Saturday, 31 January 2009
Up just after dawn, feeling like I've missed the best sky for weeks. Remnants of pink reel across and beyond the criss cross of jets on flight paths that sweep the sky. It makes for a reminder of tartan grids in the colours of Edinburgh Rock.
Friday, 30 January 2009
Remembering the river gorge. I sketched what I could still bring to vision with scratchy black pens. They reflected my mood in the deepening gloom of an afternoon without daylight, when I was wishing I was there, back then, in weather warm enough to sit and gaze.
Sick sick sick of a January that has cramped me indoors too often, I ate a luscious red grapefruit and the juice ran cold down my sleeve while the sketches ran away from that river memory and into the crook of some other place.
Valleys frowned. Outcrops loomed. But then, the brush chose the colours of citrus and sand and I looked at a sketch that is unlike my others.
I am curious as I look across the room at it.......
However, the SUN IS SHINING and I have some free time today. So, despite the challenge of having to wrap myself in every item of clothing I can possibly wear all at one time so that I don't run home after five minutes of windchill, I am off image gathering with pocketbook in my gloved hand.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
She took the crooked hands off the clock
pinned her hair up with them
felt the day stretch out
across her desk
like a long pathway
along a high ridge of hills
where the only thing to do
was to keep on walking.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Black mountains rush in, spill out from a flooding sky. They loom above dark spaghetti pools of thin weed, slow to swirl, lazy in the last light. And the night runs in to scoop up the Mermaid's purses and gather the strange cindery charcoal-dull rounds of old wood, moulded and tumbled on a guttered sea bed beneath the cracked ribs of a burnt out pier, like they can fuel a night of raging fire. In my black clothes, the monstrous sky swallows me up, and I am cloaked, invisible.
Monday, 26 January 2009
All through the night, a Blackbird sang in the orange glow of streetlamps. His song serenaded my sleep, greeted every flicker of consciousness when I woke, streamed through my dreams like never ending unraveling thread. And though I slept some of the time, I'm sure my ears were listening to the endless variations on a theme, and now, at lunch, my head wants to give in to gravity and rest on the table.
Sunday, 25 January 2009
In tiny flat drawers, in sets of six, poppy seed like grey black grits, a crisply dried rust coloured fern, sand held captive, seedheads frail and falling, chalk crumbled into shapes like teeth, dull green grass seed, oyster shard like a white jewel, a twig that was dreaming of becoming bone.
And while I would rather stroll among their living beating swaying breaths in the birdsong glory of June, I was happy to gaze at them, lined up in the neat collection, behind the glass, in the dull dim hum of the museum.
Later, I dreamt of casting them all into the breeze.
Saturday, 24 January 2009
First light. First blue. Ahead of the sound, fingernails drag across speckled blackboards of flickering eyelids. The grinding roar of suntide heaves over the white chalk hills, takes off into the bright.
Friday, 23 January 2009
Blind, in the lightblast of golden shine on wet stones, I walk the beachcomb snake beneath last night's high tide cliff carve. Among the wreckage, among the casts, among the strewn of sheer purses and weed bone tangle, a festive piece of broken boat. Happy to have it in my pocket. The bright red against blue cheers me like a gift.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Have you noticed? I (Spot) have been around less, lately. Over the last few weeks, Annie has been publishing the posts here and more recently, signing comments as well - possibly confusing a few of you in the process!
I have been keeping an eye on her, of course, making sure that she's keeping things up to scratch. Ink haven has become far more than either of us ever imagined, due to the positive input and friendship from our readers and now I've told Annie that she needs to get cracking and have the wildest most creative time ever, both with the blog and elsewhere.
It's time. We both need our own projects, more elbow room and to get more work done without having to agree on everything first.
So, sadly, with a tear in my eye and unexpectedly, with a great big lump in my throat, I am saying goodbye today. It's been a wonderful adventure and I will never forget it.
Lots of love, Spot xx
Monday, 19 January 2009
Waiting as the windrush barged in from the sea, a whole tide of fury behind it, I watched the hail fire at the glass, thankful that I can cross window cleaning off my chores list this week.
The sky came and sat down low, like a fuming frown. I didn't risk running to the bank and the bakery. I came back in and sulked a bit at not having had time to get blasted by the elements. The image is from a wild day out in the elements on Boss Moor on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, when the sky came down as well. Acrylics, grit, sand, wind, hail and fury.
However, as you can see from this post, I am finding my way around my scanner and software in the gloom of the darkest afternoon ever, in the hope that one day I can get images displayed here how I would like them! As I have mentioned before in these ramblings, usually what happens at such points in the proceedings is that I just go off and play the piano instead.
Having reached my current limits of what I can do with this image, I am still here without the piano keys having been played once, imagining people looking at this image with a magnifying glass and wondering what has happened to my typing layout that makes the first part of this post look like a poem gone astray. However, work is calling me back and today it happens to involve a piano as well.
Will try and improve my image posting for the next time I have a scan ready.
Ps. It was me who painted it. And by ways mysterious to me, if you click on it you can make it a bit bigger to view.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Bubbles crowd the drain as I walk by. A breath of cedar wood rushes high in the pulsing bloodlit caverns around my eyes. Like syrup slowly relenting to gravity, it lingers, viscous, luxurious. On that strangely beaten track-marked back street corner, outside the used tyre dealer, my feet pause.
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Friday, 16 January 2009
He turned the page and began the next piece, ecstatic that he had finally found a sense of flow in his piano playing that had always eluded him, wanting her to hear his progress in something he had stumbled upon by chance.
With the opening bars, she was transported back, all those years ago, into the blank cell like space of a college practice room. She was there again, late, looking out into an endless black sky and discovering what a Nocturne could be.
In the thin dust on her own piano, it lay in a pile of volumes, the pages unturned, with phrases silent and ignored, the pull of cadence, incomplete.
* * *
There is a short piece of mine on Catapult to Mars today.
You can read it here
Thanks to Gordon for choosing it.
Thursday, 15 January 2009
At the office, her mind was on the notebooks left open on her desk at home. In front of the wide window there, the dramas of sunlight and shadows of squirrel acrobatics wove across the pages, all of them threads that would somehow weave into the words that would appear soon. The clock marked out the day. And the books waited. And at another desk, a heart was breaking, aching for the weekend.
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Italy. August heat. On the road. Mad to be out in shirt soaking heat. Driving on. An endless scorched plain. Road like a metal rule. No traffic. Searching for shade. Survival tactic. Dark smudge of woods far ahead. Like a mirage. Takes an hour before we get any closer. Lake shimmer illusion. The trees morph into tall people walking away. Blink. Hold onto your belief in what you saw.
Trees. It became the most beautiful word in the world. There. Off the road, at the end of an endless pale track. Hot fire of gravel leaps up. Warning. But we are beyond sense. Don't care if the only shade is in a field that belongs to a farmer aiming a gun.
It was a war memorial. Dedicated to the allied troops who helped liberate the region. Shaded by twisted trunks of pink barked Cedars. Dark silent shade. A bed of dry needles and fragrant tree litter. Instant blissful sleep.
Listening to Goldcrests above me. Too dark to see their flitting. Out of the twilight, coming closer, two elderly women, dressed in long black, waving. They bring bowls of homemade ice cream. Tell us that they saw the British car and came to ask us to say thank you to our fathers.....
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Above the white noise of wet road
under the blanket of rain shush
streaming between ribbons of breeze
the luxurious liquid metal
of blackbird song
for another voice to answer.
Monday, 12 January 2009
Sunday, 11 January 2009
The bells start it all off
a ten bell peal rings out
from the tower
a reminder of the village green feel
just down the hill
where the circle joins again.
Then, comes the tolling tolling
and it's uneven reflection
from a different bell tower
a solo bell
pulled with a long swaying rope
out of time with itself.
In it's glorious calling crescendo
the arcs of a crying baby
full of unhappy sobbing breath
flood over the edges
cross the phrases
a mother singing
lulling long lines
in time with the bells.
Like sudden bullets
with no words around it
a bar and a half
a rhythm and a half
of a car alarm
with a sudden cut off
After a minute
it begins again
chopping the morning
into chunks of time.
down in the tower
the joyous gold
of the carillon.
Saturday, 10 January 2009
Strolling, in that blissful half hour before work, I forgot. The tide was pushing to shore, wanting to keep that narrow band of sand I was enjoying to itself. So, quite by accident, my shiny shoes, smart work clothes and me went for the first paddle of the year yesterday at 1°.
Usually the first one is cause for small celebration, with barefoot meandering, picnics, slightly warm bottles of wine.......... I'm surprised I thought it was funny to walk home squelching in my shoes with dark wet ankles above them. Curious, even, to discover how soon freezing wet feet warm up when you just get moving again.
At home, I tipped out a little pool from each shoe, watched the drops run in beads on the waxy surface of the footbeds, squeezed out my blue stripy socks, found a tiny tower shell in the treasure of grit and sand that I had carried home with me.
There's another Winter piece of mine here.
Thanks to Fiona for choosing my piece.
Friday, 9 January 2009
He didn't need to name the piece. She gasped out loud as soon as he began, held her breath.
Sitting in the formal grid of straight-up-and-down chairs he showed her a place beyond the daily fences of her own comforts. Where her heart missed a beat, where her pulse stumbled to race ahead of itself, like an out of control spin and dive, he just gathered her up and carried her with him, like she was a tiny speck of a being, dust in the slanting golden light that rained down to the right of the stage.
Behind her closed and weeping eyes, she looked out into the darkness from a well where all her sadness was being touched at once by hands of ancient knowing. But it was the bold and courageous wings of soaring melody that transported her forward, wrecked, heartbroken, into a shimmering but calm internal sea, that contained all she needed to know.
The harmony pulled. Determined. Tidal. Holding her up under the arms, it was dragging her body clear of the memory of burning wreckage.
Thursday, 8 January 2009
He climbed over the 'Keep out' sign, squeezed through the ramshackle fence, snagged his suit jacket on rusty claws of barbed wire. Kicking away beaten, flattened cans, he slumped down, hoping to stake out a deviant solitude.
At dawn, he hurled his Blackberry into the dark soup of the canal.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Sunlight floods onto the fanfare of Hyacinths in the blue and white bowl. Their white fragrance spills into the hallway, spins to the top of your head as you climb the stairs.
Looking out from the landing onto the backs of the houses and gardens that look like no-one ever ventures there, it's like a reminder of all those angles, when Vermeer saw the side yard of a tall house in Delft, painted the everyday chores of the kitchen maid, the unfinished paint above a back door, the warmth of worn red brick above the street.
I want to curl up at the top window, get the best view of this hidden town scape, just sit and look for a while.
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
They elbowed at your eyes today. The colours. They made a full blast racket. In your face.
A mess of melting ice-cream, the sunset drew a purple crowd of push and shove pigeons out to the only ice melt held as a puddle. They cooed and gargled at the peck and splatter of a dark blue mirror that showed their feathers as restless and moody plump clouds.
Beside them, another pool that they had the wisdom to avoid. It shone, mean. It held no reflection.
Monday, 5 January 2009
The snowy pavement holds the chops and hacks of early feet and the drag of a reluctant school bag wanting a different kind of day. Cars are brushed blind, a pompom tops every railing spike, the black centre of the road is combed slick and shining, gritty with pink salt to gnaw at tyres.
No sledges go by. No tea trays. Just the strange uneven walks of unsure feet.
I like looking down on the pink edge to the light as it hits an ice-bound country, surrounded by an inky black sea. On a monochrome map, crossed by the crooked dancing trail of a blackbird path, the cut of two yellow bands of longitude go underground when they reach the shore.
It will all be gone by lunchtime.
Sunday, 4 January 2009
I just checked again. Opened the curtains. Surveyed the skies. Cloudy and -1°.
Light snow showers are forecast for tomorrow, just as the holiday is ending and we all get back to normal days. This being the Southeastern corner of England, we don't do too well for snow. Being short on space here at home, a sledge is not high on my priority list. However, living on top of a hill means I do have a good choice of slopes to slide down should the wonderful opportunity arise.
Curled cozy on the sofa as I drink my Ovaltine, I'm dreaming about waking up to a snow scene like on Christmas cards, wondering if I'll have time to slide down the hill on a tea tray before starting work tomorrow.
And just before I go to sleep, I know I'll take another look outside.
Saturday, 3 January 2009
Turning for home, towards a raging sinking pink disc of fire, it felt like I walked into a woodcut still in the making. Water made crystal, cracked beneath every step. I was carving a trail of steps as a brayer was drawn over the hillside to pick out a wayward temporary signature line.
The hug of that hilltop copse that has always drawn my eye, hunched against it's own shadow as the air ran in, quick to bite against the chisel of frost. On one side, neat branches, incised, exact, leaned in. On the other, evening was dragging it's rag over the edges, blending the last colours into grey pale.
Friday, 2 January 2009
Thursday, 1 January 2009
Her knees sank into the pale give of volleyball sand
made her want to cast off the snug of hat
the grasp of gloves
the wrap of scarf
like it was June
like she could sit and gulp cold beer
instead of cringing from the thought.