A visitor’s perspective: The Owls are watching by Sean Achilleos

The Owls Are Watching

(In memory of Helen Martins – ‘The Owl House’ Nieu Bethesda)

In sculpture and rock rested your art
Cement faces that speak volumes
Of emotions and tales untold
As mysterious as your life itself
Glittering walls of crushed glass that shone by candlelight
Outside of art you were branded
Though remembered as unique and ahead of your time
With big glass eyes the owls watch the world
What was once your sanctuary
Now a showcase to the world
Recognized at last
Unspeakable loneliness of a soul misunderstood
Now your handwritten letters are framed and displayed for all to read
But you don’t mind the curiosity of mankind
With cement hands raised to the heavens facing the East
You drank your chosen cup
Your Mecca now complete

Written by Sean Achilleos 28 March 2016

About the poet:

Sean Achilleos is a singer, songwriter, painter, poet and writer from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He has enjoyed various television and radio success mainly with his music.

His poems are not traditional, but rather philosophical. Sean Achilleos writes what most people think or feel, but are not always able to convert into words. The keyword is “identification”. The experience may not always be the same, but the emotion might.

Sean tells: “I visited the Owl House a few years ago, and must say that it was a great experience. I also purchased a cement owl outside the museum which I brought home with me and placed in my kitchen window sill.

“About a year after my visit to your museum, I was sitting in my living room listening to a Jennifer Ferguson record while enjoying a glass of red wine. My eye caught the owl in my windowsill and suddenly I was inspired to write about the life of Helen Martins. I grabbed a pen and paper and started writing.

“After completing the poem, the lights went off in my flat for a few seconds and came back on. It was a spiritual encounter that I couldn’t explain. It was as if Helen Martins herself was in my flat and it felt as if she had given her approval of the poem.”

The poem has also been included as one of his philosophical poems in his book on Amazon titled “An Affair with Life”.

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