Friday, 28 June 2013

A favourite poem

I Used the title: Altarwise by Owl-Light, in a recent post.  It is from my favourite Dylan Thomas poem.  Thought I would share it.

Altarwise by owl-light in the half-way house
The gentleman lay graveward with his furies;
Abaddon in the hangnail cracked from Adam,
And, from his fork, a dog among the fairies,
The atlas-eater with a jaw for news,
Bit out the mandrake with to-morrows scream.
Then, penny-eyed, that gentlemen of wounds,
Old cock from nowheres and the heaven's egg,
With bones unbuttoned to the half-way winds,
Hatched from the windy salvage on one leg,
Scraped at my cradle in a walking word
That night of time under the Christward shelter:
I am the long world's gentlemen, he said,
And share my bed with Capricorn and Cancer.

Death is all metaphors, shape in one history;
The child that sucketh long is shooting up,
The planet-ducted pelican of circles
Weans on an artery the genders strip;
Child of the short spark in a shapeless country
Soon sets alight a long stick from the cradle;
The horizontal cross-bones of Abaddon,
You by the cavern over the black stairs,
Rung bone and blade, the verticals of Adam,
And, manned by midnight, Jacob to the stars.
Hairs of your head, then said the hollow agent,
Are but the roots of nettles and feathers
Over the groundowrks thrusting through a pavement
And hemlock-headed in the wood of weathers.

First there was the lamb on knocking knees
And three dead seasons on a climbing grave
That Adam's wether in the flock of horns,
Butt of the tree-tailed worm that mounted Eve,
Horned down with skullfoot and the skull of toes
On thunderous pavements in the garden of time;
Rip of the vaults, I took my marrow-ladle
Out of the wrinkled undertaker's van,
And, Rip Van Winkle from a timeless cradle,
Dipped me breast-deep in the descending bone;
The black ram, shuffling of the year, old winter,
Alone alive among his mutton fold,
We rung our weathering changes on the ladder,
Said the antipodes, and twice spring chimed.

What is the metre of the dictionary?
The size of genesis? the short spark's gender?
Shade without shape? the shape of the Pharaohs echo?
(My shape of age nagging the wounded whisper.)
Which sixth of wind blew out the burning gentry?
(Questions are hunchbacks to the poker marrow.)
What of a bamboo man amomg your acres?
Corset the boneyards for a crooked boy?
Button your bodice on a hump of splinters,
My camel's eyes will needle through the shroud.
Loves reflection of the mushroom features,
Still snapped by night in the bread-sided field,
Once close-up smiling in the wall of pictures,
Arc-lamped thrown back upon the cutting flood. 
I would not want to begin to analyse the imagery as a whole; I love this poem because of the way it sits in the mouth and feels on the tongue.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Another year, another Art Trail

Please do come if you are in Sherwood this Saturday.The Trail starts at Carrington, St John's community centre, continues through the churches and shops of Mansfield Road and finishes at St Martin's, Trevose Gardens.  Then there is the fair and stalls of Sherwood Festival (on Woodthorpe Park) just to round it all off.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Bees and Beetles make me happy

“Place a beehive on my grave
And let the honey soak through.
When I'm dead and gone,
That's what I want from you.
The streets of heaven are gold and sunny,
But I'll stick with my plot and a pot of honey.
Place a beehive on my grave
And let the honey soak through.” 

“Such bees! Bilbo had never seen anything like them.
"If one were to sting me," He thought "I should swell up as big as I am!” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit

The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. But the bee...gathers its materials from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own." 
~ Leonardo da Vinci

"Whenever I hear of the capture of rare beetles, I feel like an old war-horse at the sound of a trumpet"
- Charles Darwin

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Altar-wise by owl light...

It was love at first sight;I promised myself if he was still there on my way back then we were destined for each other.

When I got him home he had brought a small gift with him.  

These two wonderful sculptures are by Simon Griffiths.  A man with a gift in his hands and a feeling for birds.  He is also phenomenally generous and I can't thank him enough, other than to say that I smile each time I look up from the reading chair in our living room.

If you are at Art in Action then seek him out. 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

Now the flurry, hustle and bustle that is SATs testing is over you would think we could sit back, breathe easier and rest a little.  Every year I forget just how much there still is to do.  It doesn't help that Sherwood Art Week coincides with this last hurly-burly term.  So there have been:
Children's assessments to moderate, finish and enter for the LA (local authority)
Our student teacher's observations and standards files to write up.
Planning for the coming week to do
Needle felted polar bear to finish
Painting to finish.
Pictures to frame, felt to frame, exhibition pieces to hang

In all of this it is easy to forget the boys and Tim.

Then there is this

Alpaca fleece, that came to me via Twitter of all places.  Beware making comments on people's pictures it sometimes results in gifts you can't refuse.  

I have never ever dealt with raw fleece before.  So I invested in a set of carding combs, a bucket and a sweater drying net.  Next was a trawl of the internet (wonderful invention, thanks Tim Berner's Lee; bet you had no idea what crafter's would do with your wonderful net!), Spinderella came up trumps with a guide to washing raw fleeces of different ilk.

Starting with a tiny batch as a trial run I am now hoping for sunshine, or warmth at least, so that I can have a go at carding the fibers.  The alpaca's that donated the fleece are a most beautiful combination of creamy white and butterscotch brown.  I can't wait to try out the felting to see how they turn out.

In between all that I have some stories to type up and send out there into cyberspace.  Could do with a little Wrinkle in Time just for me, anyone got a spare tesseract?

Sunday, 9 June 2013


I took Fran's advice and went to look at inspiring images: favourite blogs, books etc.  Having just received this:

Thanks to Rima @ the Hermitage, who happens to have a lovely piece in the book.  
The pencil work is amazing, inspiring.

After a long time looking at other artists and their incredible draughtsmanship I then had a good browse around my photos.

The result?  Here: