12 poems for Yuletide
I don’t desire fame, or seek
global recognition, but loud
I protest. Would roar thunder,
pain, upon the degrees
of wrongness in human unkind.
Seek the paradigm shift
without the wrath of alien
trolls’ extremist reaction.
Would roll out horizontal
equality while the world
was sleeping and googlemap
was filled with birds and camels,
budding trees and essence of Angel.
And I, just visible from
the longest oblique angles;
shouting to open your eyes.
I am a woman of colour;
the colour is Nordic: whitish-
pale-wood. And crip. I am woman
on wheels. And yes, I am woman.
But poet. Undeniably.
Poet hewn from solid mainstream,
but poet. Undescended from
dizzy heights; unobserved at grass
roots. Lacking the martyr’s street cred.
Unwilling to endorse any
other truth to portray my life;
unwilling to compromise the
potential efficacy of
being me; somewhere
Walk in my shoes one bright autumn morning
when the crow mocks fleeing swans, wingbeats white
over meadow and rivers of fallen copper.
Where apples blush high in the overgrown
tree, walk a mile in my shoes under wild blue gleams
and gentle sighs of a whispering fall.
Roll a mile on my wheels and reap the confusion
of knowing little but the preordained
constraints of inaccessible access, eyes down
seeking level pathways and matching pairs
of dropped curbs. Eyes down and focused on the wander
of shifting feet, the speeding and slowing,
the turning, the stopping, the suddenly backing
of fragile flesh ready to roar insult
and condemnation. Rolling a mile on my wheels
will show you nothing but the merest hint
of mechanical revelation.
Your eyes still not open.
I sit somewhere in the middle of a maze
disabled, like any regular person,
by my personal preference, my desire
for a cleaner, kinder, better, fairer world;
by choices acted on and the consequent
powerlessness of my ever decreasing,
financial, vote. Somewhere behind another
hedge, a clash of massive forces lock antlers
as the rutting stag of capitalism
evades democracy and charges head on
into its nemesis. I sit in the eye
of the storm, choosing the ideology
of less. Proud now of the movement of people
against market forces, of people against
the destruction of society by the
inequality of the Great Capitalist
Delusion. The rotten boroughs, the giants
of acquisition, rut, roar on the brink of
extinction, the catastrophic fall waiting
on their blind side. While we, still in the centre,
go our own way, refusing to move, or buy
our way out with a lifetime indenture to
greed, intolerance, violence and hatred.
I sit with such great sadness for the hareem
of innocents eager to avoid the clash,
unaware of fuelling the inevitable
with their own brand of whimsical choice.
I remain, still but not silent, and ready
to be counted.
It may not be democracy that fails us,
rather our politicians who cannot find
means to protect us from the ravages
of a capitalism that has found its own
way to circumvent the democratic process.
And our own whimsicality fuelling a need to follow;
fuelling a media dangling, willy-nilly,
from that same capitalism’s coat-tails.
A media so desperate to ride the wave
it goes to any length to invent the wolf,
the diversion that will feed the culture of blame
and hatred that strives to enslave us,
distract us from the poverty of helplessness;
bribe us with the annual corruption of giving…
The battle for equality plays out daily,
the right to be on the street, the right to enter
shops, restaurants and cinemas. The right to roam
for the price of a pair of shoes and a square meal.
Batteries, two, at two hundred and fifty quid
every eighteen to twenty four months, rather less
value than shoes. And the hoist for the chair doubles
the price of a cheerful runaround car. Equal
How many denials does it take?
How many obstacles along the way?
How many rude remarks?
How much intolerance?
How much thoughtlessness?
Before protest can be deemed righteous?
I can only be who I am
and who I am is incompatible
enough with who you think
I should be that the one
way ticket sits whispering
on my shoulder even while
I argue for the right
to a dignified life.
Don’t push me.
I’m not sick.
I’m not ill. Just
made room for…
Surely you’re not complaining,
It’s only one step.
It’s only one joke.
It’s only this once.
You don’t mind do you. Being
It’s only one meal
It’s only one joke.
It’s only this once.
It is only ever once.
Surely you’re not complaining
The dark night of the solstice
comes around, brings around
it’s own brand of need.
Tis the season for charity,
the season to shelve suspicion
in favour of the pity-eyed
offers of assistance; money
swelling the salving coffers as
normal gears up for the fleeting
season of goodwill, of kindness
and uncommon generosity.
Before you go
hold out your
We can all go down
become a raft
This land is your land,
this life is your life
and yet it’s my land
containing my life.
This land is home to
a living people;
do not leave without
the seeing and feeling
of as much reality
as you can bear.
And what can I say? Yes,
I am moved by kindness.
Moved by the visibility
that eludes us for three
hundred and fifty three
days of the year. And yes,
in spite of my cynicism
I strive to stretch the twelve
days of Christmas into months.
Imagine, twelve months of
human kindness; the very best
of human kind.
Life and work
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
I haven’t blogged for quite a while, not because I’m not working, but because I’m surprising myself a lot with what I’m doing, wondering about life and work and not wanting to make explanation … Rather like when small children grow – up or out, but not both at the same time.
Work is going well, I’m exhibiting in Japan and exploring a wider Asian field. It’s exciting and mainstream – which is where I started.
And the reason I’m asking myself who I really am. While I identify as a disabled person, I’ve not seen myself as a disabled artist since I really sat down and thought about it.
Wheels free me up, give me mobility, and are paradoxically my ‘disability’ – and they don’t have any adverse affect on my practice. I love my wheels, where does that leave me?
I live my life with a disabled gaze. It’s how I exist between the restrictions society imposes on me. But my art? I do create work that reflects that gaze, but I also create work that reflects my unrestricted, unfettered artist; work that has continuity with the time before I needed wheels.
And before I needed wheels, I didn’t have a clue about disability. I might have fallen over a lot, dropped and broken a lot of things, lived with degrees of pain, but I certainly didn’t identify as disabled.
So who am I? Am I in denial? Do I suffer from imposter syndrome?
I am in the process of making me.
It is my aim never to finish.
I began in rush, and with such an
innocent idea of who I might be,
but someone kept moving the goalposts and
it took me an age to know that someone
Now breathless in the freefall,
the rush of time drowning out
perspective as I nose dive
so close to the embrace
of solid ground, removes all
certainty from where I am
and who I might aspire to;
unpicks the construct that was
going to be me, but now
badly fitting, is way, way
too small to cope with shades of
green and grit, with death and pain,
of opening my heart; the
sheer astonishment of this
And the mess
the utter mucky chaos
as all my bits of rubrics cube
spill across the floor.
unplanned; lacking the elegance
of balance, or the slightest hint
of design – or control – or
evidence of a masterplan
that would indicate
to success –
the flower garden
filled only with fragrance;
a frozen perfection to hide
my imperfect shape,
lack of foundations
and the still clumsy,
tiptoed out on the faint line
where life and death exist
unbearably, exquisitely close
is the privilege of love
without which I would
never find the courage
to balance here
in this luminosity
of being, not waiting,
Thursday, 4 June 2015
Homegrown 2015 is almost upon us. The subject matter is timely: ‘Worth Fighting For’.
If you are artist you might now find yourself thrust into the middle of a fight to retain arts and culture. If you are disabled, you might find yourself in the middle of fighting for survival…
The choices made by the government, to put our lives and culture at risk, are just that: choices. Incredibly they seem to have brainwashed a large slice of the population into believing that they are inevitable consequences.And this has provoked my own ‘Worth Fighting For’ response.
‘And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on the preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.
I am making figures, not the full bodied soft sculptures, but silhouette ‘shadows’ and not white but people of colours – red, green, gold and orange too.
The colours might represent their bodies, or their clothes; each one is unique – a woven patchwork presenting the figure to the world.But the heads are identical, the generic ‘man’. They are feature-less and opaque, representing the manipulated minds populating Britain in the year 2015.
As I work, a fragile tissue-paper apron decorated with famous words from Shelley’s Peterloo Massacre, seeks – no – demands that I find it room; forcing me to consider what exactly I mean by the word fighting.
I line up my literary ‘big guns’ and ask: is it too late to fight?
The Homegrown exhibition runs from 15 June – 8 August (Excluding Mondays) at Salisbury Arts Centre. The Homegrown performance evening is on July 1, 7pm – do come and support LUA!
More details at www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk
Our Tales: ‘Worth Fighting For’ Workshop
Saturday, 23 May 2015
It was really good to see artist/activist Penny Pepper in Salisbury for the final Our Tales Unveiled workshop. Very different from the previous workshops with Liz Porter, Penny had us all sitting around a table. And this seemed to suit most, but put me instantly out of sync with what was going on. I do find table-tasking physically stressful.
Somewhat flustered, I realized we were being given words to kick start our imaginations. And quite a lot of instructions – Pen asked us to rhyme – I don’t do that – and to choose a structured poetic form – not my thing. And currently I’m not that keen on Pen’s favorite, the villanelle. I don’t haiku either…
Not that I can’t see the value in this, the villanelle has a long history of protest and the haiku has equally ancient credentials.
My word was ‘justice’. The surprising instructions: fx: choose a gender, choose a colour/style, I found rather confusing. I couldn’t remember all of them, but made a stab at those two and completed my first poem of the workshop:
Justice may be draped
in a lime green boa.
a floating transgender beauty
with an ephemeral take
on which direction to go;
on which box to make
that mark in: to be
or not to be,
a force for goodness
It got me thinking about how I work. When it comes to words I find them so dominating. I have arrived late for all sorts of things because the words would not let me be; demanded that I put everything on hold to record them. I write because there is no alternative. I catch the words as they fly at me. Words that have chosen their own shape and form and demand to be taken notice of.
I was probably the least likely candidate for a formally structured workshop, but still fascinated to be there.
After some intense, silent, scribbling, we shared our work and Penny was encouraging and supportive. Penny then shared some of her work, technique and inspirations with us; some of it a little strong for mild mannered Salisbury!
We had refreshments and then a further fifteen minutes to return to our poems, to edit and polish.
I was again at a disadvantage. I do admire people who can go back to their work and hone it to a perfection I probably miss out on.
The words that present themselves to me as poetry, defy any possibility of edit or alteration.
Nevertheless, I could feel and enjoy the energy building within the group as we shared our next work.
Point of view or points to view:
hilltops or coal mines,
Easy Jet or Jacques Cousteau;
reserving the right to evolve
the fluid personality, able
to slide from one to another;
checking like a leper for broken skin
checking for the mental decay
eroding the island of belief on which
I park my bum, but eager for the beach;
the freaky waves, the next challenge
to take its chances tangled in
my own personal, barbed wire.
Penny then suggested we get to grips with our topic: Worth Fighting For, and that we take Independent Living as our inspiration.
The group set about this with an enthusiasm it was a joy to be part of and I did sense that the workshop was going really well.
Before we read our final, stirring words, Penny led us through some vocal warm ups that, besides exercising the vocal chords, might also tame some pre-performance nerves:
In rags, with
high on a pillar, meditating,
if you don’t count the disciple
who brings bites on a stick.
I am an island, would be independent;
independant of the undisabled majority
who demand I own up to disability.
that I creep into a box, humbly.
Independence means pride in my wheels
my marketing manager’s dream
stick in the mind, USP…
…that ‘stand and be counted’, gets my goat,
but I’m all for being counted.
I’m all for being proud,
unlike the Outside In refuge for
invisibly disabled artists to hide
from the disadvantages of hate
crime, by joining the crowd,
the crowd of undisabled with
the ‘invisible’ prejudice.
Invisible only to the folk that ‘matter’
the undisabled mainstream/manstream?
That gang, totally incapable
of independent thinking
who never dream
This might not have been quite what was expected, but it was where the muse took me.
Penny followed this up with some inspirational tips, readings and a roundup of the day.
There were a lot of positive comments, some interesting results and I think most of us were inspired to go away and write some more.
My own follow-on poem was prompted by an Outside In presentation:
Would I pretend if I didn’t have wheels?
If wheels could be mistaken for legs?
Would I? Would I hold my tongue when asked
that question? Would I identify
myself as disabled? Would I?
The question has never before occurred.
I turn to look at myself, surprised.
I am disabled; I am, I cry out
neither proud nor ashamed; just released
by the power, the truth of it. And if,
if there were no barriers, no external
hindrances to access or equality
I would still be other, if not disabled;
the daily tasks and processes would still
defeat me with unerring frequency.
It is a relief to know that I am
not normal, not neurotypical,
not any kind of typical;
that my life is the way it is, because
it is the way I am, the way
I function to the very best.
And I would not relinquish
the hidden strength that comes
from owning my truth.
She extols the virtues of walking,and I get it, I really get it.
I remember. So I understand
the exclusion. I yearn for the easy
synchronicity of movement and thought.
I yearn for the affirmation of
walking. I yearn for the swishing skirt,
and that incredible lightness of mind.
Sitting, predominantly sitting,
my mind substitutes movement, avatar
walking, running; avatar active;
avatar consolation. A self
delusion that denies the value
of my instant connection to peace:
the tranquility of sitting. I
value my chair for the freedom; for
the movement enabling presence.
The journey has always been
my coming home, I find it hard
the metaphor of the chair.
I have neglected its wisdom, its
ever present reminder of stillness,
of being nowhere but mindful and
openly, silently, affirming life.
Our Tales: the performance and first workshop
Wednesday 10 February 2015
Our Tales: Unveiled / Worth Fighting For
Thursday 21 May 2015
Oh my! Saturday is almost upon us and the final ‘Our Tales Unveiled’ workshop (in this round) is almost taking my by surprise.
Penny Pepper is coming to Salisbury Arts Centre Saturday 23 May to lead it, inspired by the topic: ‘Worth Fighting For’
Just up Penny’s street I hear people say – I’ve not met her, but I’m excited.
‘Worth Fighting For’ is the inspiration for (SAC) Salisbury Arts Centre’s annual Homegrown Exhibition, an event LinkUpArts is proud to be part of.
As well as the work by core LUAN artists, LUA also supports and encourages work by various artists including Kingfisher Poets. This year’s Kingfisher entry for Homegrown is ‘House of Cards’ a pack of playing cards to literally play with.
The Kingfishers’ (a self-funded group of poets/writers supported by SAC) ‘House of Cards’ is jam-packed with verses supporting the arts in general and SAC in particular; we all agree that the recent shocking cuts to SAC funding (by Wiltshire Council) require protest and action. SAC is most definitely Worth Fighting For!
Actually putting pen to paper on a topic that personally means so much and then putting the work out there feels quite scary. Different. I write and present quite personal stuff that can leave me feeling temporarily vulnerable, but I manage it with a little creative ‘distance’.
When something is really Worth Fighting For distance is not an option.
I’m hoping to get some insights on Saturday…
I’m really looking forward to Penny Pepper’s workshop and to catching up with the other participants sharing the journey so far…
Our Tales: second workshop
Tuesday 17 February 2015
‘The best way to learn is when you are enjoying what you are doing so much you don’t notice how time flies.’ Einstein said that, and I’m utterly happy to repeat it after our second storytelling workshop with Liz Porter. Where did the day go?
The number of participants had grown since week one, but Liz was able to include and integrate them into the group without neglecting the development of those storytellers expecting more.
And Liz is one of those rare gifted people who really do relate to where you are in your practice and has that inner clarity of vision to encourage you to grow and to challenge yourself.
The morning passed with examples of Liz’s brilliant storytelling and games that stretched our imaginations as we got to know each other and our individual talents.
Lunch, brought up from Salisbury Arts Centre Cafe, refreshed us all while we laughed and chatted our way through the break.
In the afternoon session we were given the opportunity for positively challenging and encouraging each other as we practiced our evolving skills – a process that helped us remember and assimilate what we were learning. It was also a great confidence booster.
We have homework for our final session next Saturday; I believe we are all excited by our individual challenges and very much looking forward to it.
Our Tales: the performance and first workshop
Wednesday 10 February 2015
Our performance evening (6th February) was somewhat different to our plans and expectations. Dramatically, Penny Pepper was taken ill after her get-in on Friday. She was admitted to hospital and consequently unable to be part of the evening performance, or the Saturday workshop. I understand she is now home and wish her a speedy recovery.
The event went ahead with the presenter, Colin Hambrook, Penny’s producer Bethany and her cellist Jo, pulling together to give us a flavour of ‘Lost in Spaces’ – the performance we were missing. In spite of our worries about Penny the evening went ok and was well received by our audience. I am full of gratitude and admiration for the way the situation was managed – for Colin, Bethany and Jo’s spontaneous input.
After her great performance on Friday, Liz Porter took the Saturday workshop on her own and it was excellent. With a skilful blend of examples, games and story-telling practice, our time just flew by. The sense of energy and enthusiasm grew as we worked our way through the morning – learning, laughing, sharing and listening to Liz’s stories and her wonderful singing voice.
We came away with homework and the intriguing promise of more new ways to work with our creativity in the next Saturday workshop.
Rounding off the session with lunch, homemade soup in the Arts Centre Cafe, we were all in very good humour and full of admiration for Liz’s talent and professional skills.
And all looking forward to our session next Saturday 14th February.
Do come and join us at Salisbury Arts Centre from 11.00 to 16.00.
Our Tales: Unveiled
Wednesday 5 February 2015
Friday evening looms ever closer. The excitement and fear are building. The evening performance with Liz Porter and Penny Pepper will herald the start of a series of workshops aimed at empowering people to share their own stories.
When the idea was still new, I offered to share a story that is mine, but not just mine. There was some initial confusion as I usually read or perform poetry, but this was a prose piece.
I write both, with a lot of enthusiasm. I write essays that make some small attempt to set the world to rights. The world, that is, as it appears to me; the world I’m trying to make some sense of.
‘Vinterblik’ is about dying, it’s about the last story, the one you don’t actually get to tell for yourself; the one that continues to exist as part of someone else’s story.
It’s about that thing that will happen to us all; the unspoken, perhaps unacknowledged, fact that each one of us will confront in our own uniquely individual way.
It is a quiet look at the process of dying, written in a time when our society is obsessed with legislation; with corralling everything about life and death into the neat and orderly confines of the law. It will be a difficult tale to share; hence the build up of fear.
Liz and Penny will be leading the weekend workshops that follow on from the performance evening. I’ve never seen either of them in action, but even at this distance, I feel the life and energy that marks each unique one-woman performance radiating from their publicity material and reviews; hence the excitement.
Come and see us, or come to the workshops. Better still, do both.
We all have stories to tell; each and every one of us sees the world through a unique set of circumstances that influence our journey and our perception of who we are.
Each person is a unique version of a human being, together we make up humanity.
Wednesday 10 December 2014
A change in my mobility status, narrowing down my choices, means that I have for some months been feeing displaced, distressed and somewhat negative, aggressively negative, about life as a disabled person.
I used to feel sad for the person who lived on the edge of uncertainty, never belonging any-place.
I came to identify with that un-belonging and the issue evolved from the feeling of unwelcome immigrant to hopeful citizen of a new world.
I used to feel sad for the person whose only experience of life was war.
But recently I’ve had to accept that by my own definition and on a very personal level, the person in a war zone is also me.
Plunged into battle by the disability issue, I have been at war with institutions. There has been no victory. Only the truce of distancing, of no longer acknowledging their power to abuse me, to defeat me.
While I have very little understanding of what it is like to truly belong anywhere, I do have faith in family, in myself; in my capacity to endure. But I have been feeling worn down by current animosity towards disabled people, by a lack of hope; I have been longing for a moment and a safe place to gather myself.
Wednesday at Cafe Lua, I argued and steamed. I boiled over, but was not rejected. I was met with an equal passion; was reminded of hope. And kindness.
I was reminded that life is what you do and how you do it.
Belonging is where your heart is. I am encouraged to be perseverant,
We have no race, no state,
we are not We, but each one
of us knows a safety in
belonging with each other.
holding each other’s lives
in respect, we keep life
sacrosanct. We are a people
oppressed, but together;
holding together, refusing
to be shut away like our
ancestors, holding each other’s
lives in our hearts, in our history,
telling it out, working it out,
we stand metaphorically
together, singing freedom,
singing equality, holding
together the right to smile; the right
to more than mere existence.
The right, each one of us, to
our individual normality.
We have no race, no state,
but history and legacy,
of life, of hope and promise.
We are a perseverant people
and we too shall overcome;
this day, everyday, someday.
Summertime, new project and Unlimited Festival
Monday 11 August 2014
August is LUA holiday season, we’re all planning our escapes to sunshine and adventure, but even as I contemplate my own flight, I’m thinking what a privilege and joy it is to work in the arts. I’m wildly looking forward to the holiday, but part of me is already anticipating the return and the exciting prospect of our next LUA project. There are plans for a series of workshops following a live performance event in Salisbury Arts Centre on 28th November (make an early note of the date on your calendar!).
Before I go there will just be time to take home our LUA fish from the Homegrown exhibition which ends on the 17th August, and time to prepare the September/October newsletter. In order to include reviews of Unlimited 2014 it will be with you a little later than usual.
I will be away when it does come out; also, to my dismay, away when Unlimited 2014 makes its big splash at the Southbank Centre, September 2 – 7.
I’m expecting the lovely people from the LUA team to be there, camping out for the week not to miss a single moment (Hayley, is that you?). And I’m expecting some write-ups plus feedback, so I can indulge in vicarious enjoyment and celebration of this important occasion.
Do go if you get the chance, and do tell us about it; other LUA readers who cannot get there would love to hear about your experience. And of course I will want to know all the details about what I will be missing!
Like a pregnancy, Unlimited grows
with a sense of anticipation. This
second child will emerge without fanfares
of Olympic proportions; without the
international attention bestowed
by visitors to games of another
culture. The head is crowning when public
empathy, when solidarity with
diversity and disability
is in free-fall. It may be up to us,
the family, to give this birth all the
attention and celebration that proud
people rejoice to offer a new life.
Hope around which family, friends, lovers
and neighbours might meet to build a future.
A future of respect and attention.
Wednesday 23rd July 2014
Having just about recovered from my 24 hour stints photographing sky, it’s rather good to be getting straight on with ArtyFishAl.
I wrote that some weeks ago and got stuck into making and encouraging LUA fish as well as my own artist contribution – a new soft sculpture.
The fishy response has been brilliant and we’ve all been impressed, so much so that there is now gallery space here on the site so people can enjoy ArtyFishAl even if they can’t get to Salisbury Arts Centre. If you find yourself doodling fish, or otherwise expressing yourself in fishy fashion, it’s not too late, send it and we’ll add it to the gallery…
I made my fish – the one that says something about me, ages ago it seems. It’s a small green knitted fish with wheels instead of fins, a wheel fish. Then I had a few other ideas to explore and began wondering what would be happening while the exhibition was actually showing.
Now there is one thing that seems to throw the nation into a frenzy as summer fades and it says artificial to me in big way. All sorts of links started firing away in my head and I was instantly smitten with the idea of Strictly Fish. I’ve hunted out some shiny fabric, sequins, beads, lace and froth and am setting about the task with enthusiasm. And while I stitch and glue, I wonder what the attraction is. Is it pure escapism? Mindless distraction or does Strictly have deeper insights to deliver about the evolution of a wannabe civilised society?
Tam, who’s doing a great admin job for LUA, proposed that we created a short drama presentation for the preview of Homegrown (the exhibition that ArtyFishAl is part of) and set about motivating a small team.
I wrote a poem, Amy wove her wordless song through the action while Hayley held everything together and Tam who really is an actor, created humorous and dramatic focus. Somehow we pulled it off on the night.
Hej-do I’m fish. Strictly fish
and we all know what that means.
Not some scaley creature from
the market stall. Oh no not me.
Satin and silk, sequins and godets
spray tan and hairdos, I’m a strictly fish.
And you might well ask what’s that
got to do with disability. Well you might
ask what it’s got to do with art?
And as they say in fairy tales,
that is another story. Can you imagine
swimming in acres of satin,
sequins and godets? No-huh
Well that’s disability ; trying to thrive
in an unsuitable environment.
Seeing in low lighting, seeking
with no signage, wheeling
up steps and squash-me narrow
pathways. That sums it up.
Bet you’ve all seen fancy
hairdos stretched out on long necks
while the owner attempts a length or two
of the pool. But prancing around in
sequins and godets, you need a dance floor
ballroom, orchestra, Darcy Bustle,
Oh-oh I’d forgotten the legs. I’m a fish
Strictly fish, I should be in the water.
But then I’ve got all these – accoutrements
And well between you and me?
Help, I don’t swim!
Homegrown, the exhibition, is showing at Salisbury Arts Centre until Sunday 17th August 2014
And here at LUA we are already planning the next project and can hardly wait to tell you all about it!
24 hour Salisbury
Friday 30th May 2014
I’m watching the weather and have fingers crossed for some good sky today for LinkUpArts’ 24hours of sky. Yesterday would not have offered much more than acres of off-white cloud and even a patch of inaccessible sky when the downpour was too intense to be out in.
I’ve been looking at Salisbury with new eyes in the run up to 24hour. I normally just go for the big picture, getting safely from a to b without too much hassle!
I’ve been spending time with the lime trees in the Guildhall Square in preparation for a Kingfisher project that is timed to culminate in the 24 hours. After much public protest the existing trees in the Market Place and Guilhall Square were retained when the two areas were given a face lift. The two existing spaces used to have quite separate character, emphasised by the two rows of lime trees marking out the sides of the Square. The Market Place was a less defined area with an avenue of plane trees along one edge and a single row at right angles to it as a second border edging.
The lime trees separating the two spaces were the most endangered. It is mainly these that feature in the Kingfisher project. The trees are being named, photographed and written about. Not many poets produce work spontaneously, so preparations are already under way. The poets have chosen their trees and begun each unique process of creation.
Quoting Jon Mooallem:
“Storytelling matters now. Emotion matters. Our imagination has become an ecological force.”
Twenty four, a day and
a night’s worth of hours
something so ordinary
the taken for granted
repetition of waking
eating, working, sleeping.
Yet each hour unique and
open to be filled with
passion, conviction, quest;
with the words, the deeds, the touch
that will stop your heart from
breaking: your senses from
shattering in the dismay
of realisation, the
aching regret of time
When you look back, twenty four
hours, days, years from now
will you feel regret, feel
hunger for time ignored?