienced as uncomfortable to many. I give no answers, and make no statements or demands. I only ask questions — through images, geometry, color and textures on canvas.

The year 2018 begins with several miniature paintings that make up a series entitled “J’en ai rien à branler !: 18 études abstraites en miniature — Feindre l’indifférence dans un monde fou et brutal. (“J’EN AI RIEN À BRANLER / I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!”: 18 abstract studies, in miniature — Feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.) I have posted nine of them so far, and there will be a total of eighteen miniature paintings in this series, so please return to this page frequently to keep up with the new additions.

I wish this online exhibition to be more entertaining than merely looking at my paintings, without any other contextual material. Therefore I have included some illustrative materials that have either inspired me or which create additional commentary. These are in the forms of photos, poems, essays, and videos — both built in and linked. Enjoy!

— Adam Donaldson Powell, 2018

“J’EN AI RIEN À BRANLER / I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!”: 18 abstract studies, in miniature — Feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

“J’en ai rien à branler/I don’t give a fuck! no. 1, Endless Winter”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“J’en ai rien à branler/I don’t give a fuck! no. 2, Spleen – love dissolving”, 20×20 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“J’en ai rien à branler/I don’t give a fuck! no. 3, Roses and a teardrop for Las Ramblas”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. This miniature abstract painting was inspired by the terror attack upon the people at Las Ramblas in Barcelona. It depicts a rose-floral wallpaper-like background with a line/queue that is broken — interrupted by a single teardrop. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“J’en ai rien à branler/I don’t give a fuck! no. 4 — Trou de la gloire/Gaufres bleues; Oui, l’amour est bleu … et la véritable gloire est un trou dans un mur qui s’effrité, («Gloryhole/Blue waffles; Yes, love is blue … and real glory is a hole in a crumbling wall»)”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“J’en ai rien à branler/I don’t give a fuck! no. 5 — Ghosts no. 1 — Climate change sucks the life out of Spring”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“J’en ai rien à branler/I don’t give a fuck! no. 6 — Ghosts no. 2 — Climate change sucks the life out of Spring”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“J’en ai rien à branler/I don’t give a fuck! no. 7, Love between vampires: Yeah, Baby — let’s tear off a piece! (L’amour entre les vampires: Viens m’enculer!)”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

Read my poem about love between vampires HERE!

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“J’en ai rien à branler/I don’t give a fuck! no. 8, Niqab — of love and fetish in an age of terror”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. Keywords: niqab, AK47, roses, blood, hidden passion, discomforting eyes, risks, fetish, love, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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“J’en ai rien à branler/I don’t give a fuck! no. 9, Pissing on our parade”, 15×15 cm, oil on canvas, 2018. “Pissing on our parade”, is a commentary on gay violence — i.e. violence, murder and terror committed both by and against gays. LGBTQ-persons are “people”, and prone to the same problems and personality issues as all others in society. However, whenever an LGBTQ-person commits an act of terror (Orlando), sexual violence and harassment (by the way, these harassments are seldom investigated as #metoo, or even hate crimes), murder plus cannibalism, or other acts that feel like a violation of what many consider to be basic humane and civilised values, it feels as embarrassing to me as a gay person as muslims must feel when yet another act of hate-inspired terrorism is committed in the name of Islam. It is also embarrassing to me as a human and as a soul in active incarnation. These individuals — regardless of whether they are disturbed, or just hateful — are pissing on our parade. Keywords: pissing, parade, #stopthebleeding, wounded hearts, rainbow, #stopthehate. This painting is part of a series of miniature abstract oil paintings made in 2018 — this series is about feigning indifference in a crazy and brutal world.

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COMING SOON: “SILENCE” and “NOISE” — a commentary on media’s selective coverage of current issues.

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“Love illusion” is a smoky colourfield oil painting on canvas, 65 x 90 cm., 2016-2020. The aim was to use colourfield painting to address emotion. In this case the illusion of love is effected by a smoky grey region threatening to totally encompass the colour of classical love: pink. The eye is naturally drawn towards and into the central grey area, which has the appearance and effect of a snowy old-fashioned television screen — pulling us into a state of uncertainty and the unknown.

It cries out for sugar therapy:

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The devil comes at night time,, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020.

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“Eclipse”, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020.

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“Tears flowing while walking through the city”, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020.

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“Tears flowing while walking through the forest”, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020.

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Next, here is a musical hint about my painting entitled «Le jour du couronnement / L’obsession des Jacobites» (The Coronation Day / Jacobite Obsession»):

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The painting:

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«Le jour du couronnement / L’obsession des Jacobites» (The Coronation Day / Jacobite Obsession»), 2016-2020:
This 90 x 65 cm. abstract-geometric landscape oil painting on canvas features textiles reminiscent of royalty and festivities: a plush luscious green velvet hill and a shimmering blue heavy silk fabric sky, separated by a gold and silver brocade sash which represents the horizon at dusk. Swaying in the precocious Scottish wind in the Sky of Dreams is a somewhat unstable and slightly-tarnished large golden fleur de lis, and in the bottom section is a cocksure prancing silver unicorn — the fleur de lis (the royal tressure) and the unicorn (the Scottish national animal) both being closely related to Scottish history and tradition. Together, all of these elements comprise the Jacobite obsession/dream of one day crowning a new Jacobite King or Queen of Scotland. Finally, the traditional St. Andrew’s saltire or crux decussata gives way to the glittering sword / scepter of glorious resurrection — of both St. Andrew and the Jacobite dream … never again to be subordinate, tortured, enslaved, murdered or otherwise “crucified”.

Alba gu bràth!

Details from the painting:

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“Sunrise in early Spring”, 90 x 65 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

“Sunrise in early Spring” is a self-explanatory geometric/abstract oil painting on canvas inspired by the hints of Spring sunshine appearing already at the end of February — a doorway of Light predicting a new seasonal awakening.

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“The lone moose at Sunset”, 90 x 65 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

The lone moose at sunset is a classic Norwegian motive that was popular in inexpensive kitsch paintings until the end of the 1970s. These paintings allude to typical Norwegian nature-romanticism, including the moose, afternoon/evening sun, pine forest, small forest ponds, and the quiet drama of the sunset that is bigger than Life. They are no longer found in each and every home and vacation cabin. Here I have re-introduced this iconic image in a modern color field context — emphasizing the dramatic elements of the all pervading sunset; and here suggesting the mystical qualities of the Northern Lights, a raging forest inferno and at once the quiet comfort and warmth of a fireplace. The lone moose disappears in the shadowy magnificent glow.

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“Ne me quitte pas”, oil on canvas, 65 x 90 cm., 2016-2020 is an abstract geometric painting inspired by Jacques Brel’s famous love song, and its imagined personal history. Here his plea — Ne me quitte pas (Don’t leave me) — is scrawled on a blackboard in the mathematics classroom (an arena where the follies of hopeful youthfulness/adolescence meet up with the scientific rigours of deciding if a problem has zero, multiple or perhaps one solution only).

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“Talking heads / Social media”, 90 x 65 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020, is all about “the buzz” (slander, lies, cheating, hate and trolling, #hatersgonnahate, #americafirst, #metoo etc.) in black and white.

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“Faceless animus”, 65 x 90 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020, asks us how much we really know another person, and how much we really want to know about who they really are — the stereotypical/racial countenance … or the faceless animus that lies behind it?

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“Le jeune homme et La Mort”, 65×90 cm., installation de peinture: huile sur toile et filet de camouflage, Adam Donaldson Powell, 2016-2020.

This discovery of mine regarding Cocteau and his “Le jeune homme et la mort” made me quite enraged with the man, and with how he used his art to get revenge. I went through a long process, at the end of which I decided to reinterpret his theme and create a modern version of “Le jeune homme et la mort”. Just to illustrate my thinking throughout this process, I have included quite a bit of diary notes — in my own halting French and in English. In a way, they are an important part of this art installation piece.

L’histoire :
https://adam-donaldson-powell.blog/2017/11/06/le-jeune-homme-et-la-mort/

LE JEUNE HOMME ET LA MORT.

“Redéfinir l’interprétation de Cocteau de «Le jeune homme et la mort»:
Aujourd’hui, j’ai enfin pu mettre la dernière couche de textures sur ma peinture en cours: «Le jeune homme et la mort» – il représente un ordre violent et hasardeux; chaos mental blanchi à la chaux avec la conviction de purification et avec des marques d’automutilation … la dépression tourbillonnant avec des atonalites rythmiques tellement écrasante que l’électricité bleue des impulsions et des courants est étouffée par un énorme oreiller blanc qui donne une impression générale de calme et contrôle – tant que l’on suit religieusement chaque respiration. C’est une atmosphère de beauté violente; l’environnement intérieur qui lave et consume toutes les perceptions du monde extérieur, nous pousse à l’ultime acte de correction et de gloire: le suicide. La blancheur de la dépression est la lumière au bout du tunnel de la mort – promesse de renaissance, nouvelle virginité et ultime séduction. Les dalles épaisses de peinture représentent les murs de boue que nous érigeons pour nous garder en sécurité dans nos cocons – notre forteresse. La dépression ne concerne pas la tristesse, mais plutôt la construction de notre château dans les cieux, où notre indifférence au succès et à l’échec peut enfin s’épanouir. Nirvana. Ici, la mort n’est pas une femme, mais la propre psyché du jeune homme. La vision misogyne de Cocteau sera blanchie au néant, et exposée comme un vide qui se déguiserait en auto-victimisation masculine. Une fois que les nombreuses couches de peinture à l’huile sont complètement sèches, je vais couvrir la peinture minimaliste avec filet de camouflage ; qui forceront le spectateur à vouloir regarder les désagréments dans les images. Regarder sous le voile et ensuite s’identifier suffisamment dans le Mental pour pouvoir chercher le voile de Vide qui est sous le voile. Bien sûr, personne ne veut vraiment connaître la dépression d’une autre personne – surtout s’il est suicidaire. Nous combattons tous la même dépression et le néant. C’est seulement une pensée loin. Le résultat sera une peinture de sculpture en deux dimensions. Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau était très talentueux, très courageux, très “gay”, très célèbre … et très misogyne. Seuls les malheureux ou les idiots seraient heureux de le mettre en colère.” (Adam Donaldson Powell, Décembre 2017)

Le jeune homme et la mort

“Dans un atelier, un jeune homme seul attend. Entre la jeune fille qui était cause de sa détresse. Il s’élance vers elle, elle le repousse, il la supplie, elle l’insulte, le bafoue et s’enfouit. Il se pend. La chambre s’envole. Ne reste que le corps du pendu. Par les toits, la mort arrive en robe de bal. Elle ôte son masque : c’est la jeune fille. Alors elle pose son masque sur le visage de sa victime. Ensemble, ils s’en vont par les toits.”

— Jean Cocteau»

Plus de soixante-dix ans se sont écoulés depuis que ce travail a eu sa première mondiale. Et l’idée me hante toujours. L’histoire est trop mince … un cliché inverse conçu pour choquer. La femme qui triche a la froideur d’un homme, et l’homme désespéré (le cocu) se pendent comme la femme demande. L’ironie est qu’un certain nombre d’hommes aujourd’hui se suicident après l’infidélité ou le divorce de leur femme. Mais quoi d’autre est derrière ce suicide? Il y a sûrement des problèmes de dépression et de relation au sein de l’homme avant ce développement? La femme était-elle vraiment responsable de sa mort? L’infidélité d’une autre personne est-elle vraiment la cause du suicide – ou est-ce simplement un symptôme, le résultat d’une illusion de longue date qui ne peut plus être nié? N’est-ce pas une autre expression de la misogynie à l’époque du romantisme? Et comment puis-je recréer cette histoire / peinture – pénétrant davantage dans la psyché du jeune homme – bien au-delà de cette femme représentant la mort, qui peut si facilement être blâmée?

C’est la même chose pour les deux ou tous les sexes (il y en a plus de deux maintenant). Parce que la dépression et le suicide sont des sujets tabous, je veux forcer le public à s’engager à regarder et à marcher à l’intérieur du tableau. Ces problèmes doivent être normalisés – comme le cancer et d’autres syndromes et maladies de style de vie.

“Il est important de comprendre et d’accepter simplement que toutes nos expériences passées, qu’elles soient joyeuses ou tristes, continuent à nous accompagner tout au long de notre vie et affectent considérablement la façon dont nous nous sentons aujourd’hui. Les problèmes ne peuvent que déclencher des sentiments d’insécurité, de honte, d’envie ou de vengeance si nous nions qu’ils font partie de nous. Être submergé par de tels sentiments dans les situations les plus difficiles nous oblige à les reconnaître et à les intégrer consciemment en tant que parties naturelles de notre psyché. Ce n’est qu’alors que nous serons en mesure de développer une acceptation aimante de nous-mêmes avec tous nos défauts et insuffisances.”(astro.com)

Comme je le dis toujours, beaucoup de fiction est plus factuelle que ce que les lecteurs réalisent. Cocteau était très misogyne et sa fascination pour vouloir un fils, sa colère quand la femme de son choix (la princesse Natalie Paley) l’a rejeté: il a dit que les femmes étaient «les tueuses des enfants de poètes», les suicides dans sa vie, et ainsi de suite – indiquent ses problèmes psychologiques au travail dans cette histoire.

THE YOUNG MAN AND DEATH.

“Redefining Cocteau’s interpretation of “The young man and death”:
Today, I was finally able to put the last layer of textures on my current painting: “The young man and death” – it represents a violent and hazardous order; whitewashed mental chaos with the conviction of purification and with cutting knife marks of self-harm … and swirling depression with so many overwhelming rhythmic atonalites that the blue electricity of pulses and currents are stifled by a huge blanketing whiteness that gives a general impression of calm and control – as long as we follow each breath religiously. It is an atmosphere of violent beauty; the inner environment that cleanses and consumes all the perceptions of the outside world which drives us to the ultimate act of correction and glory: suicide. The whiteness of depression is the light at the end of the tunnel of death – promise of rebirth, new virginity and ultimate seduction. The thick slabs of paint represent the mud walls we erect to keep ourselves safe in our cocoons – in our fortress. Depression does not concern sadness, but rather the construction of our castle in heaven, where our indifference to success and failure can finally flourish. Nirvana. Here, death is not a woman, but the young man’s own psyche. The misogynistic vision of Cocteau will be whitewashed and exposed as a void that disguises itself as male self-victimization. Once the many layers of oil paint are completely dry, I will cover the minimalist painting with camouflage netting, this in order to force the viewer to want to look at the discomfort in the pictures. To look under the veil and then to identify oneself sufficiently in the Mind to be able to look for the veil of Emptiness that is under the veil. Of course, no one really wants to know about another person’s depression – especially if they are suicidal. We are all fighting the same depression and nothingness. It’s only a thought away. The result will be a two-dimensional sculpture painting. Jean Maurice Eugene Clement Cocteau was very talented, very brave, very “gay”, very famous … and very misogynistic. Only the unfortunate or idiots would be stupid enough to try to make him angry.” (Adam Donaldson Powell, December 2017)

“The young man and death In a workshop, a young man alone is waiting. In comes the girl who was the cause of his distress. He rushes towards her, she pushes him away, he begs her, she insults him, scoffs at him and tells him to go hang himself. He hangs himself. Only the body of the hanged man remains. Through the roofs, death then returns in a prom dress. She takes off her mask: it’s the girl. So she puts her mask on the face of her victim. Together, they go through the roofs.”
— Jean Cocteau

More than seventy years have passed since this work had its world premiere. And the idea still haunts me. The story is too thin … a cheap shot designed to shock. The cheating woman has the coldness of a man, and the desperate man (the cuckold) hang himself as the woman demands. The irony is that a number of men today commit suicide after their wife’s infidelity or divorce. But what else is behind this suicide? Surely there are problems of depression and relationship within man before this development? Was the woman really responsible for his death? Is the infidelity of another person really the cause of suicide – or is it just a symptom, the result of a long-standing illusion that can no longer be denied? Is not this another expression of misogyny in the age of Romanticism? And how can I recreate this story / painting – penetrating more into the young man’s psyche – far beyond this woman representing death, who can so easily be blamed?

It’s the same for both or all genders (there are more than two now). Because depression and suicide are taboo subjects, I want to force the public to commit to watching and walking inside the painting. These problems need to be normalized – like cancer and other syndromes and lifestyle diseases.

“It is important to understand and simply accept that all our past experiences, whether joyful or sad, continue to accompany us throughout our lives and greatly affect the way we feel today. Problems can only trigger feelings of insecurity, shame, envy or revenge if we deny that they are part of us. To be overwhelmed by such feelings in the most difficult situations requires us to recognize them and consciously integrate them as natural parts of our psyche. Only then will we be able to develop a loving acceptance of ourselves with all our flaws and shortcomings.” — from www. astro.com

As I always say, a lot of fiction is more factual than readers realize. Cocteau was very misogynistic and obsessed with wanting a son, and had great anger when the woman of his choice (Princess Natalie Paley) rejected him: he said that women were “the killers of poets’ children”, there had been many suicides in his life, and so on – all of which indicate his psychological problems at work in this story.

With Nureyev in the title role:

And with Barishnikov (from “White Nights”): HERE!

Read about Gustave Moreau’s painting “The Young Man and Death” HERE!

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Vertigo, 40×40 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

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Video game shooting gallery.

Video game shooting gallery, 50×50 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020. Description: In an age when oil paintings have little chance of competing with the internet, television and video games, I decided to paint an abstract depiction of a video game shooting gallery against a concrete background — no penetration.

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Emotional aftermath.

Les soirées de Nazelles, 50×50 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

My piano instructor John Ranck plays “Les soirées de Nazelles”, by Poulenc:

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Spring becoming Summer, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Nightfall – with Winter giving way to Spring, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Equilibrium, oil on canvas, 50x50 cm., 2016-2020.

Equilibrium, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Reflection, oil on canvas, 50x50 cm., 2016.

Reflection, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Geometric gossip, 40x40 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

Geometric gossip, 40×40 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020.

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Democracy by gun, oil on canvas, 100x80 cm., 2016-2020.

Democracy by gun – We the People, oil on canvas, 100×80 cm., 2016-2020.

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Tale of three colour fields (front view), oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm., 2016-2020.

Tale of three colour fields (front view), oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm., 2016-2020.

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Emptiness giving birth to Nothingness, oil on canvas, 100x80 cm.

Emptiness giving birth to Nothingness, oil on canvas, 100×81 cm., 2016-2020.

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Deconstructed pond, oil on canvas, 40x40 cm., 2016-2020.

Deconstructed pond, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020.

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Playa del Postiguet (Alicante), oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020.

Playa del Postiguet (Alicante), 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020, Oil on canvas — in private collection; unavailable.

Check out this great YouTube video by Jacek Zarzycki of a walk on the Postiguet beach:

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Here is a side view of

“Flurry”, note the superimposed painted canvas cut-outs hanging over the flat surface, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm., 2016-2020. Oil on canvas — in private collection; unavailable.

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Horizon, oil on canvas, 40x40 cm., 2016-2020

Horizon, oil on canvas, 40×40 cm., 2016-2020

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Twilight, oil on canvas, 40x40 cm.

Twilight, oil on canvas, 40×40 cm., 2016-2020.

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Hands.

“Hands”, 30×30 cm., oil and charcoal on cardboard, 2016-2020.

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Sunset_colourfield

Sunset reflecting through Venetian blinds, onto wooden floor, 2016-2020.

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Floating_shards

Floating shards, 56 x 46 cm., oil on canvas with foil, 2016-2020.

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Aged stone (Oil on styrofoam), 2016-2020.

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“A Wrist Cutter’s Glow”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020

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Portal to Eternity, No. 1 (Oil on canvas — in private collection; unavailable), 2016-2020.

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Portal to Eternity, No. 2 (Oil on canvas), 2016-2020.

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Portal_No.3

Portal to Eternity, No. 3 (Oil on canvas — in private collection; unavailable), 2016-2020.

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Meteors in the night, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020

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White night no. 1

“White night no. 1”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020

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“Avalanche”, oil on canvas, 80 x 80 cm., 2016-2020

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“RAW”, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020

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Ascension, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020

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GonePrimal

Gone primal, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020

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Bokstavelig talt (literally speaking), oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm., 2016-2020

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E is greater than mc2, oil on canvas, 40×40 cm., 2016-2020

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goth

Goth, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm., 2016-2020

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Vortex (Oil on canvas), 2016-2020.

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Not seeing the forest for the trees.

Not seeing the forest for the trees, oil on canvas/mixed media, 60×50 cm., 2016-2020

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“Tribute to Mars: The Great Source and Center”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2016-2020

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“Being = Nothingness”, 40×40 cm., oil on canvas, 2016-2020. NB. “Being = Nothingness” is my interpretation of Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness” in the style of Malevich (Russian Suprematism). Layer upon layer of white paint with shadows and reflections, eventually consolidating the monotony into two extremes of existence masquerading as seemingly identical apparitions in a flash of Light. This is just the latest in several paintings over the years where I have re-interpreted Malevich’s “White on White” masterpiece (from 1918).

NB. I personally consider Kazimir Malevich’s “White on white” painting to be a masterly work of art-philosophical genius. Read more about this iconic painting HERE!

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See several of Adam’s paintings on

SAATCHI ART

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And here is a quick recap/overview of my recent paintings and of my published books. For more information, please see the next pages of this blog.

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Welcome to Adam Angel’s World!

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My two latest published books:

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SHORT AUTHOR BIO:

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL (Norway) is a multilingual author, literary critic, and art photography critic; and a professional visual artist. He has published several literary books (including collections of poetry, short stories, and novellas, two science fiction novels, a biography, and a collection of essays) in the USA, Norway and India; as well as numerous works in international literary publications on several continents. He writes in English, Spanish, French and Norwegian. He has previously authored theatrical works performed onstage, and he has read his poetry at venues in New York City (USA), Oslo (Norway), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Kathmandu (Nepal). His book “Gaytude” (co-authored with Albert Russo) won the 2009 National Indie Excellence Award in the category gay/lesbian non-fiction. Powell was also the winner of the Azsacra International Poetry Award in 2008, and the recipient of a Norwegian Foreign Ministry travel stipend for authors in 2005. Powell also took initiative to planning and organizing the “Words – one path to peace and understanding” international literary festival in Oslo, Norway in 2008. He has been an author under the Cyberwit label since 2005, and he has published 13 literary books since 1987.

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL – WIKIPEDIA NORGE

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Under the Shirttails of Albert Russo: an alternative biography, l’Aleph — Sweden, ISBN 978-91-7637-401-6, © Wisehouse 2017, Sweden.

Entre Nous et Eux: contes de fées pour adultes, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-93-85945-77-9, © 2017, India.

Jisei: death poems and daily reflections by a person with AIDS”, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-403-2, © 2013, India.

The tunnel at the end of time” (co-written with Rick Davis and Azsacra Zarathustra), Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-160-4, © 2010, India.

Malerier og fotokunst, a short 38-page retrospective overview of some of Adam Donaldson Powell’s best known oil paintings and photographic art works”. Published by Cyberwit.net as a special limited and numbered full-color, soft cover edition (55 copies only), ISBN 978- 81-8253-154-3, India, © 2009.

GAYTUDE: a poetic journey around the world, co-authored together with Albert Russo 1[1], bilingual (French and English), gay poetry, 334 pages, Xlibris, ISBN 978-1-4363-6395-2, 2009, USA 6 [2].

2014: the life and adventures of an incarnated angel, 135 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-118-5, 2008, India.

Critical Essays, literary and photobook criticism by Adam Donaldson Powell and Dr. Santosh Kumar 2[3], 108 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-110-9, 2008, India.

Le Paradis (Paradise), 80 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-103-1, 2008, India. Inkluderer bilag med symboler fra Universelle Lysspråket, som opplevd av Laila Holand.

Rapture: endings of space and time (86 pages), Cyberwit,net, ISBN 978-81-8253-083-6, 2007, India.

Three-legged Waltz, (80 pages), Cyberwit.net, ISBN 81-8253-058-X, 2006, India.

Collected Poems and Stories, (175 pages), Cyberwit.net, ISBN 81-8253-028-8, 2005, India.

Arcana and other archetypes, (special limited edition – hardback collection of poetry), AIM Chapbooks ANS, 2001, Norway (now out-of-print).

Notes of a Madman, (hardback collection of poetry), Winston-Derek Publishers, Inc., 1987, ISBN 1-55523-054-7, USA (now out-of-print).


CHECK IT OUT:

And here is a quick recap/overview of my recent paintings and of my published books. For more information, please see the next pages of this blog.

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MY AMAZON.COM AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

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MY CYBERWIT.NET AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

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SEE MY MOST RECENT PAINTINGS HERE!
NB. KEEP RETURNING TO THIS PAGE FOR NEW ADDITIONS —
COMING SOON: 18 études abstraites en miniature
(18 abstract studies, in miniature)

Be certain to visit my SaatchiArt blog as well:

🔘 Adam Donaldson Powell’s paintings on Saatchi Art

 

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Spiritual and ceremonial jewellery channeled and designed by Adam Donaldson Powell.

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Atlantis Ritual Bracelet, silver and gold, with symbols from the Universal Language of Light.

Atlantis Ritual Bracelet, silver and gold, with symbols from the Universal Language of Light.

Lemuria Ritual Necklace, silver, gold and brass, with precious and semi- precious stones.

Lemuria Ritual Necklace, silver, gold and brass, with precious and semi- precious stones.

Nepali Necklace, turquoise, lapis lazuli and silver.

Nepali Necklace, turquoise, lapis lazuli and silver.

“TRANSFORMATION PENDANT”: design channeled by Adam Donaldson Powell, in silver and gold with aquamarine. Note the Eye of Horus and the Six-pointed Star (symbolizing that there are many ways to God/Enlightenment but that all are based upon Wisdom) and the “A”-tone as the mantra device.

To My Beloved (my Sufi poems).

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three more beautiful poems by Rumi (13th century):

milkface

jiseilarge

Ahhhh …

Tonight this dervish shall

embrace the Wine Seller,

and dance

in the flames of drunkenness

with my Lover.

magickalgarden1

qaddasa Allahu sirrahu …

I too smell the perfume, Master,

and I am not far behind you.

We shall soon kneel together

within the joyous breaths

of ecstatic sleep.

alif … dal … mim …

Verily, I am … Adam.

pottedplants1

i am but a liar,

my Lover.

i promise to stay,

but you know i

will often forsake You.

i swear to friends and family

that i will bid them “farewell”,

but i will steal my way back to you

in silence, My Beloved …

like a thief in the night.

bowlofshells

i can sense the sweet Essence

of My Beloved long before

i reach His embrace.

there is no room for

anything but our love,

and time is both

nonexistent and eternal.

keys

i am drunk with

infatuation for you,

my Lover.

i pray that tonight

will be the night

that never ends.

sunsetoveroslo

last night, My Beloved

took me to the cinema.

he showed me an action film

where i was the main character.

against insurmountable odds,

i miraculously conquered the relentless

huntress Mortality, and

survived to meet yet another day.

early this morning,

My Beloved and i

sat together and rejoiced

over the divinity of the human process.

and — at this moment — i humbly embrace

the Mystery of a new dawn.

clouds over oslo-7

i am not a man, and

i am not a woman.

i am not gay, straight or bi;

i am neither meek nor strong,

and my skin is colorless.

i am but the wind blowing gently

through the tresses of My Beloved …

aspiring to become the simple caress

of divine essence: the breath

of Oneness.

Påske-11

lost in the assertion that

there is no god but God,

the drunken darwish is

rendered ecstatic by the

soma of perfection …

“La ‘ilaha ‘illa-llah …

‘illa-llah … Allah!” …

thus, through the magic of Dhikr,

does the Serpent

unite with the Regenerative Spirit

and transgress the mundane.

the secrets of the

unwritten runes within

the eye of the triangle

are deciphered solely through

meditations of the heart;

and the rays of initiation

illumine the paths

of those led by

nothing more than

the promise of Salt.

Bjørndal in summer 2012

Ishq Allah, Ma ‘bud Allah!

my qualifications as a Sufi are tested

at each and every moment.

call me instead: a madman of God.

clouds over oslo-14

I am off to a party

with My Beloved!

Virus has insisted upon

tagging along, and he

will surely invite his

sordid friends

Life and Death;

but My Beloved and I

will be lost in our own

private celebration

in the Wine Cellar,

and we cannot

be distracted.

This happy darwish

shall whirl and dance

in ecstasy — for an

eternal night of Love.

nordic-sun

when the illusions

(Life, Death, Virus) fall away —

then, My Beloved!

bowlofrocks

a lifetime of seeking to expose

the veil behind the veil

has not led me any closer

to cognitive understanding

of the rawness of life,

the mysteries of the universe,

or the whimsical journeys

of incarnated souls.

while i truly cannot believe

in that which i cannot see,

i am learning that true vision

has little to do with my eyes.

the Essence of God is

permanently engraved into

my heart: Allahu!

it is there that i sit,

together with My Beloved:

smiling and holding hands

while the bombs of fear, greed,

selfishness, egotism, anger, virus,

hatred, apathy and war-making

continuously explode …

all around us.

and i sing my only prayer, over

and over again, while tears

of joy stream down my cheeks:

“La ‘ilaha ‘illa-llah …

‘illa-llah … Allah!” …

carpet

when i one day

return to My Beloved

it will not be with

bitterness in my heart,

but with humbleness for

the extraordinary learning

this life has afforded me.

i have far fewer answers

than i had before

my life with the virus,

but the wealth of new

questions i have learned

to pose gives me a richer

understanding of Enlightenment.

floatingframe

Excerpted from JISEI

Allah hu …

PsychedelicAdam

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Excerpts from the book: “Adam Donaldson Powell: The Making of a Poet”, by Dr. Santosh Kumar.

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QUOTE:

“There is no doubt that Powell, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Delmore Schwartz are the most talented American poets of the modern age.” — Dr. Santosh Kumar, Allahabad University, 2010, from his book entitled: Adam Donaldson Powell: the making of a poet.

ABOVE QUOTE FROM A BOOK BY DR. SANTOSH KUMAR, INDIA:
“Adam Donaldson Powell: The Making of a Poet”, a critical analysis of the published works of Adam Donaldson Powell. Order the book from Cyberwit.net: NOW!

A FEW EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK:

CHAPTER ONE

The Cretan Myths in Collected Poems and Stories:
An Interpretation by Adam Donaldson Powell

Powell’s “Daedalus: an ancient epic for modern man” is “an epic reconstruction of the Cretan myths” (Powell 83). The question arises why Powell is employing the mythical mode in his poetry. Through symbolic means and Cretan myths Powell is trying to control “what is fearful and challenging within the self and the universe” (Feder 52). No doubt, the use of myth has therapeutic significance, as the use of myths by a poet has the “potential to contain violent and irrational forces that would otherwise be unleashed destructively” (Acheson 151). This shows that Powell is searching a new positive ideal to supply his spiritual needs. In the period of Romanticism, Daedalus came to denote the classic artist, a skilled mature craftsman, while Icarus symbolized the romantic artist, an undisputed prototype of the classic artist, whose impetuous, passionate and rebellious nature, as well as his defiance of formal aesthetic and social conventions, may ultimately prove to be self-destructive. Stephen Dedalus, in Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man envisages his future artist-self “a hawklike man flying above the waves”.

Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, suggests that Daedalus constructed the Labyrinth so cunningly that he himself could barely escape it after he built it (Quoted in Penelope 36). Daedalus built the labyrinth for King Minos, who needed it to imprison his wife’s son the Minotaur. The story is told that Poseidon had given a white bull to Minos so that he might use it as a sacrifice. Instead, Minos kept it for himself; and in revenge, Poseidon made his wife Pasiphaë lust for the bull. For Pasiphaë, Daedalus also built a wooden cow in which the queen hid herself so she could mate with the bull. She is the emblem of grotesque bestiality and the shocking excesses of female sensuality and deceit:

The creature,
Though unstirred by the Beauty of her dark curls,
Flawless skin and painted eyes,
Is completely transformed
In disposition by
The bovine façade
Of his own illusion.
(Seduction of the Beast 97)

The sole motive of her god-given lust is “womanly revenge / Through bitterness and degradation” (Pasiphae 94).

Pound aptly says, “There ought to be an active literature for if its literature be not active, a nation will die at the top (4-5).” Like T. S. Eliot and Pound, Powell too feels that poetry now requires a new outlook. Edwin Muir observes: “To Eliot and Pound around 1910 poetry seemed to have come to a dead end, and intense thought had to be given to it” (16). Powell in his modern interpretation of the Cretan myths has done a great service to the cause of poetry. Icarus was guilty of what the Greeks called “hubris”, or pride. He forgot that he was a mortal man and felt like he was a god, because he could fly. He forgot himself so far, that he flew too high and close to the sun’s burning rays, and the wax melted from his wings, causing him to plunge to his death by drowning. This may be compared to the myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the sun to give it to men. His punishment was to be chained to a rock and “to have vultures gnaw at his innards.” Once again, a mortal man had dared to aspire to the power of the gods, and suffered the consequences.
By request of King Minos, Daedalus built a labyrinth on Crete to contain a monster called the Minotaur, half bull and half man. Later, for displeasing the king, Daedalus and his son Icarus were both confined in this labyrinth, which was so complex that even its creator could not find his way out. Powell aptly states:

But, for every inspiration
Of genius there is an
Accompanying consequence of ignorance;
and so it is that
He who constructs a labyrinth
Must invariably suffer confinement
Within the limits of karmic mortality
(Prologue 2: Chorus 88)

It appears that for Powell labyrinth is a symbol of hard path to God, and a meditative state as we forget the external world while walking among the turnings and intricate maze. A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth, “the intricate structure of / interconnecting passages” (Labyrinth 100) represents a journey to our own center to “suffer confinement”. Powell adds that the “confinement” or self-imposed exile of an artist should be “Within the limits of karmic mortality” so that the creative artist is again out into the world. Powell is perhaps reminding us that Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. A labyrinth is an archetype with which we can have a direct experience. We can walk it. It is a metaphor for life’s journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to “That Which Is Within.”

Instead, Daedalus fashioned wings of wax and feathers so that he and his son could escape. He tells his son Icarus that he “feared mediocrity / More than imbalance. / For us, challenge was but / The means of attaining individuality; / A space unto ourselves” (“Daedalus 3: Elegy” 117). The most significant thing is “Excellence through solitude” (IBID). When Icarus flew too high — too near the sun — in spite of his father”s warnings, his wings melted, and he fell into the sea and drowned. His more cautious father flew to safety. By using this myth in his collection Collected Poems and Stories Powell reveals that Daedalus murdered his nephew Talus “in a fit of jealousy” (Powell 83). Daedalus’s soliloquy makes it clear: “You see, Talus- / I had no alternative but To do what I did” (“Murder at the Acropolis” 90).

Daedalus, the legendary artificer, has “cognizant, scientific mind” (“Daedalus 1: Escape from Athens” 91). Daedalus symbolizes classical artist different from his son Icarus, who represents romantic liberalism in art. With his wings of wax, Icarus tries to fly too high near the sun and pays the price, but a cautious Daedalus survives. Powel is suggesting that in the modern age all of us are caught in a maze, just as his Daedalus was. This is due to “foolish boasting of youth’ (“Rage: Daedalus” 89). The cultural institutions are a maze of corridors; postmodern writing is a maze of ‘no-man’s land’. A contemporary poet’s mind itself is a convoluted maze filled with ambition to achieve “the glory of invention” (“Prologue 2: Chorus” 88).

Life poses riddles at every turn for a creative artist with “inspiration of genius” (ibid). The only way out seems to be to soar above the “confinement”, as did Daedalus and his son. “Social acceptability and custom” (“Daedalus 1: Escape from Athens” 91) obstructs a creative artist, but he must fly high. “Pathetic empiricism” (“Ad Infinitum” 126), flight and fall seems to be the destiny of genius. Powell puts it most convincingly:

The carnage is reflected incessantly
Through the hall of mirrors that
We call history, for behind every
Great lust for significance lurks
A Daedalus
(Ad Infinitum 126)

Powell feels that an artist soars like Daedalus – “We soared like eagles” (“Daedalus 3 : Elegy” 117)- to escape restraints imposed by social and cultural institutions to find his own identity and spiritual awakening. No doubt, Powell provides a new interpretation to an ancient myth, which inspired Roman poet Ovid in his Metamorphoses and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

The didactic character of the myth of Icarus is obvious: the recklessness and thoughtlessness of young men who ignore the advice and experience of their parents, and their elders and betters in general, may have catastrophic effects on their lives. There are rules and laws to be obeyed. Icarus was asked not to fly close to the sun. Powell is suggesting that he was guilty of “hubris” or pride, and therefore he lost his life. While flying close to the sun, wax melted from his wings causing his death. This may be compared with Prometheus myth. Prometheus stole fire to give it to man. He was chained to a rock. Powell’s interpretation is that one should respect one’s limits and act accordingly. Also, there must be measure and balance in all our lives. Neither too high near the sun, nor too low near the sea, Daedalus counselled, but Icarus paid no heed and his immoderation cost him his life.

Minotaur symbolizes hell or state repression. In the contemporary context, it is the symbol of fire and terrorism consuming all of us. Picasso felt that Minotaur is a symbol of contemporary decadence. Powell’s “Birth of the Minotaur” makes it clear that Minotaur’s birth is a manifestation of “a new Hell”:

Suddenly, the screams of one thousand
Sirens decry the final exodus of the
Monstrous incubus, and within the
Silence that ensues a new
Hell is borne
In the shape of the
Minotaur.
(98)

Powell’s wise interpretation is that Minotaur is nothing but our uncontrollable lusts. Seven youths for the monster to eat symbolize seven energy centres (Chakras) being eaten by our selfishness and egoism. The Minotaur is our inner adversary, our egoism eating our seven Chakras of vitality. We need Theseus, our own Guardian Angel to cleanse the maze and labyrinth of confusion wrought by our own egoism. In our contemporary world we need Theseus who “Embarks the waiting ship / Without once looking back” (103) to bring us into the light by killing Minotaur. Theseus “Kneeling in silent supplication / To the celestial guardians / Of love and beauty” (107) will certainly destroy Minotaur and escape alive. No doubt about this, as Theseus recovers the gold ring hurled by Minos into the ocean:

Tension was keen amongst the spectators
As all anxiously awaited the questionable
Resurgence of Theseus from the aqueous depths.
But doubt soon turned to astonishment as the
Beloved son of Poseidon defiantly resurfaced
Onto the starboard deck sporting a wry smile,
A golden ring and a gilded wreath of lilies
Bequeathed him by the fair mermaid Amphitrite.
(“Miracle 2: The Ring”, 106)

We can hope to be rescued from the Labyrinth only by Theseus- Christ. Jo Edkins’ interpretation of Labyrinth is remarkable: “Certainly many people have felt that a maze is a good symbol for life itself. A branching maze presents you with choices every so often. You can take a wrong turn, or there may be two paths which join up again, all of which mirror life itself. A unicursal maze also can represent life. We are born, we all die, and in between we travel the path of life which twists and turns, often in a bewildering way. We cannot see ahead, and the past is gone. When we reach the centre of our maze of life, we die.”

The Minotaur was a monster, half man, half bull, who ate men. He was born to the wife of King Minos of Crete. Minos told Daedalus, the inventor, to build a house that was so complicated that the Minotaur would never escape from it, so Daedalus built the Labyrinth. King Minos had a vast empire, and as a tribute he had people sent to feed to the Minotaur. They were driven into the Labyrinth, and wandered around, lost, until the Minotaur found them.

Part of King Minos’ empire was Athens, in Greece. The son of the king of Athens was Theseus, a hero. He was so angry that Athenian people were being killed in this way that he volunteered to go. Powell’s poem AEGEUS reveals the pathos inherent in the whole incident as Aegeus is quite despondent due to his only son’s departure:

The swollen eyes of
Both men rain a
Sprinkling of teardrops
In bidding of courage
And divine favor.
(103)

Anthony Stevens describes how Ariadne helped Theseus: “In Crete, Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos, fell in love with Theseus, and told him how to find his way through the Labyrinth. She gave him a thread, with one end tied to the door of the Labyrinth. Theseus could unwind the thread as he tried to find the Minotaur. When he wished to return, he could follow the thread back again, rewinding it as he went. Ariadne also gave Theseus a sword. He went in, found the Minotaur and killed him. Then he returned, and fled from Crete with Ariadne and the rest of the Athenians” (Ariadne’s Clue: A Guide to the Symbols of Humankind, pp xii).

Fiona Ross aptly remarks that Theseus was hero enough to slay the Minotaur but without Ariadne’s thread to guide him he would never have found his way back through the labyrinth. In fact, we should find our own Ariadne and hence negotiate our own path through the labyrinth of the psychoid.

In more recent times, classical themes have been reinterpreted by dramatists Jean Anouilh, Jean Cocteau, and Jean Giraudoux in France, Eugene O’Neill in America, and T. S. Eliot in Britain and by novelists such as James Joyce and André Gide. Plato created his own allegorical myths (such as the vision of Er in the Republic), attacked the traditional tales of the gods’ tricks, thefts and adulteries as immoral, and objected to their central role in literature. Plato’s criticism was the first serious challenge to the Homeric mythological tradition, referring to the myths as “old wives’ chatter”.

The depth of Powell’s thought is visible in the following lines full of earnestness and sincerity:
There is no escape from Time or prophecy Except in the play of the mind.
And yet in denial of death
Lay forfeiture of Salvation.

Powell in the above lines is suggesting that the highest summit and perpetual light of “salvation” is possible only if we are not afraid of death. We must rather fix our eyes to converse with the divine and immortal “play of the mind.”

Apart from the poems based on the Cretan myths, Powell shows a tendency to an intellectual comment on the ills lurking within us. This device we find in his poem The Devil:
Yes. Beware Of darkness ..
And beware Of mirrors ..
But most of all
Beware
Of the devil
(24-25)

Maria Cristina Azcona rightly comments:
“The most beautiful piece, to my understanding, is “The Devil” in which the poet speaks to us, readers, he orders us, he calls our attention, he prevents us of that devil that exists, that is so dangerous sand terrifying. The poet frightens us with the Devil playing “To hide and to find” games, petrifying us with its threatening and unknown presence. Creates the climate of fear of a terror story. In a magisterial synthesis, gives an impressive end when he finally finds that devil in ourselves, shocking us and forcing us to recognize the wickedness that lives and hides in our human heart. Here the poet creates a personage, the Devil, that no longer is the famous one but is a real, present phantom, humanized, possible and burning, like the fire of malice in daily life. Originality is a constant in Powell’s poems, a surprising and multifaceted artist who amazes us with his music, his paintings, his poems, his humor and always with his genius. He communicates himself in so many ways and he revives in thousands of kaleidoscopic images…”
(A Guide to Find Peace 124-125)

The above comment is a sign of Maria’s critical insight. Lurking devil is within all of us. The Minotaur, half man with the head of a bull, appears briefly in Dante’s Inferno, Canto 12,11-15, where, picking their way among boulders dislodged on the slope and preparing to enter into the Seventh Circle, Dante and Virgil his guide encounter the beast first among those damned for their violent natures, the “men of blood”. Powell in his poem “Birth of the Minotaur” points out that Minotaur is “a new hell”, and we have to be aware of this Devil.

But “the romance of flesh” needs to be vanquished by “Half-dried ablutions”:

Frozen emotionless by
Half-dried ablutions is
The poetry of endings
Muting into beginnings.
“Rhythm and Tears” 70

Powell emphasizes that ablution is a prerequisite to approaching God and bringing a new beginning. “Thou art justified. Thou art illumined. Thou art sanctified. Thou art washed: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

In his poem “White Roses”, Powell hopes to shape “The lives of others I touch”. The poets are the prophets of God. It is through poetry that all men see the spiritual world. “The poet is the priest of the invisible” (Wallace Stevens).

Friends urge me to go on
With my life and speak of
The treasure of memories and
Shared experiences that have
Made me the unique human
Expression that I have become,
And which will further shape
The lives of others I touch
“White Roses” 82

Most of the poems in Collected Poems (2005) were written about two decades ago. What do these poems reveal? That the spiritual way is the only way to self-knowledge. In the section POETRY CYCLE 4: “Notes of a Madman”, we find Powell’s poems reach deeper. His visionary trances help him in encountering the inner and external realities:

I sally past the contingencies of reality
In pursuit of divine retribution,
And aspire toward that which
Must be accepted on faith alone.
My words warrant neither explanation
Nor restraint,
For the notes of a madman
Are understood by his own kind.
“Notes of a Madman” 127

The main theme of the above lines is Faith, approached from a philosophical point of view. Powell is striving for the essence of spontaneous spiritual process:

” … You will never know yourself until you
become indifferent to the search.”
The jeering laughter of the gull
Shatters my Revelation, triggering
My teeth to chatter in
The now-felt cold.
In vain, I retrace the shoreline
In search of my impressions, but
All existence has been cannibalized
By the froth of the moment.
Truly, my absurdities of perception
Are a source of refuge:
The complacency of the sage
Is the bane of the common man.
“Absurdities of Perception” 134

He has a deep sense of “the Unknown”;

Quite enraptured by my own image
In a mirror of Darkness,
I abandon both reflection and shadow
For a glimpse of the Unknown.
“Mirror of Darkness” 135

Powell is well aware of the predictions of French seer Nostradamus (1503-1566), who had predicted the collapse of the World Trade Centre during September 2001 terrorist attack:

A society of barren undines in
An Elysium of our own fabrication,
We flee the curse of Nostradamus
Through indulgence and invention.
Is it not written that
In the year of man’s redemption,
What were once vices
Will then be customs?
“Anno humanae salutis” 137

The “madman” in the following lines seems to be a Buddhist monk emphasizing the Middle Way and “Great Compassion”:

The vacant smile of the madman
Who finds solace
In the continuum
Of the Great Compassion?
“Agitations of the Heart” 138

Each day the Moon rises in the east and sets in the west as a result of the Earth’s rotation. “The movement of the moon” renews and revitalizes Powell, and it is a spiritual voyage for the poet:

I recede into solitude
Where I hold myself until the
Movement of the moon breaks my sleep,
And lubricates my outer Self anew
With tears of reunion.
“Void of Course” 140

Powell reminds us that without “meditations / Of the heart”, divinity is inconceivable:
It is through meditations
Of the heart that we encounter divinity
“IAO” 142

A soaring passion and ecstasy of intoxicated “darwish” is what the world needs today:
Lost in the assertion that There is no god but God, The drunken darwish is Rendered ecstatic by the Soma of perfection … “la ilaha illa Llah …
illa Llah … Allah!” …
“The Eye of the Triangle” 143

On the twelfth day of Bacchion,
The god of magical grace and rapture
Is summoned from the sea
By those willing to suffer to learn.
“The Coming” 144

In the above passages the moral pattern is quite clear as Powell prefers “faith” to maze and confusion in the brain.

CHAPTER FOUR

Powell and the Ideology of Rapture: endings of space and time

In the poems included in RAPTURE, Powell without any doubt shows the characteristic of universality. Albert Russo aptly comments in his Preface to Powell’s RAPTURE: endings of space and time:
As I have written before, elsewhere, I admire Powell the Renaissance man, Powell the Peace artist, the poet whose verse has a classical beauty which can never be out of fashion, inasmuch as it reflects our harsh and unstable world in which the clash of civilizations has become a terrifying reality, and yet in spite of the dangers, he continues to reach out and absorbs the riches and the variety he discovers in other cultures. In the present case he takes us to the heart of Nepal. His power of piercing to the hidden centres of evil in the globalised world is visible in the opening lines of The Tribulation:

The globalization of
indiscriminate violence
is multiplied to
the power of the sixes,
and the Antichrist
smiles broadly at
the cancerous spreading
of fear and perdition –
rationalized by armies of
self-proclaimed truth.
(19)

“Fear”, “perdition”. “armies of / self-proclaimed truth”-these evils are exposed by Powell with a flawless strength and truth, which raises him to immensely above most of the contemporary authors. The tragedy is that the world is indifferent towards dominantly repugnant decay of civilization:

a macabre procession
matched in passion
only by the
mega tsunamis and
super volcanic
eruptions cataclysmically
creating myriads of
Devil’s Throats
as the reddish-brown
water whirlpools
about the rubble of
once looming
skyscrapers.
Resolutely ..
I rock myself
to inner drunkenness,
quietly humming
Ravel’s Pavane pour
une Infante Défunte.
(20-21)

The music and sweeping speed of the above lines create “the music of a full orchestra”. Powell’s anguish reminds us of W. H Auden’s The Age of Anxiety where we notice according to Berryman’s review, decay of the modern soul, the seven ages of man’s life, the seven stages of some dream-quest, the possibilities of happiness, the alienations of men, the ennuis of America.

His poem “ARMAGEDDON” seems to be written in a state of trance. Especially the later part of the poem has the rapidity of musical lyrics of Shelley or Swinburne (1837-1909).

Whichner aptly comments about Emily Dickinson: “Her delight was to test all conceivable points of view in turn.” This is applicable to Powell’s poetry in Rapture. Like any major poet, Powell offers several view points to save us from the contemporary nightmare. The poem “Ascension” is a mystical response to the modern chaos. Powell evokes an image of “Great Compassion” creating “crystalline light” and “universal vibration”.

Dante’s Purgatorio (XXVI, 147-148) describes the poet’s “pain” in the following way:

‘sovegna vos a temps de ma dolor’.
Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina.

Eliot provided this translation in his essay “Dante” (1929):

‘be mindful in due time of my pain’.
Then dived he back into that fire which refines them.

Powell too is well aware of “the wailing / and mutterings / of the insane” “a macabre procession” (ibid), “Devil’s Throats” (21). How can we keep and save our soul and ideals? Powell in the concluding lines affirms that by a kind of “inner drunkenness” we may hope to survive. His next poem “Requiem” too seems to be a Virgilian cry over the destruction of spiritual values by “eloquent predators” and “opportunists”.

The poet further laments “a now-barren / Landscape devoid of / Romanticism and / Common decency” reminding us of Yeats’ famous lines in THE SECOND COMING:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

We may remember that Yeats was not happy with excess of science and materialism; on the other hand Powell is dismayed by the dangers facing us due to avarice and greed brought by globalization. He pines “For a milder Age that ended / All-too-abruptly.” This is a wonderful poetic expression, philosophic and elegiac both..Yes, Powell is right. We have gone too far and beyond comprehension. Powell concludes his poem :”Requiem” with a note of hope:

Hope that there is more
Meaning to be grasped
For he who holds out
Beyond the bitter end
(22)

In Powell’s poetry we see haunting images of wandering and loss, an exiled poet’s sense of melancholy.. For him the ultimate satisfaction seems to be “Carefully wrapped in unencumbered / Dreams in the style of our ancestors” (“After the Rapture” 17), though there exist “surrealist struggles for survival” (ibid). In his next poem THE FOURTH HORSEMAN also, Powell is well aware of the “ravages of war”:

I have come to accept
the threat of the first horseman,
on his mighty white steed
(18)

The title of this poem THE FOURTH HORSEMAN refers to the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” chapter six of the Book of Revelation. The four horsemen are symbols of Conquest, War, Famine, and Death. They are part of an apocalyptic vision in which God summons and empowers them to wreak divine havoc on the world. The rider of the second horse is War, he will reap judgment in the name of God Himself. He is often taken to represent War. His horse’s color is fiery red. This color, as well as the rider’s possession of a large sword, suggests blood to be spilled on the battlefield (Mounce 140).

Powell fears most the fourth horseman, the symbol of death:

Ironically, I mostly dread
the thieving fourth horseman
who arrives each dawn
on his pale mare and
reclaims from my broken dreams
the yet unlived memories of our love.
(18)

“The color suggests the sickly pallor of a corpse” (Shirley Jackson). Powell seems to be in the midst of the fourth horseman. In fact, each of us is afraid of the fourth horseman that is Death. Shakespeare writes about Death:

The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death.

Measure to Measure Act III Scene 1

The poem REDEEMING SAVIOUR with its evocations of “Christ the Redeemer” moves into the world of prophecy:

Mesmerized by the
Anointing smile of
Christ the Redeemer,
I see a muse
Slow-dancing
With an angel
To the chanting
Of a monk’s choir;
A solemn moment’s
Reprieve from a
Raging sea of cynicism.
And I cling tightly to my
Dream-state while
Tears of joy and recognition
Rock me lovingly back to
True consciousness;
Reminiscent of
Life between lives –
A moment of bliss
Recaptured.
RAPTURE: endings of space and time p. 23

This poem can be comprehended at various levels: as a sacred poem affirming Powell’ faith:

Ironically, I mostly dread
the thieving fourth horseman
who arrives each dawn
on his pale mare and
reclaims from my broken dreams
the yet unlived memories of our love.

In his quest for inner peace, Powell goes first to Christ’s “anointing smile”. This will certainly compensate for the grim contemporary reality and “Raging sea of cynicism”. Some of Powell’s favourite phrases in this poem are “Christ the Redeemer”, “Slow-dancing / With an angel”, “a monk’s choir”, “Tears of joy” leading to “True consciousness” and “A moment of bliss”. Powell’s sacred insight manifests itself in his poem “Gloria”:

Gloria in excélsis Deo!
Alleluia … Alleluia …
Although our backs are broken,
And our wings are tattered;
Our hearts and souls
Will forever sing your praises.
There is only one God,
But the ways to You are many.
Alleluia … Alleluia …
Alleluia … Alleluia …
RAPTURE: endings of space and time p.24

The title with its praise of God, prepares us for a revelation. Powell’s imagination turns inwards and inspires him to utter these prophetic words:

There is only one God,
But the ways to You are many.

There is no difference between Mother Mary and Buddhist Nirvana. “Carrying our esoteric understanding of Mother Mary to a broader level, Mary’s womb is the primal womb, the womb of creation. The womb is the empty space in which life takes form. It is emptiness, formlessness, night, void, nirvana. Mary is all these things in Christian symbolism, just as are all world images of the Divine Feminine. Mary represents the formless void, which burst forth in “light” and form and manifestation” (Granger).

The poem concludes with the joyful praise of God:
Alleluia … Alleluia …
Alleluia … Alleluia …

The Latin title of the poem “Gloria in excelsis Deo” means “Glory to God in the highest”. In his sacred poems Powell reminds us of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets and Ash Wednesday. There seems to be an error of perspective in the comments by Samuel Beckett and Paul Elmer More. Samuel Beckett suggests that Eliot’s work belongs in what the reverse of “T. Eliot” spells. In a 1935 letter to a mutual friend of theirs, Paul Elmer More, Lewis wrote that he considered the work of Eliot to be “a very great evil.” My point will become clear by comparing T. S. Eliot and Powell. The following lines are by T. S. Eliot:

Blessèd sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit
of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated
And let my cry come unto Thee
(Ash Wednesday)

Powell’s use of refrain “Alleluia” makes his religious integrity more convincing than Eliot’s spiritual ordeal in the last line “And let my cry come unto Thee”. It is helpful to remember an important characteristic of Powell as a poet. What Powell is doing in his poetry is to cheer himself whenever there is an uncomfortable experience. He has intimate knowledge of Greek myths, folklore and ancient legends. There is enough of Daedalus, Minnotaur, Thesus and Ariadne in his Collected Poems (2005) to suggest that Powell is in quest of some key to unlock obstinate questionings of life and death in his deepest psyche. In his poems included in RAPTURE (2007) he uses a great number of phrases and images suggesting his passion for spiritual rebirth: “True Will”, “New Order”, “eternal vibrations of the source”, “Great Compassion”, “crystalline Light”, “sacred Mantra”, “dreams in the style of our ancestors”; he dislikes “the thieving fourth horseman”, “the cancerous spreading / of fear and perdition”.

Powell does not use poetic masks , and this makes him quite different from T. S. Eliot who hides behind assumed voices of Prufrock, Gerontion and Tiresias.

RAPTURE also includes Powell’s poems about Nepal, Buddha and the temples. Nepal is a land of temples and stupas and in the valley alone we can find many world’s heritage temples. In India and Nepal both, this nine-day festival is regarded as very auspicious, symbol of prosperity. In his poems about Nepal, Powell has used several Sanskrit words: “Gauri Shankar”, “Durga”, “Vijaya Dashami”, “Namaste”, “Ghatasthapana”, “kalash”, “Tika”, “Fulpati”, “puja”, “Maha Asthami”, “Nawami”, “Dashami”, “Vishwa Karma”, “Laxmi”, “Kal Ratri”, and also two Buddhist Mantras “OM VAJRAPANI HUM..OM VAJRAPANI HUUM” (31), and another famous Buddhist Mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” (36) which means Jewel in the Lotus Hum. T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) too had working knowledge of Sanskrit (he already knew Latin, Greek, French and German). The Waste Land concludes with Sanskrit words:

Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
Shantih shantih shanty

This creates obscurity in the poetry of both Powell and T. S. Eliot. Samuel Beckett too tried to resolve the obscurity in his absurd plays:

“In KRAP’S LAST TAPE …Becket makes use of the tape recorder to demonstrate the elusiveness of human personality….Beckett has found a graphic expression for the problem of the ever changing identity of the self , which he had already described in his essay on Proust. In KRAPP’S LAST TAPE, the self at one moment in time is confronted with it’s earlier incarnation only to find it utterly strange” (Martin).

Powell’s poem “At The Buddhist Temple” derives its direction from the “Great Compassion”. There is a close connection between self- realization and “Vajrayana”. I may add that Vajrayana Buddhism, or highest form of Tantrism, is a form of Buddhist thought that has flourished in northern India and particularly Tibet. Powell evokes image after image of Tibetan Buddhism:

And thus, we step beyond the world outside of worlds
where karma is but a balancing act together with
punya-making, chance, luck and physical laws;
and approach the inner reaches of devotion with
complete individual and collective unity – for
all else belongs to the world of maya.
The vajracarya in me receives the Lord as my
guest and personal extension, and together we
dance through barriers known as illusion.
Our devoted compassion together with the refraction
of the light of the candles activates our heart, throat
and crown chakras – thus creating the perfect
Adamantine vehicle for illumination known as the
Great Source and Center, and all mantras coalesce
into one as flames and thunderbolts consume our
delusion and transform our essence:
“OM VAJRAPAANI HUUM .. OM VAJRAPAANI HUUM ..” (31)

Powell’s thought seems to concentrate on the original sources of Tibetan Buddhism with its great emphasis on “Great Compassion” and “self-realization”. Soon after, he refers to the Vajrayana Mantra “OM VAJRAPANI HUM..OM VAJRAPANI HUUM” (31), and another famous Buddhist Mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” (36) which means Jewel in the Lotus Hum. The final depths of the poem “At the Buddhist Temple” are indicated as we “give birth to the God within” after reciting the Mantra. T. S. Eliot wrote that the great philosophers of India “make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys”(Eliot 40). He also studied Yoga-Sutras by Patanjali. There is no doubt that both T.S Eliot and Powell are influenced by orientalism. “Two years spent in the study of Sanskrit under Charles Lanman, and-a year in the mazes of Patanjali’s metaphysics under the guidance of James Woods, left me in a state of enlightened mystification” (ibid). Eliot was also influenced by the Gita. “the Bhagavad-Gita … is the next greatest philosophical poem to the Divine Comedy within my experience” (Eliot, “Dante” 219). It is also well- known that Buddhism influenced great authors like Schopenhauer, Hartmann, and Deussen.

It seems certain that Powell also is influenced by Buddhism. Albert Russo rightly comments about Powell, the poet, the photographer, the essayist, literary critic, extraordinary painter and musician:

As I have written before, elsewhere, I admire Powell the Renaissance man, Powell the Peace artist, the poet whose verse has a classical beauty which can never be out of fashion, inasmuch as it reflects our harsh and unstable world in which the clash of civilizations has become a terrifying reality, and yet in spite of the dangers, he continues to reach out and absorbs the riches and the variety he discovers in other cultures. In the present case he takes us to the heart of Nepal.

The visual and pictorial images in his poems about Nepal show that Powell is a great painter of words. The picturesque details prove that Powell is influenced by Pre-Raphaelite poets. Powell makes pictures out of words; Buddhist Temple provides him a highly paintable subject matter. The following images reveal that he is a great poet-painter like Blake, Keats and D. G. Rossetti: “a few tourists snapping photographs”, “the darkness of the darkest night”, “the awaited procession arrives”, “splendid palanquin carrying the royal kalash”, “Knee-deep in blood”, “gun salutes”, “slaughtered buffaloes”, “bustling pedestrians”, “taxis, rickshaws and bicycles”, a child selling “Coins, cigarette, milk or chocolate”. A pictorial version of his poems should be done by Powell himself or some other important painter. We may add that the translation of Keats’ “The Eve of St. Agnes” was done by the Pre-Raphaelites.

The analogy of poetry to painting is at least as old as Plato and Simonides. Michelangelo, Blake, Rossetti (pre-Raphaelite), Baudelaire- Cezanne, Mallarme/Zola, D.H. Lawrence were poet-painters. The Surrealists insisted on the fundamental relations between the arts. In his poems in Le Paradis also we find that Powell is a painter of words. Here is a list of some pictorial images and phrases from his collection Le Paradis: “cloudless azure skies”, “turquoise sea lines”, “The sun burns hot /on tattooed skin”, “crude, photo-snapping idiots”, “her ritual and ceremonial dances”, “Dusk sets quietly over / the lagoon at Bora Bora”, “the horseman / of the Apocalypse”. The reason behind Powell using so many pictorial phrases both in his early and later poetry is that he is creating an aesthetic fusion between different arts like poetry and painting. Moreover, Powell in his poetry is carrying his pictorial powers to spiritual realms.

This is evident in his quest for intense experience and eternal values in his 2014: the life and adventures of an incarnated angel. Powell’s 2014 creates a great impact on us by its original plot and invention, and has great appeal for all due to a universal fondness for the supernatural and extraterrestrial world. Powell describes the major players in the galaxy: the Galactic Confederation, and the Orion Empire. Fancies of the strange things and marvelous inventions, the Intervention Plan and Zeta Reticulians make Powell’s work very remarkable. Powell’s most impassioned thought is visible in Ga’s reflections about Lightworkers:

…ninety-nine global vortexes of the Golden Cities (Eternal cities of Universal Light), including ‘Kristiania’ (“Vibrations of Conscience”) – the Eternal City of Universal Light over Oslo, and information regarding the spiritual work of a group of Lightworkers who had been meeting on the outskirts of Oslo 1-2 times a week to cooperate on various projects directed at preparing for full activation of the Oslo-area vortex, and educating those ready to hear about the Earth’s movement into higher dimensions of consciousness. The activities of this group of Lightworkers included: meditation and prayer for guidance and healing, exploratory astral projection into the Oslo vortex, active work with Ascended Masters and angels on personal emotional and spiritual challenges, exhibitions of channelled art and poetry, channelling and distribution of symbols from the Universal Language of Light, angelic channelling by way of talking in tongues, the purifying of energy in Oslo-area churches in preparation for the increased influx of Christos energy and consciousness, and much talking with everyday people about the new state of things in God’s universes, and especially regarding the Earth’s challenges and destiny, as incarnates move forward into the higher dimensions. And finally, the entity then known as ‘Mikael’ urged the audience to join other dedicated Lightworkers who were working to clean out the many vortexes and tunnels across the globe, so that the Christos energy could flow freely … adding: ‘the more Lightworkers who work on this important activity, the faster both personal and Earth spiritual transformation will happen.’

CONCLUSION

I have tried in these pages to express my confidence that in the works of Powell we have a philosophy that can guide and sustain us. At least it seems to me that there can be no continued peace on earth unless we learn to follow the main forces of nature like OGUN and OBATALA as revealed by Powell in his 2014:

I would like to remind you that each person is born with one main Force of Nature, and that your dominant/main Force of Nature is Ogun. The qualities of Ogun are:

Force (an unfinished lesson for you)
Pure Justice
Initiative (unfinished lesson)
Pioneering
Truth (unfinished lesson)
Loyalty
Technology
(13)

The other Force of Nature that you have to work with is Obatala, whose qualities include:

Righteousness
Wisdom (unfinished)
Caretaker of Creation
Ethics
Morals (unfinished)
Humility
Cool (unfinished)
Calm (unfinished)
Purity of Intention (unfinished)
Objective
Clarity of Thought
Purity
Consciousness
Rational Thought
Head
Reality
Light
(13-14)

What is the essence of transcendentalism and mysticism in the works of Powell? His poem “The Universal Language of Light” is a fine attempt to unravel the esoteric philosophy and discover “blue white particles / of light energy”.

Powell clearly reveals his short spiritual messages for Lightworkers:

1) A call to Lightworkers: increasingly rapid and successive changes in our consciousness, dna structure, understanding of our galactic environment, the functions of our pineal gland, revelations about deceptions etc. necessitate a new understanding of and approach to psychology and psychiatry. We need to start educating experts in the medical field about spiritual developments now. There is much resistance but the pace of consciousness change and external influences will soon radically increase both the need for spiritually-developed and spiritually-aware medical practitioners, and make Lightworkers’ work in these areas easier. Many of you have been studying psychology, coaching, NLP, Reiki, aura reading and healing etc. for a long time. Listen to your guides for instructions.

2) We planetary citizens (in all our hybrid forms) continuously define our present and future with our thoughts, words and actions. How are you defining the reality you wish to embrace? Do you wallow in the doom and gloom prophecies, or do you take up your sword and your rose, and create “heaven on Earth”?

3) The long-awaited “Divine Intervention” is not merely an external intervention comprised of teams of higher beings, angels, aliens etc. but includes mostly humanoids. Humanoids must now understand that they themselves create reality (present and future) with their thoughts, words and actions. This cannot be stressed enough. Thoughts, light and sound are building blocks of creation. Life forms are created in other ways than mere biological Darwinian explanations. This means that: 1) humanoids have self- determination, and can at any point in time re-create a new and better reality and existence; 2) yes, we are ALL GOD, i.e. self-creating souls that are manifestations of divine energy, and that never “die” because energy and soul entities can not be destroyed but rather transformed; and 3) once we are able to collectively raise the thought consciousness level on this planet enough we will get the assistance we ask for from external forces, which are waiting with excitement to see if we can wake up from our dreams and see behind the various smoke screens that we are obsessed with. WE ARE THE DIVINE INTERVENTION! Please wake up humanoids. But even if you do not, your souls will continue to live and to evolve in other forms (as they do while you are now still in humanoid form).Learn to focus and direct your thoughts and energies. That will help your self-manifestation abilities. Adonai!

4) Terra is now at the gateway of the Fourth density, and the signs are appearing all over the globe. Do not be misled by charlatans or those who would attempt to promote fear. I say to you verily: Terra will NOT perish as a world. There will be some changes, but many will survive. Lightworkers have much to do in the years to come. Do not look upon 2012 as an ending, but as a beginning – the beginning of a brave new world with a new consciousness. Dear Lightworkers: there are many who will be confused and who will be in fear amidst the transitional changes underway, and which will be speeding up from now on. Show empathy and help them to understand that which seems “miraculous” and “impossible”. Meditate and ask for guidance. Your questions will be answered in all ways possible. Adonai and godspeed!

The central theme in his best works is the plight of contemporary generation. Image after image is evoked by Powell revealing esoteric, occult philosophy, prophecy and vision. Powell sings praises in honor of old traditions, the spirit of the righteousness. It is to Lemuria and the island of Bora Bora that Powell’s love is given:

We are born again …
on the island of Bora Bora –
the ‘first born’ paradise –
truly, a homage to the godliness in us all.
Le Paradis 25

This is the main centre of Powell’s passion. I am convinced that the underlying thought in Powell’s poetry is occultism and mysticism. Though he is aware of “our perpetual / State of existentialism and blues” (“Three-legged Waltz” 40), the dominant quality in his poetry is:

Light of God’s eternal love
And mercy,
Mirrored in a trillion smiles.
At that instant I rise
Out of my body, and
My chakras line up
MUSROOMPICKING IN THE KINGDOM, Three-Legged Waltz 43

The emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of his personality are visible in the following lines:

You and he and they
In opposition to
My circle of One.
ZODIAC, Three-legged Waltz 46

“My circle of One” may be interpreted sacred spiritual light opposed by the world. What T.S. Eliot says of Dante’s Paradiso is truly applicable to Powell’s poetry: it is religious poetry which is not didactic. From Greek fables, Tibbetan Buddhism, Kathmandu temples, and old traditions of Lemuria Powell has made significant poems. These poems vividly manifest “the making of an inwardness from what is outside”.

The themes of his later poems are mostly mystical. The ugliness and the squalor of the contemporary life has its impact on the poet’s senses. The fears of the ecological disaster, cancers, quick money, “screams of the female victims of the inebriated” (Le Paradis 49), atomic destruction, “crude, photo-snapping idiots and / tattooed pseudo celebrities” (Le Paradis 27)-passing through such satirical insights Powell takes refuge in the Buddhist Mantra “OM VAJRAPANI HUUM” reciting it eight times in “At the Buddhist Temple” (RAPTURE 31) and “Maha Asthami” (RAPTURE 33). In EPILOGUE also he mumbles twice sacred Mantra “OM MANI PADME HUM” (RAPTURE 36). This may be described as Powell’s “awful daring of a moment’s surrender” (T. S. Eliot) towards Buddhism. This device of reiteration is often used by Shakespeare. For example, Shakespeare reaches “topmost peaks of poetry” (Bradley) by using the word ‘Never’ five times to describe Lear’s anguish. His Buddhist poems are contemplative in tone, and evoke the sacred.

Powell is describing the grave crisis faced by the Lightworkers. Titania’s own countrymen should not be slaves of the ‘white men’ and servants to the “god of materialism”, but the tragedy is that they have become slaves. They should never be “traitors to the old / traditions, the Old Way and the / religion of Lemuria” (LE PARADIS 48), but again the tragedy is that they have become traitors. Powell’s genius is concerned with this change. Powell’s “Third Eye” is attempting a rare thing- change in our soul. Powell is finding truth in Buddhist Mantra leaving him captive “to vision and hallucination” (RAPTURE 33). In fact, Buddhism fits Powell’s purpose in two ways: (1) quest for illumination and salvation, and (2) blending of European and Oriental sensibility.

Another interpretation is possible that Powell is writing “Confessional poetry” at its best, a remarkable characteristic of postmodern literature. Like Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath, Powell is expressing intense personal experience without depending on myths and symbols to convey his themes in his later poetry. We notice two recurring themes in his later poetry: timelessness and quest for utopia. In fact, a new esoteric and transcendental religion can be founded from the affirmations of William Blake, P. B. Shelley and Powell. In his mysticism, Powell is nearest to Blake. Caroline F. E. Spurgeon aptly says:”William Blake is one of the great mystics of the world; and he is by far the greatest and most profound who has spoken in English. Like Henry More and Wordsworth, he lived in a world of glory, of spirit and of vision, which, for him, was the only real world. At the age of four he saw God looking in at the window, and from that time until he welcomed the approach of death by singing songs of joy which made the rafters ring, he lived in an atmosphere of divine illumination” (Mysticism in English Literature). The mood of Powell’s poetry is similar to Blake’s “divine illumination”, and his handling of Buddhism and Cretan myths are remarkably profound, without a trace of affectation.

Powell presents many traces of his most lofty speculation, mysticism and philosophical expression. This gift of moral sentiment and esoteric interest to apprehend the absolute, this hunger for eternity, his discontent with contemporary evils, a penetrative faith in transforming the world by a kind of divine alchemy inspired by the transcendental schools of Germany and America, his philosophical speculations-all these qualities we find in Powell’s works.

What I have said above could be expressed more accurately in another way. Powell’s poetry is “a battleground for the clash of opposites”. This will be clarified if we read his poems carefully. For example, Powell says that “godliness in yourselves” and greed, “our traditions and culture’ have been reduced to “perverse transgressions” (Le Paradis 50): “golden Age” and “Fourth Dimension’ contrasted by Powell with “separateness of consciousness” (Le Paradis 31; “AntiChrist” and “Soldiers of hatred” contrasted with “messengers of love and compassion” (RAPTURE 19): ‘surrealistic struggles for survival” with “Dreams in the style of our ancestors” (RAPTURE 17); “eloquent predators / And the opportunists” contrasted by Powell with “a milder Age that ended/ All-too-abruptly” (RAPTURE 22) in his quest for some system of belief. The presentation of such contrasting values by Powell makes it clear that the genius of the poet is searching and trying to find out how to change human action to create a better world. Powell as a poet is mainly concerned to preserve eternal values.

The fact is that from 1930 onward we notice a change in English literature. Ezra Pound had left England; D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce had died, and T.S. Eliot was now more concentrated in writing his poetic dramas. We notice a new cultural confluence of authors for example French-African writers, English- African poets. This is evident as we peruse Powell’s works, where the mother tongue is losing its sanctity. Prof. Moshé Liba also published his 59 books, and he writes in 6 languages (“Letter to Karunesh”). This is evident from the following lines in Moshé Liba’s poem “A Poem, a week”:

I read a poem
all this week.

Monday
I read a poem in Polish.
Tuesday
I read a poem in Polish,
the same,
translated into French.
Wednesday
I read a poem in French,
the same,
translated into German.
Thursday
I read a poem in German,
the same,
translated into English.
Friday
I read a poem in English,
the same,
translated into Hebrew.
Saturday
I read a poem in Hebrew,
the same,
translated into Dutch.
Sunday
I read a poem in Dutch,
the same,
translated into Polish.

And it was not
the same.
The Hague, 3-12-2007

The dual or multiple personality of the author has become a reality, as the main problem of the exiled writers like Powell is to find roots. Such writers seem to carry “their towns of origin in their minds”. Borders don’t exist for binational, bicultural and multilingual poets like Powell.

Powell’s world of poetry becomes bigger due to his trilingualism. His poems written in Norwegian, Spanish and English language build his identity and develop his poetic voice. There is a dignity and beauty in Powell’s poetry, for which all ardent lovers of literature may be grateful.

Like T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and W. B. Yeats-two were Americans and one Irish- Powell has been successful in bringing English poetry in the mainstream of European culture and proper recognition in world literature. In fact, Powell’s attitude towards life is fairly clear in the following excerpt from his Letter # 1 written to me and published in June 2009 issue of Taj Mahal Review.

Powell is most interested in “… evoking memories of the delicious small pleasures of life on Terra: the smell of pine needles in the forest, the spray of the sea upon my face as I walk along the beach, the interplay of sunlight and shadows created by clouds and trees, simple perfection as seen in the faces of new-born children, elderly men and women, and in animals and leaves of grass, the feeling of inner peace experienced when listening to music inspired by soulful curiosity and exploration and which dances in ecstasy, whirling like a Dervish that is intoxicated by Divine revelation … well, you get the picture: those special “small” joys we often take for granted in the monotony of human materialism and self-absorption. The soul never dies but responsibility for the future of humanity and of Terra lies in our thoughts, words and actions.”

To conclude, I don’t hesitate to claim for Powell the position of a major English poet. The poems by Adam Donaldson Powell are marked by intense creative power, sincerity of emotion, an apt and vivid quality of imagination, an incomparable feeling for the vowel-music and the splendid poetic cadences. The significant question is whether these poems convey any moral purpose, or have they been written only for poetry’s sake? I. A. Richards in his Principles of Literary Criticism (1924) and (Practical Criticism (1929) tried to answer this problem of the relation between art and morality. He says, “What does the formula ‘Poetry for poetry’s sake tells us… First, this experience is an end in itself, is worth having on its own account, has an intrinsic value. Next, its poetic value is this intrinsic worth alone. Poetry may also have an ulterior value as a means to culture or religion; because it conveys instruction or softens the passions, or furthers a good cause, because it brings the poet a good fame, or money, or a quiet conscience. So much the better; let it be valued for these reasons too. But its ulterior worth neither is nor can directly determine its poetic worth as a satisfying imaginative experience; and this is to be judged entirely from within.”

The above wise observation made by I. A. Richards emphasizes the importance of ‘a satisfying imaginative experience’, which every great poem must produce. The raw material for the poet’s experience may be derived from ancient legends like Powell inspired by the Cretan myths, the contemporary life, frustrated love, quest for simplicity and reality. But, the poets writing during the postmodern time should follow Powell who does not believe in writing “nice poetry about nice people”, since poetry today should be written in hard, dry images, with the sharpness of outline and precision of form, creating new rhythms, and discarding old rhythms.

Powell’s poetry reveals “a fresh exploration of reality” (V. de S. Pinto, Crisis in English Poetry). T. S. Eliot aptly comments: “Real Poetry survives not only a change of popular opinion but the complete extinction of interest in the issues with which the poet was passionately interested” (On Poetry and Poets). This statement by T.S. Eliot is fully true about the poetry of Adam Donaldson Powell.

– Dr. Santosh Kumar, “Adam Donaldson Powell: the Making of a Poet”, 2010, Cyberwit.net, India.

From the Cyberwit.net website:

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Dr. Santosh Kumar (b. 1946) is a poet, short-story writer and an editor from India; DPhil in English; Editor of Taj Mahal Review and Harvests of New Millennium Journals; several awards; member of World Poets Society (W.P.S.); member of World Haiku Association, Japan; presented papers in the seminar, interviews as special guest at international literary festival WORDS – one path to peace and understanding Oslo, Norway in September 2008; attended 20th Annual International Literary Festival Druskininkai Poetic Fall and 5th World Haiku Association Conference in Lithuania, Sept 30 to Oct 5, 2009; published poetry in Indian Verse by Young Poets (1980), World Poetry (1995 & 1996), The Fabric of A Vision (2001), The Still Horizon (2002), The Golden Wings (2002), Voyages (2003), Symphonies (2003), New Pegasus (2004), Explorers (2004), Dwan (USA), Promise (Purple Rose Publications, USA), World Haiku 2008 No. 4, World Haiku 2009 No. 5, Taj Mahal Review (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008). He has also edited sixteen World Poetry Anthologies, and four books of World’s Great Short Stories. He is also the author of a collection of poems entitled Helicon (Cyberwit, India, ISBN 81-901366-8-2), Haiku collection New Utopia (Rochak Publishing, India ISBN 978-81-903812-0-8), NO NUKES: Brave New World of Beauty, A Long Narrative Poem, Songs of Peace & Haiku (Rochak Publishing, India ISBN 978-81-903812-3-9), and Critical Essays in collaboration with Adam Donaldson Powell (Cyberwit, India, 978-81-8253-110-9). He has also edited The Poetic Achievement of Ban’ya Natsuishi (Cyberwit, India, ISBN: 978-81-8253-149-9).

All about Adam.

 

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REVIEWS OF ADAM’S LAST NOVEL: “THE TUNNEL AT THE END OF TIME”:

🔳 “LOOK INTO YOURSELF”
By Irene Brodsky on June 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
“The Tunnel At The End of Time” written in English/Russian by Adam Donaldson Powell and Rick Davis, with foreword by Adam Donaldson Powell and Azsacra Zarathustra.

It is an honor to review this most eye-opening, very well written and beautifully expressed book of poetry & drama that was written in two languages; and also includes a 14 Act Play! The book appears to be a serious look into one’s self, soul, being, spirit, surroundings, thoughts, reactions, and can be seen as philosophical, religious, mystical, spiritual, anger, reaching out for an answer, telling it like it is, no holds barred. I recommend this outstanding book for adults, age 18 & over because there is some strong language to express one’s deep feelings.

This book would be an excellent addition to the libraries and I am giving my own personal copy of this book to the landmark Brooklyn Public Library Grand Army Plaza Central Branch. It is my recommendation that the library catalog this book, and place it on their shelf where it can be shared by many readers. In this way, Mr. Powell’s magnificent book will be automatically added to The World Catalog of Books which is the greatest honor a writer can ever have.

It was my pleasure to review Mr. Powell’s book and recommend it very highly.

Sincerely, 
Irene Brodsky

Faculty Member Brooklyn College City University of New York
Teacher of Philosophy – adult education program
author of Poetry Unplugged
and The Adventures of Silly Kitty, Princess Jasmine and First Puppy

🔳 A New Way of Writing
By Isagani R. Cruz on March 5, 2010
Format: Paperback

The Tunnel at the End of Time is a masterful symphony of languages, religions, cultures, and literary techniques, all journeying to one inevitable destination: the individual wrestling with self. Covering our most human to our most divine urges and activities, the poetic, science fictional, experimental, even cinematic book leads us through words to what is beyond or behind words: the inscrutable mystery of our own being or, more precisely since the book revels in Emptiness, our non-being. In the process of stripping away the several skins that we use to protect our inner selves and to keep us from exercising our freedom to live a full life, the book also comments on writing itself, turning itself inside out, so to speak, so that we are forced as readers to become the writers themselves, merging our selves with theirs without meaning to and without remembering the meaning that we wanted to find, finding ourselves apparently in the future but actually in the present, or even more precisely, in the past, as time stops for us. In the end, the future humans, aliens, and angels turn out to be really us today, as we find ourselves aliens within ourselves, alienated not from the world as lesser writers would have put it, but from ourselves, as only the truly alive realize, perhaps as only angels really know. For those less inclined towards philosophy, the book offers gripping suspense, continuous action, and provocative scenes; the narrative scaffolding, however, is there only to lead readers to deeper levels of reading. I recommend this book to everyone honest enough to admit that we do not know ourselves or that we are not just nothing, but perhaps even Nothingness itself. Have fun, but be warned!

🔳 Powell’s great interest in spiritual alchemy and extra-sensory world inspired him to write THE TUNNEL AT THE END OF TIME
By Dr. Karunesh Kumar Agrawal on September 8, 2012
Format: Paperback

Powell’s great interest in spiritual alchemy and extra-sensory world inspired him to write THE TUNNEL AT THE END OF TIME (Feb 2010) in collaboration with Rick Davis, the follow-up novella to 2014 with a poetic introduction by both Powell and Azsacra Zarathustra a poetic dialogue with the Russian artist/author Azsacra Zarathustra, entitled: “Transforma und Vrebatima,” an English-Russian poetic follow-up to “2014: the life and adventures of an incarnated angel” TRANSFORMA UND VREBATIMA is an epic poem, written by Azsacra Zarathustra (Russia) and Adam Donaldson Powell (Norway), primarily in English and Russian.

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“Creating art and literature requires a creative imagination as well as the ability to get things done in a disciplined manner. Live in the moment, and plan for tomorrow.”
— Adam Donaldson Powell

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SHORT AUTHOR BIO:

ADAM DONALDSON POWELL (Norway) is a multilingual author, literary critic, and art photography critic; and a professional visual artist. He has published several literary books (including collections of poetry, short stories, and novellas, two science fiction novels, and essays) in the USA, Norway and India; as well as numerous works in international literary publications on several continents. He writes in English, Spanish, French and Norwegian. He has previously authored theatrical works performed onstage, and he has read his poetry at venues in New York City (USA), Oslo (Norway), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Kathmandu (Nepal). His book “Gaytude” (co-authored with Albert Russo) won the 2009 National Indie Excellence Award in the category gay/lesbian non-fiction. Powell was also the winner of the Azsacra International Poetry Award in 2008, and the recipient of a Norwegian Foreign Ministry travel stipend for authors in 2005. Powell also took initiative to planning and organizing the “Words – one path to peace and understanding” international literary festival in Oslo, Norway in 2008. He has been an author under the Cyberwit label since 2005, and he has published 12 literary books since 1987.

 

CHECK OUT:

MY GOODREADS AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

MY AMAZON.COM AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

MY CYBERWIT.NET AUTHOR PAGE: HERE!

PERSONAL STATEMENT ABOUT EXTREME ART AND LITERATURE:

“Extreme literature” can be philosophical, political, religious, sexually-oriented, profane, or just downright ‘dangerous’ because it rocks others’ boat(s) personally. Not all literature is “pretty”, and even humour can be considered provocative. Many authors have works they (and others) consider to be “extreme”. All throughout the history of art and literature, artists and writers have pressed against and played with society’s tolerances – in both “liberal” epochs, “conservative” epochs and (as now) in states of “moral confusion”, where Western concepts of freedom of speech sometimes butt against national and local cultural mores and social politics; and where danger lurks and thrives on non-specific and situational social codes and fears.

The concept of ‘EXTREME ART AND LITERATURE’ changes all the time. What is actually ‘extreme’ today – in a mixture of globalised, regionalised, nationalised and localised perspectives? My own opinion is that ‘extreme art and literature’ today takes its starting point in the accepted banalities of everyday life, experiences and consciousness on the respective and combined levels (social, philosophical, political, economical, sexual and spiritual). Contemporary ‘extreme art / literature’ no longer attempts to shock in an obvious way, but rather entices the public to feel that he / she is a ‘member’ of the experiential understanding and consciousness, only to interject a “triggering” aspect that creates a sense of uncomfortableness caused by the realization that one has been busted by a banality. These “trigger mechanisms” are (in fact) integral parts of the art itself – often passing by in fleeting moments, sometimes blended in with an obsessive and “flat” (journalistic or photojournalistic) expression or a long tirade of banalities that do not even pretend to be surrealistic. These small “electrical shock” triggers will hopefully ignite an inner experience within the public so that the viewer / reader begins to investigate his / her own personal reality, his / her actual contributions to a collective reality and hopefully to re-evaluate his / her own concept of what one prefers to create as an individual and collective reality. The illusion of spiritual and emotion separation (the illusion that we are all separate, individual and self-sustaining entities that can determine our roles on Terra or in the Interlife totally without contact or influence with / from others) is a vital element here, and that common illusion is therefore “fertile ground” for artists. Here we artists and authors can play, provoke, prevaricate, entice, seduce and fool the audience to believe in us as a part of “themselves”, and then trigger the reader / viewer to consider the possibility that there might be (in fact) a miscommunication or misconception running loose … a sense of everyday reality that is inconsistent or which has consequences that one was never aware of.

Perhaps the most meaningful and interactive way to help another person to ‘wake up’ from their perceptual drowsiness is to enter into their everyday dreams and illusions (their banalities) and suddenly say “BOO !!!” Artists and authors who attempt to shock through their art with the blatantly obvious, often thus fail to explore and exploit the deeper, symbolic depths of the subconscious and the more mystical elements that make up our everyday and banal thoughts, activities, attitudes etc., and therefore are denied “personal access” by some viewers / readers who may consider the art to be too intellectual, too elitist, too directly confrontational, or too foreign. Sex and religion are often used today in art and literature as “shock elements”. It is not necessarily sex or religion which are provocative or interesting in themselves, but rather the unspoken and quietly accepted perceptions that we chain ourselves to unquestionably, and which can totally be set in chaos just by the artist and author changing or adding one simple element or context that we do not feel belongs in our reality-defining “picture”.

‘Extreme art and literature’ is thus not blatantly provocative in itself; it rather shows the audience the possible ramifications of acceptance, non-involvement, personal meanings and behaviour by confronting us with triggered or mixed in ‘extreme’ moments, and then lets the audience choose to begin its own personal creative life process of evalution and re-creation (if desired) … without commentary or guidance.

When I recently presented myself to Marina Abramovic as a “retired activist” she responded by asking me if an activist can ever be finished with activism. Of course, she is right. The process of rebellion is nothing more than one intermittent set of activities and actions in a constant redefining and assertion of the Self, both individually and collectively. Art is the ultimate expression of the process of rebellion. If an artist loses that quality, he/she “dies” in a certain way. My art and literature are not just extensions of me … they are my created persona: a sweet mixture of heaven and hell, with a pinch of mediocrity for flavoring.

Adam Donaldson Powell, Norway

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NEWS! EXCITING NEW BOOK NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD ON AMAZON.COM AS PAPERBACK, AS WELL AS AN E-BOOK:

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“ENTRE NOUS ET EUX” is my latest book, and it is now available in print form at Amazon.com: ENTRE NOUS ET EUX – CONTES DE FÉES POUR ADULTES, 347 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-93-85945-48-9, © 2017, India (LGBT – Novellas and poetry, Fairytales for adults – in English, French, Spanish and Norwegian).

Purchase the e-book version online here  ⤵️
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this book is
dedicated
to my Rodo

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BOOK FOREWORD BY ALBERT RUSSO

If there is one poet who will mark this 21st century, I ask you, dear reader and lover of literature, to discover, or rediscover an artist named Adam Donaldson Powell. I use both words purposely: literature and art, because this “Esprit Universel” is a multi-talented man who excels in whatever discipline he tackles: poetry, fiction, essays, photography, painting, and goodness knows what else. He probably has other hidden secrets that will enchant the aesthete, once he pulls them out of his magic hat. By the way, he also writes in several languages. And proficiently, what’s more! 

It is much too restrictive to call Adam Donaldson Powell a gay poet, or gay whatever. And yet, he describes love, gay or not, with the most sensual, elegant, compassionate, but also at times crude, vengeful and downright poisonous words. He wears ‘no gloves’ as the French say, when it comes to telling a story – yes, his poems have themes too, which makes them reachable to the adult public, even to those who don’t care much for poetry – of abused children, scorned transvestites, sons and daughters of mixed blood, or prostitutes who are prey to the most despicable whoremongers, roaming the streets of every capital and city, large and small, of our planet. But, oh lovers of beauty and eroticism of the finest quality, delve into some of his romantic poems and you will dream that you are the hero or the heroine of these verses! It has often been my case. 

There are millions of scribblers on the Net who think they are poets. Some excellent poets do exist, but here I urge you to read these humble lines, for you will never regret having tasted the equal of our century’s Verlaine, Rimbaud or Baudelaire. Adam Donaldson Powell’s own FLEURS DU MAL are flowers to be treasured a lifetime. 

  • Albert Russo 2017

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➡️ ADAM DONALDSON POWELL’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE ⬅️

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MY PUBLICATION HISTORY:

I have published various literary works: poems, stories, novellas/short novels, literary criticism, essays, art photography criticism; and also work with painting and photography. I was born in the USA, and reside in Norway. I have been a professional visual artist (since 1995) and a writer (since 1987). I have published 12 books, in USA, Norway and India, as well as 4 e-books and several short works in literary publications. Among my many literary and artistic themes are multilingualism, the transcultural, spiritual development, societal development, LGBT issues, hiv/aids etc. I have written, performed and published works in English, Spanish, French and Norwegian. My poetry and essays have been translated into several languages, including: Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese and Bengali.

I have had one-man and group exhibitions at art galleries and public institutions in Norway and Sweden. My art serves as book cover art and internet art as well as fine art.

Adam’s profile at Saatchi Online Gallery

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MY TWO LATEST PRINT BOOK PUBLICATIONS:

“ENTRE NOUS ET EUX” is my latest book, and it is now available in print form at Amazon.com: ENTRE NOUS ET EUX – CONTES DE FÉES POUR ADULTES, 347 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-93-85945-48-9, © 2017, India (LGBT – Novellas and poetry, Fairytales for adults – in English, French, Spanish and Norwegian).

The e-book is already available at amazon.com:

Purchase the e-book version online now ⤵️
ebookcover

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SEE MY AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: AT AMAZON!

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My book “JISEI” is available for orders at CYBERWIT and AMAZON.COM

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Paperback: 245 pages
Publisher: Cyberwit.net (May 2, 2013)
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Norwegian, Japanese, Russian, Filipino
ISBN-10: 8182534038
ISBN-13: 978-8182534032

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COMMENTS ABOUT “JISEI” FROM AUTHORS AROUND THE WORLD:

J. Richard “Rick” Davis (USA):

This book of poetry, is more than just a collection of poems, on life, death, and AIDS. It is a guidebook for anyone struggling with the meaning of it all – whether it’s AIDS, or cancer or any travail that is causing one to question the meaning and purpose of why we’re on this planet.

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Albert Russo (FRANCE):

Qui est Adam Donaldson Powell? Ce poète rare qui parle de la beauté, de l’amour, de l’amitié, comme l’homme découvrant le monde à l’aube de l’humanité. Avec angélisme, direz-vous? Aucunement, il en parle avec la poésie du philosophe et du mystique. Il traite la maladie et la mort, non comme des ennemies, mais comme des connaissances, avec sérénité, presque avec sympathie, il va même jusqu’à causer avec elles comme l’on cause avec des passagers lors d’un voyage. Il se mets même à blaguer avec ces trublions, sachant qu’au bout du compte, il retrouvera la dernière.

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Maria Cristina Azcona (ARGENTINA):

Adam es el esclavo líbero, el que rompió las cadenas y nos golpea con su martillo de oro las nuestras, incluso aquellas que volvemos a crear a cada momento, enfermos pero de la cabeza mientras él, enfermo del cuerpo está cada vez mejor de la lucidez mental, cada vez más cuerdo y descarnado. Su poesía es cada vez más aleteo y menos cuerpo, más alma y menos carne, más verdad y más arte hasta que llegará el momento ese sublime en que el hombre se hará poema, para siempre, en nuestra mente que ahora, tarde, podrá ver en el interior de su alma.

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Lisbet Norderhaug (NORWAY):

I disse vidunderlige, dype og mørke diktene kan vi synke inn i oss selv og la oss treffe av lyset som gjennomstråler mørket. Adam har satt ord på den gjenkjennelige fortvilelsen over å måtte forlate livet, men han beskriver også gløden som skinner til oss fra den andre siden. Han har hevet, ja, transformert, historien om ett menneskes dødsprosess til en sang for oss alle.

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EXCERPT FROM BOOK INTRODUCTION:

AIDS has changed the world in more ways than we may possibly know. We will never fully comprehend the impact of losing so many people taken by this disease. Their contributions could have altered the face of humanity, the world of art and literature, the rearing of future leaders, the impact on communities, and the hearts of countless individuals. And this is all looking at the impact of AIDS in a broad perspective. It is a disease that, regardless of our own personal admissions, affects us all. However, behind the public fray of communal loss, social change and medical advances, lies the experience of the individual who must still awaken each day with the acknowledgment that they carry inside of them an evident ticking time bomb. No different from the rest of us who live with our own mortality, but distinct in that their clock has a name. That name is AIDS.

— Christina Landles-Cobb (USA)

COMMENT BY THE AUTHOR:
My first public performance of my poetry in New York City was at a trendy art gallery in the SoHo district, back in 1986. The place was packed, wall-to-wall, and the audience was enthusiastic. I was reading from my soon-to-be-published first book of poems, entitled “Notes of a Madman” which was an illustrated collection of mystical poetry from Pagan and Sufi traditions. The gallery owner, an enigmatic young man, was particularly obsessed with the poems and spiritual messages in the slender volume of verse, and he read the book over and over again. Some months after the reading I again called the gallery to say “hello” and another young man answered the phone, saying in a somber voice: “Didn’t you know? He passed away shortly after your reading.” He had died of AIDS.

That beautiful young man hung onto my verse in a time of deep personal transformation. I have never forgotten the awe and sense of responsibility I felt after that telephone conversation. Since then, I have always written and painted with the intent of inspiring creativity and transformation in humanity. And now that I have — myself — lived with the AIDS virus for twenty years it feels appropriate to inspire once again through writing about one of the greatest transformations Mankind can ever know. It does not matter what we die of … every Soul and Life Expression is precious, and to be celebrated.

I die (and I am reborn) just a little bit each day of my life. Should any given moment be my last, then my epitaph will surely be the sum of all my thoughts, poems and tears of joy and sorrow … from day to day, over the course of eternity. Perhaps just one of these short daily poems will touch upon a few readers and lend a bit of realization of the magic that each of us creates in our personal and collective transformations.

– Adam Donaldson Powell

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The tunnel at the end of time (co-written with Rick Davis and Azsacra Zarathustra), Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-160-4, © 2010, India (LGBT – gay characters, extreme sci-fi).

REVIEW BY DR. ISAGANI R. CRUZ, THE PHILIPPINES:

The Tunnel at the End of Time is a masterful symphony of languages, religions, cultures, and literary techniques, all journeying to one inevitable destination: the individual wrestling with self. Covering our most human to our most divine urges and activities, the poetic, science fictional, experimental, even cinematic book leads us through words to what is beyond or behind words: the inscrutable mystery of our own being or, more precisely since the book revels in Emptiness, our non-being. In the process of stripping away the several skins that we use to protect our inner selves and to keep us from exercising our freedom to live a full life, the book also comments on writing itself, turning itself inside out, so to speak, so that we are forced as readers to become the writers themselves, merging our selves with theirs without meaning to and without remembering the meaning that we wanted to find, finding ourselves apparently in the future but actually in the present, or even more precisely, in the past, as time stops for us. In the end, the future humans, aliens, and angels turn out to be really us today, as we find ourselves aliens within ourselves, alienated not from the world as lesser writers would have put it, but from ourselves, as only the truly alive realize, perhaps as only angels really know. For those less inclined towards philosophy, the book offers gripping suspense, continuous action, and provocative scenes; the narrative scaffolding, however, is there only to lead readers to deeper levels of reading. I recommend this book to everyone honest enough to admit that we do not know ourselves or that we are not just nothing, but perhaps even Nothingness itself. Have fun, but be warned!

MY RECENT AND PREVIOUS PRINT BOOK PUBLICATIONS:

ENTRE NOUS ET EUX – CONTES DE FÉES POUR ADULTES, 347 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-93-85945-48-9, © 2017, India (LGBT – Novellas and poetry, Fairytales for adults – in English, French, Spanish and Norwegian).

Jisei: death poems and daily reflections by a person with AIDS, 246 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-403-2, © 2013, India (LGBT – HIV/AIDS).

The tunnel at the end of time, 233 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-160-4, © 2010, India (LGBT – gay characters, extreme sci-fi).

Malerier og fotokunst, is a short 38-page retrospective overview of some of Adam Donaldson Powell’s best known oil paintings and photographic art works. Published by Cyberwit.net as a special limited and numbered full-color, soft cover edition (55 copies only), ISBN 978-81-8253-154-3, India, © 2009.

Gaytude: a poetic journey around the world, gay poetry in English and French by Albert Russo and Adam Donaldson Powell, 335 pages, published by Xlibris Corporation, © 2009, Library of Congress Control Number: 2008907964, ISBN: Hardcover 978-1-4363-6396-9, ISBN: Softcover 978-1-4363-6395-2, USA (LGBT).

KASSA’S REVIEW OF GAYTUDE:

Gaytude is a collection of poetry that appears in English in the first half and then translated into French for the second half of the book. There is also a collection of pictures depicting homoerotic images throughout history as well as personal images of Albert Russo. The timelessness of these pictures is repeated as a theme within the elegant and often poignant poetry collected. The authors are two very accomplished writers who tackle a wide variety of subjects and themes that affect gay men with surprising depth and meaning. These topics will hit home especially for like-minded individuals but anyone with compassion will understand the beauty and heartache these issues bring to mind.

The poetry is divided by region of the globe, from Africa to Americas to Europe and Asia. The variety of styles changes from short and simple to longer, and even haiku. The tone runs from sweet, sexy, and often humorous to intense and moving. Frequently the language of Russo’s poetry is simple and direct, taking away nothing from the intensity of the message and meaning, yet easy for even the most novice reader to connect and appreciate. Russo’s creativity is unquestionable as he spans numerous taboo subjects and makes no apologies for his desires or sensuality. These themes range from open sexuality to disease, hypocrisy and violence; including one nightstands to long-term relationships, breakups, makeups and admiration of the male form.

An example of Russo’s poignant writing is from Prayer:

“let him love that boy
without shame;
let him love him
in broad daylight
for his sentiments are
stronger than
your malicious gossip,
more generous than
your shrunken hearts”

Blending well is Powell’s poetry, which has elegance to the words and gives weight to each one, seeming as if nothing is wasted. Not a thought, an idea or a desire is anything more than necessary as he speaks of a love he yearns for. Yet Powell also delivers strongly worded poems regarding the hypocrisy of governments, penis enlargement spam emails, prostitutes, and casual violence. A great example is this excerpt from Let’s Get Something Straight:

And for God’s sake don’t you ever
Tell anyone about this…
(if you know what is best for you)
Agreed ? Good ! Now ‘manhandle’ me bitch…

There are few topics these authors feared to invite in for speculation ~ transsexuals, persecution, random sex, AIDS, family pressure, lies, promiscuity, marriage, children, oppression, prejudice, orgies. Taken together this is a look into the lives of any and every gay men and the issues they deal with that create an aura of “different” around them. This celebration of gay life spans globally and encompasses all aspects proudly and openly.

Gaytude is a wonderful collection by two powerful authors that have offered thoughts on timeless themes. Although I can’t claim to be an authority on poetry and perhaps the authors themselves will cringe at my amateur review, I hope to have captured the spirit of this collection.

DR. SANTOSH KUMAR’S CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF GAYTUDE:

A review of GAYTUDE: a poetic journey around the world / Tour du monde poetique, bilingual poetry by Albert Russo and Adam Donaldson Powell – Xlibris 2009, 335 pages.

Book orders – 888.795.4274 -Orders@xlibris.com

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4363-6395-2 – $22.99
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4363-6396-9 – $32.99

Library of Congress Number: 2008907964

Albert Russo and Adam Donaldson Powells Gaytude, a poetic journey around the world, makes it evident that the gay poems always have a distinctive voice, because a gay poet suffers from a sense of ostracism, of being excluded by others due to difference. The tradition of celebrating Platonic friendship with a boy has always been there in world poetry. Gay poetry from Sappho to Michelangelo has always idealized the homoerotic world. Catullus (ca. 84-54) loved sex with young men.

Shakespeare’s sonnets have been described as gay sonnets by several critics. It is well known that Derek Jarmans film The Angelic Conversation (1985) shows gay elements in Shakespeares sonnets. Lord Alfred Douglass gay poems appeared in 1896 in English and French translations. In the twentieth century two great poets: W..H. Auden and Ginsberg wrote gay poems. The publication of The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (1983) reveals its popularity and marketing needs. It is difficult to agree with the critics who condemn Whitmans gay poetry. The Boston Intelligencer declared that Whitman deserved no better reward than the lash for vulgarity and violation of decency. Both Whitmans Leaves and Emersons laudation had a common origin in temporary insanity (Bucke 201). Walt Whitman is as unacquainted with art as a hog with mathematics (Canby 327). One should never forget that according to several biographers Whitman did not engage in sexual relations with men.

It is true that a poets gay identity does not quite fit into the traditional morality of the world. This is the main reason behind vituperative hostility towards homoeroticism and gay-themed poems. But one may remember Nietzsches assertion that sexuality extends up to the very pinnacle of the soul. The queerness of Russo and Powell both to stand at a different angle to the universe, their desire for an outsider image, and a subversive quality enticing them to overthrow conventions makes Gaytude a classic. Taboo creates its own power and energy in a creative work like Gaytude. This is also true about other gay writers such as Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Bishop and James Merrill. Russo is a great poet with a passionate impulse, and he expresses it with a natural intensity devoid of any kind of laborious artistry:

I shall spoil you as no lover
Ever has or will

(SURPRISE PARTY, 35).

As we made love
Our bodies were on fire
You were insatiable
I was submissive

(ONE-NIGHT STAND, 102)

Russo does not hanker after limited joy but rather for the illimitable in the loveliness of the human body. Due to his ardor, he bursts with joy:

Our bodies commingle
In a Pacific splash of ecstasy

(UNDERCURRENTS, 42).

Russo tries to forget the stern realities of life, and his idealized love seems to be the only permanent reality for him on the altar of passion, he has chosen to fall off the cliff although there are several obstructions:

Theres his age, you see
And theres my career, too
Then theres that awesome responsibility
Towards my class
Towards society
And I am highly respected by my peers
Yet, my attraction to him is gravitational
One of these days,
I shall fall off the cliff

NO TRESPASSING, 51

The above lines are a testimony to the fact that Russo arrives at the complexity by accumulating a number of concrete images interfering with his fantasy, and this fantasy is intensified in the last line revealing the utmost limits of passion, not obliterated by the terrestrial impediments. Russos poems in Gaytude are marked by a tremendous burst of creativity.

Adam Donaldson Powells poems reveal that the poets mind and imagination are fused with the white heat of ardor. He is obsessed with two moths / Playing with fire (BLADE, 24). In his poem IDENTITY, Powell expresses his desire to be loved, and looked up to. He seems to be in the quest for the sumum bonum of life, that immortal instant and great moment which will unravel his identity. With quiet determination, Powell declares:

I want a real lover
Like Arthur Rimbaud or Jean Genet
And I want him now

PUNK, 61

Powell shows such a deep and lofty feeling as to be in love with love (STILL HORNY, 153). This is the state of the lover as Powell depicts it. Apart from love, nothing else in life is significant. Such is the consecrated passion of the poet that he is able to write with such ecstatic outbursts:

Creamy overcast skies,
Thick as yoghurt,
Remind me of
Youand me

CREAMY OVERCAST SKIES 154

Setting the real world at nought, Powell decides to thrive on the diet of surrealism by

the technique of transference:
Real briefly becomes surreal,
Through transference

INSTANT RECALL 88

In another poem, Powell expresses his inner heart in reacting against monstrous mechanization. The present climate is not in favour of rich heritage. Individual isolation in an / Out-of-control jungle (149) is the sordid gift of modern heritage marked by Wars, / Lies, /Plastic reality-show idols, Virus, / Global warming, /Uncertainty, /And all too easy access to drugs (HERITAGE? RIGHT! 149).

The poems by Russo and Powell are marked by outsiderhood, the sense of being different from a fashionable or straight mode of writing. Walter Pater aptly comments that in the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti the dream-land with its phantoms of the body, deftly coming and going on loves service, is to him, in no mere fancy or figure of speech, a real country, a veritable expansion or addition to our waking life (Pater 223). This comment is fully applicable to the poems in Gaytude by Russo and Powell. Gaytude, bilingual poetry at its best, written, translated and adapted by Russo and Powell, also includes wonderful photographs by Russo. Several poems of Russo included in Gaytude were first published in the poets own French version in the collection Tour du monde de la poesie gay (2005). The poems in English, Italian and Spanish have been translated and adapted into French by Russo. The poems in French have been translated and adapted by both Russo and Powell.

Works Cited

Russo, Albert & Adam Donaldson Powell, Gaytude. Xlibris Corporation, 2009.
Pater, Walter. Appreciations. London: Macmillan, 1931.
Bucke, R. M. Walt Whitman, Philadelphia, McRay,1883.
Canby, H. S. Walt Whitman, N. Y. Literary Classics, 1943.

Santosh Kumar (b. 1946) is a poet, short-story writer and an editor from UP India; DPhil in English; Editor of Taj Mahal Review and Harvests of New Millennium Journals; several awards; member of World Poets Society (W.P.S.); member of World Haiku Association, Japan; presented papers in the seminar, interviews as special guest at international literary festival WORDS – one path to peace and understanding Oslo, Norway in September 2008; published poetry in Indian Verse by Young Poets (1980), World Poetry (1995 & 1996), The Fabric of A Vision (2001), The Still Horizon (2002), The Golden Wings (2002), Voyages (2003), Symphonies (2003), New Pegasus (2004), Explorers (2004), Dwan (USA), Promise (Purple Rose Publications, USA), Taj Mahal Review (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008). He has also edited sixteen World Poetry Anthologies, and four books of World’s Great Short Stories. He is also the author of a collection of poems entitled Helicon (Cyberwit , India , ISBN 81-901366-8-2), Haiku collection New Utopia (Rochak Publishing , India ISBN 978-81-903812-0-8), and Critical Essays in collaboration with Adam Donaldson Powell (Cyberwit , India , 978-81-8253-110-9).

AdamSelfieJune

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PREVIOUS BOOK PUBLICATIONS – continued:
GAYTUDE WAS THE 2009 NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNER FOR THE CATEGORY GAY/LESBIAN NONFICTION!

2014: the life and adventures of an incarnated angel, 135 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-118-5, © 2008, India (LGBT – gay characters, extreme sci-fi).

Critical Essays, literary and photobook criticism by Adam Donaldson Powell and Dr. Santosh Kumar, 108 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-110-9, © 2008, India.

Le Paradis (Paradise), 80 pages, Cyberwit.net, ISBN 978-81-8253-103-1, © 2008, India. Includes a booklet with symbols from The Universal Language of Light, as seen by Laila Holand.

Rapture: endings of space and time (86 pages), Cyberwit,net, ISBN 978-81-8253-083-6, © 2007, India.

Three-legged Waltz, (80 pages), Cyberwit.net, ISBN 818253058X, © 2006, India.

Collected Poems and Stories, (175 pages), Cyberwit.net, ISBN 8182530288, © 2005, India.

Arcana and other archetypes, (special limited edition – hardback collection of poetry, 80 pages), AIM Chapbooks ANS, © 2001, Norway (now out-of-print).

Notes of a Madman, (hardback collection of poetry, 35 pages), Winston-Derek Publishers, Inc., © 1987, ISBN 1-55523-054-7, USA (now out-of-print).

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Other publication experience (selected):

Essays, literary criticism and photobook criticism by Adam Donaldson Powell have appeared in many literary magazines, literary websites, newspapers etc., including but not limited to: Small Press Review, Ginyu, Los Muestros, Inyathi, Lynx Online Literary Magazine, Skyline Review, Taj Mahal Review, Samora Magazine, Kritya: a journal of poetry, Writer’s Cramp, Portugal News, Skyline Magazine’s and Hudson View Poetry Digest’s literary criticism website etc. Adam has reviewed many talented authors and art photography book artists, including: Albert Russo, Pradip Choudhuri, Jan Oskar Hansen, Shirley Bolstok, Robert P. Craig, Mary Barnet, Literary House Review 2007, Orania Hamilton, AZsacra Zarathustra and Jgor Pyatinin, Geert Verbeke, Barbara Elizabeth Mercer, Alan D. Busch, Fernando Rodríguez, Victoria Valentine, Vijaiganga, Marie Mappley, Robert M. Wilson, Linda A. Peters, Ban’ya Natsuishi, Sayumi Kamakura, Moshé Liba, T. Wignesan etc.

Adam has written prefaces for books, and edited novels and books of poetry, as well as individual poems and short stories, written by several other authors.

Adam’s own literary works and artworks have appeared in several literary reviews and journals, anthologies, online magazines, literary websites etc. on several continents.

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Distinctions and memberships:

GAYTUDE WAS THE 2009 NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNER FOR THE CATEGORY GAY/LESBIAN NONFICTION!

Adam Donaldson Powell på Wikipedia Norge

Steering committee, WORDS: one path to peace and understanding, Oslo, 2008. Read the ONLINE REPORT.

Winner of the AZsacra International Poetry Award, 2008

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Recipient of Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s travel stipend for authors, 2005.

QUOTE:

“There is no doubt that Powell, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Delmore Schwartz are the most talented American poets of the modern age.” — Dr. Santosh Kumar, Allahabad University, 2010, from his book entitled: Adam Donaldson Powell: the making of a poet.

ABOVE QUOTE FROM A BOOK BY DR. SANTOSH KUMAR, INDIA:
“Adam Donaldson Powell: The Making of a Poet”, a critical analysis of the published works of Adam Donaldson Powell. Order the book from Cyberwit.net: NOW!

Read excerpts from this book HERE!

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MEMBER OF:
BONO
World Poets Society
Poetas del Mundo
Norwegian P.E.N.
Bilingual MCA
IFLAC-Argentina

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DEGREES AND EDUCATION:
New York University, Master of Public Administration, 1985.
Goddard College, Bachelor of Arts, 1974.
Language studies in Norwegian, Spanish and French in the USA and Norway.
Post-graduate studies in international business administration (BI School of Management).
Private piano studies with several renowned concert pianists, including: Jacob Lateiner, Arminda Canteros, Berenice Lipsen-Grüzen and John Ranck.

Adam Donaldson Powell and Cathy Craig

(Violin-Piano duo: Catherine Craig and Adam Donaldson Powell, NYC; photo courtesy of Catherine Craig.)

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POETRY PERFORMANCE:

Adam has performed his poetry in English, French, Spanish and Norwegian, and at various venues from New York City to Oslo to Buenos Aires to Kathmandu.

(above photo courtesy Blikk Magazine, Norway)

SLIDESHOW: ADAM IN PICTURES

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MY FIRST TWO POETRY BOOKS:

madmanbookcover

Notes of a Madman
Winston-Derek Publishers, USA
ISBN 1-55523-054-7
1987

arcanabookcover

Arcana and other archetypes
AiM Chapbooks, Norway
2001

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MY LIFE AS AN ACTIVIST.

My own activist career began when I was a teenager, and – in spite of both my parents being careerists in the United States Air Force – I became an anti-war activist (Vietnam War) and conscientious objector. That activism had many expressions: from silent Quaker vigils to anti-war marches and rallies to getting thrown out of the courtroom of Judge Julius Hoffman (famous from the «Chicago Seven» trials) for civil disobedience while supporting a draft dodger. My activism has including working as an employee of organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee (a Quaker social service and peace education organization), the Partnership for the Homeless, Amnesty International Norway etc., working for the Norwegian government in support of the unemployed, immigrants, the disabled etc., establishing my own activist organizations in Norway in support of immigrants, artists/authors/dancers/actors/filmmakers, and also representing organizations that lobby for the rights of persons with HIV/AIDS. Being an activist has required me to constantly weigh whether my own convictions and interests are best served by working for or representing an existing organization, political parties, agency or institution OR working alone so that I may set my own specific agenda and choose my own methods of working. The latter has given me special satisfaction. In that regard I have used my talents as a speechwriter and public speaker, as a book author, as a musician, as a linguist, and as a visual artist to promote my ideas and my support for those who do not themselves have the possibility of getting their voices heard publicly. In 1994 I arranged Norway’s first World AIDS Day art exhibition (a tradition which I kept going until 2009), I have promoted the rights of immigrants and of performing, literary and visual artists, and debated with top politicians in Norway on television, radio and in the tabloids, I have represented persons with HIV/AIDS on behalf of the Norwegian government and otherwise at UNGASS (United Nations General Assembly Special Session – Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS) as well as at international conferences in Norway and in other countries, I have initiated one-man protest demonstrations against individuals and government agencies that I felt abused the dignity or rights of the disabled and persons with HIV/AIDS, etc.; and I have been critical of other individual activists, government institutions, politicians, and also of activist organizations in the media. At times I have also worked within the «system», and as an advisor and cooperative partner to the system, and publicly defended specific government policies, and I have held office in a major political party. All this after personal analysis of the best ways to bring my activist ideas into government and organizational policy frameworks.

All my formal education and life experience comes into play in my activism: including my master degree in international and developmental public administration, my years of working for the government in Norway and as a university administrator and corporate writer/editor in the United States, and even my college bachelor of arts thesis (on the legal rights of minors {young persons} to consent to acquisition of contraceptives and to psychological counseling) which resulted in my own draft legislation eventually becoming state law in Vermont, and then later in Ohio.

I have also served on the board of directors of several organizations in Norway and in the USA which work in the areas of LGBT rights, the rights and needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS, the arts, and religious expression. And finally, I have organized international conferences for persons working in support of persons living with HIV/AIDS, as well as international and bilingual authors. I have held many speeches and been a high-profile spokesperson at conferences and in the media, and my visual art exhibitions and my authored books often address themes related to my areas of activism.

My most current expression of activism involves supporting and informing others through social media and the internet, as well as in my visual art and in my work as an author and editor – herein encouraging the voices of contemporary activists through literature.

~ Adam Donaldson Powell

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Norwegian haiku.

 

cactuses

Norwegian haiku.

norwegian haiku —
salmon in a sushi roll;
exotic and fresh.

sushi

cup

 

(poetry and photography by Adam Donaldson Powell)

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