Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle Revisited. 3 Poems. Ian Irvine (Hobson)



Tree of LifeImage: ‘Darwin’s Tree of Life’ [from public domain image, drawn by Darwin]


A Power Denuded the Granite

The Devil’s Confervae

The Work of Minute and Tender Animals


Poems by Ian Irvine (Hobson), copyright all rights reserved.


Please Note: many of these poems meditate upon or, in some cases rework/recombine, random phrases appearing in the 2nd edition of Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle. The first edition of the work appeared in 1839. I hope I have done some justice to the natural lyricism evident in Darwin’s relaxed prose style.




A Power Denuded the Granite


All that glitters in the sun’s rays

suggests a profound ocean

and a growing burden


How many years

short of infinity

to polish these

burnished stones?


I have come to the tides

and the rivulets

the countless inundations,

the waves on the black rocks

the cataracts, the great rivers

the stubborn work of millennia.


I am growing old and weary

on this boat,

this salt-stained boat

of Empire.




The Devil’s Confervae


Can you see us from behind?

early morning salt haze—the sun

rising. And the boat slowing

enters an eerie stretch of

ocean, velvet-red, and

glides between a god-infested heaven

and a godless carpet of sea stuff

This blood track—it must be

two miles long—of

infernal waters.


The boat slows, we glide

Can you see us from behind?

The morning is huge

as we plough

the pulp of our sorrow

the whole surface of the water

pulses—and the waves lapping.


Under the lens, I observe

the contraction of tiny granular spheres

their number must be infinite


I’ve heard they make

the Red Sea

(appear) red.




The Work of Minute and Tender Animals


Not far off shore

we test the bottom

(the bottomless ocean)

The line spins down and down.



a steep edifice

(theorise: underwater ramparts, sheer

and dense).


In awe of these submerged mountains—

accumulated stone of ages!


The island, the reef, the coral—the coral

the living part of the greater death,

a vast, eroded, sedimentary death.


Once a volcano—spewed hot

then froze into a geologic form

then whipped by the wind

and lashed by the water

for countless millennia.

Amazing to contemplate—

the splendid work of ages.


It looms from obscene depths

and bleaches in the diving—

the underwater kingdom of

vegetable bones!

But near the surface

such colours, such vividness, such

intricacies of fish and frond.


Coral! The epiphanies of coral

their various shapes

their complex textures

marvellous life on a bed of death!


Our ancestry as sediment—

compacted into memory.

Today, for the first time, I sense

their concrete presence.

This self, mere fruit of their tragedies—

(the past beneath the waves).



Apple Paintings on Canvas in Oil

Apple Paintings by David Michael Jackson

I began painting apples because apples are easy to find and an artist needs subjects. Not everyone has naked ladies wandering in. Most artists live ordinary lives and it is the ordinary that is often good art. I figured to be the apple painter. I said “Well I’ll just paint apples.” It’s a limited subject and I did move on but apples are good for form, shadow and negative spaces.
Most of my apples were red so I will start with a small apples painting of yellow apples.

Yellow apples

Apples Paintings
I wish I could report the location of this painting but paintings get away when they aren’t worth anything and this artist doesn’t know who he gave it to. It was lying around and the only price for something of no value is free if you like it. The only reward in most artist’s lives comes from individuals who may appreciate a piece enough to hang it, to simply hang it.
Here is a painting of some red apples:

Two Red Apples

A small image is all I have left of this one. My apple paintings are inspred by Cezanne of course who embodied the form of the apple and orange into great art. His Still Life with Curtain is a guide for all art and artists.


The last pure apple painting today features apples falling in a plane:

apple painting
Apples Falling in a Plane

Apples still figure in my art. They appear in my first large abstract, Food For Thought:
apple painting

Apples Paintings
Apples Paintings For Sale
Apple Still Life For Sale


So the apple represents life, form and color for the artist. It is a symbol of life and love. Apples have always represented the Garden of Eden and original sin. Apples are symbols in all cultures
Fertility; love; joyousness; knowledge; wisdom; divination; luxury; but also deceitfulness and death. The apple was the forbidden fruit of the Golden Age. As round it represents totality and unity, as opposed to the multiplicity of the pomegranate, and as the fruit of the Tree of Life given by Iduma to the gods. Eris threw the golden apple of discord among the Gods. As the apples of the Hesperides and the fruit of Freya’s garden, it symbolizes immortality. Offering an apple is a declaration of love.

Artists are keenly aware of symbolism and metaphor. One example is Son of Man by surrealist painter René Magritte:

via wiki Son of Man

dave@artvilla.com C David Michael Jackson 2012

Abstract Fish Painting

Abstract Fish Painting

This is the essence of creation….I did not start with this but ended up with it. Did a fish spring from the sea and walk? The essence of life is the sea. I get all emotional about this painting….I could turn it on its side and we could make something else of it until we saw the fish. I never set out to paint a fish. The fish never set out to walk on land.
See more of David’s Abstract Original Paintings
david michael jackson Abstract Fish Painting
dave @artvilla.com

Artist Poem For Séraphine Louis

Séraphine Louis

Séraphine Louis Naive art

They called it Naive art, these paintings by the cleaning lady. It is quite a story

Oh Séraphine

All artists should know you

for you painted for you

after scrubbing the dirty clothes

after being the help, the servant

after your hands were rough

you painted for you

and for your lady Madonna

and because your God

told you to


it drove you mad,

and you never knew anything but the work

followed by the paint on your hands, for

the artist’s hands are

always beautiful

when the painting is


You got there

you made it

you can’t hear me

can you?

So artist out there

paint when no one wants it,

paint with no one but you to see

paint when no one cares

paint when you know for sure

that the art will rot

in some forgotten attic.

Thank you

Séraphine Louis

for the art



The movie

david michael jackson April 5, 2012 dave@artvilla.com

Abstract Art Images

Abstract Art Images

Abstract Art Image-01
Abstract Art Image

This is the last oil I painted. It had many forms and shapes over the years for I liked it, didn’t like it many times and added paint again and again.
Abstract art images or, as I call them, shapes are my passion.
I have always called it abstract shapism. Others call it that now. These images have been on the net since 1996. My art was at Artcrawl because Robert Varner noticed me in 1997. He is the founder and owner of DoubleTake Gallery, Fine Art Consignments. Since 1997 I have not met a more honest company and a finer person on this internet.

I also call this abstract image The Stairway painting because it has lifted me up somehow. It is truly reaching for something whether I achieved it or not.
It is the reaching, the stairway that is important. Abstract art is a denial, a rebellious act. Often the rebellion looks like everybody else’s rebellion. This certainly doesn’t look like a stairway, maybe it’s a weird flower to you. When I succeed, the image is different things to different people.
“I see a cow” is a perfectly great reaction to a great abstract shape. That is why my abstract images have shape. Here is another shape:

abstract art image-02
abstract bug painting

and another:

abstract art image03
abstract art image03


abstract art image-04
abstract art image-04

What do you see? If your imagination is at work then I have succeeded!


David Michael Jackson is the painter, author and publisher of Artvilla. These abstract art images are of his art. His site is at Modern Art Paintings and Images      email is dave@artvilla.com.

david michael jackson 4/11/2012

Abstract Dancer Painting

Abstract Dancer Painting


I have to call him something on this internet. It doesn’t let you get away with “Blue and Green Number 12” or some other stupid modern name. He has to be named something that somebody will ask for. Chances are you asked for him. If he’s not an abstract dancer painting then you can go look at one of those that look like dancers that somebody painted weird colors.
Maybe he’s an abstract bear or something else but he’s an abstract dancer painting now and he’s going to have to take his chances there.

I’m an internet artist and people are going to see me whether they like me or not! Come to think of it, how is that different from a museum. I sneak around with my keywords and people visit my museum called Google.
People see my art and it’s not wasted nor does it wait to be declared worthy.
Maybe one of my images will inspire someone somewhere.

david michael jackson May 1 2012 dave@artvilla.com
Modern Art Paintings

Assassin’s Creed 3 Art

The Art of Assassin’s Creed 3

Assassin’s Creed 3 the video game is the story of one man reliving the lives of his ancestors. Assassin’s Creed 3 is the only video game you can play through history assuming the identity your ancestors. The game is set between the years 1753 and 1783 and focuses on Connor Kenway, who fought during the American Revolution. Connor the ancestor and the main character in Assassin’s Creed 3 explore places going back in time to the American Revolution.
By playing the game you can tell right away a tremendous effort went into the making of the Assassin’s Creed. And as always with all three Assassin’s Creed games the art work is impressive. When “game” and “art” come together video games becomes a truly beautiful experience. If you are not able to play the game but want to see the art work look at the book by Andy McVittie (a limited edition art book with signed prints for Assassin’s Creed 3) shows the finely honed and evocative historical images blended into the video game. Immerse yourself in these images and feel the past come to life.