Showing posts from 2017
Dream Poem 102: The Maze, The Wall, The Question or Belshazzar’s Answer.
Daniel 5:5 “In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of King Belshazzar’s wall. “
The Genius Professor and I, along with other research scientists, computers, equipment and robots are working as a team bang in the middle of a maze.
Looking for the answers.
One of the robots, unexpectedly is Swallowed up by the wall, For not fulfilling his role adequately.
I see what is happening and catch hold of his eye as he disappears. I pull and pull, hanging on to the eye. Yards of metal tape come out But I kept hold of it.
I want answers.
The wall is a female entity and speaks to me saying “you are not playing fair” But I say “Any means are ok in order to get the answer” And she clenched her grip on the robot tighter But I would not relinquish my grasp and pulled harder And finally the robot came up to the surface of the wall.
And I asked my question. And he answered me. And I let go.
Dream Poem 100: Through the X of Pinking Shears
Scissors in the kitchen. Long arms Spider fingers Table full of possibility Popping and bursting with ideas and plans.
In my hand a pair of pinking shears Their serrated edges Waiting to decorate An edge With a row of miniature mountains Or a factory roof.
The scissors X Is a gateway Crawl through only slightly hazardous Just avoid the sharp blades like Indiana Jones.
But once through A whole world of pink rivers Purple sunsets, golden mountains, green lakes and blue grass.
The sound of cicadas Not too loud My hammock and a sweet iced tea in my hand.
It is a high hammock So my feet don’t touch the ground There is a breeze Sweet with magnolia blossom and grass
My eyes close in the warmth of evening.
Dream Poem 99: The End of an Affair
I am in a large flat in an institutional apartment block, a student residence
I am doing some teaching and the flat comes with the teaching job I have got a piano People are bringing it down stairs in sections It is very heavy
I have been in and out all day Two people have come to collect me I go around Turning the lights off
As we leave.
Dream Poem 98: Disguised Wine
A court of manners A 1700’s party All powder and crinoline.
Underneath the guests all desire to be top dog They outdo each other With rare and expensive bottles of wine.
I’m am in disguise and try and pull off the act that I belong.
The wine is dusty And horridly dry but it is the oldest, most expensive and sought after.
Later I am discovered And I tell everyone, blurt it out
“Your wine is awful.”
Dream Poem 97: Anno Domini
Running down stairs There is no time to pack We have to go The children will just have to keep up.
A moment ago I was poring over ledgers and old photographs Now we have to run.
We are in the shop named Anno Domini in the back room
Going up the stairs.
Dream Poem 85: Jam at Mass
In church Mass is going on I am out of step with people. At communion I kneel on the alter step in slightly the wrong place.
The matriarchal sisters are giving communion out but its jam, not a host A teaspoon in a jam jar of strawberry there is not much left in it, just a scraping.
After mass there is a lot of good cake on sale I buy some.
One of our group is assaulted in the toilet We have to leave this is an outrage Everyone hears but says nothing They let it happen.

Dream Poem 82: Clothes Mountain
In Ikea but it’s a megastore, even bigger Looking at lampshades and glass vases There is a swimming pool with different levels Kids are swimming I can see through the shop window down into the pool area There are escalators and I find I have stored many clothes there There is a cupboard and crates of clothes I start going through them seeing which ones I want and don’t want which ones fit and there are so many I haven’t looked in for years after looking at a few I decide to take them home with me and clear out the whole lot, move it all home I try to remember where I have parked the car and I see there is a wardrobe, cupboard and draws full of clothes and I think Here we go again Moving more stuff
And I realise I have clothes at another location too and that will needs clearing too. 
(plate by F. Norton, called 'Bless This House)
Generative Drawing
In my studio.. I cannot write this anymore I want to draw.
Later In my studio once I was in the middle of the ‘sashiko Stitich ‘drawings. I would stay late drawing and drawing into the night. Repetitive action With dip pen and ink Some black Some gold ink.
That was before A long time before the tempera work, the ‘Interrupted Pattern’ series Seven years difference.
The repetitive action of process drawing or as Louise Hopkins calls it Generative drawing Altering boundaries and transforming territories. The use of gold The Rococo Minimalism
Why process drawing? Creating lines of text-like marks Bands of drawn scripts with very slight variation A ripple through the sequence.
For the lapis and the gold Hand drawn matrices For the structure of slight discrepancy, an oscillation Again a slight undulation in the skeleton Which show subtly in the skin.
A sea swell A disparity in the surface not seen at first glance But when looking And looking hard, meditating, concentrating, drifting
The Change Part 8: Life Model
As if turning a tap off the black stopped  It no longer worked This grief I’d cooked up had no flavour.
Eight weeks of looking at a life size Black and white photo of my father In nothing but his underpants and a trombone Posing for the camera There is was hung.
Outside my office Passing it back and forth, to class, to lunch on my break, back and forth Past dad – say Hi, be nice Made his death so real.
Grief was a burned pudding Burned and bitter and black Toffee stuck to the bottom of the pan Black and gritty Ad Reinhardt had it The prismatic colours of black are a spare beauty, the matrix of red black, green black, grey black, blue black, yellow black, purple black, arranged and formed into a perfect unwholesomeness.
Delicious chargrilled stone baked bottom blackened black rye loaf A blackberry and squid ink spaghetti Burned Humiliated Shamed, Ignored, Stumbling embarrassment.
He was well known around the pubs and clubs His jazz band was the toast…
The Change Part 7: Cocoon
Curled in the nautilus of my imagination Foetal yet full grown The time of gestation A holding period Inside fingernail pink The shell walls glow in the sun Inside is a spiral staircase In a library In the fingernail room I lodged in black, waiting. Longing, yearning for the time to be up so I could leave So I can transform like Le Cain’s Cabbage Princess. Back into my real, authentic, true self.
At tropical world the cocoons of rare and oversized moths and butterflies hang on a dowel In a humidor They hang, like last years leaves Tatty and brown A crumpled felt hat from the dressing up draw A discarded single brown suede glove from the 1940’s.
The humidor has a glass front so I can witness the transformation. Daphne into a laurel tree Princess into a cabbage Well to ill Life to death to death to life.
Once I saw the exact moment The moth emerged from its cocoon And fell to the metal mesh floor And lay there drying Waiting for exactly the right time to unf…
Shadow Patterns
Shadow patterns of tree branches on the cupola Purple blue against the yellow green of the dome The sky one moment red The next bluest blue.

Dream Poem 96: Trousers
At the corner of a street at night in a closed shop doorway. It has been a Christmas party and our small group composed of The hippy, the ballerina, the tiny enthusiast and the photographer. The round bouncer on the door of the Club has told us “he’s not coming in wearing jeans” We maintained that his presence is necessary to our happiness. It is decided the ballerina and the photographer will swap trousers. He takes off his trousers So she can put them on. This suits them both very well. We are admitted through the dark, smokey doorway.

Dream poem 95: Three Things?
Three things I am certain of That it takes two to get into it
And one to get out of it…
Holland in Prismatic Greys
Holland the flat low-key light of Van Eyke and Vermeer, Breughel and Kalfe. Reflected luminosity into the firmament from rivers, canals and lakes. Watery muted aquamarine, turquoise, azurite, lapis, sapphire greys. Pallid in prismatic neutrals. Bent fracture-light colour spectrum. Rose pink madder misty morning, salmon greys. Chartreuse tint-grey flooding and blotted by paper-tissue clouds. Soft light, clear eyes. Eau de nil, green greys and yellow green, lime curd light from A field of corn swaying next to the window, in high-key contrasts of
Grey indigo-violet shadows and golden avocado green tint of new leaves.
Curled in the Nautilus of Herself

Curled in the nautilus of herself She dreams in polynomial time Multiverse. Each night a different life. Cristal clarity.
Playthings in a painted ladybird tin. Vertebrae of a fish Single portion of ground black pepper A tiny matryoshka, the kind found tight in the middle of the mama dolls. These things she takes out one by one. Examined for rarity and specialness each with its own tale. Talisman to keep her safe on the first day at a new school.
Tokens of her nautilus world. Inside the Fibonacci curves she is beyond reproach, beyond sound or recall of the real world.
Full of potential, potent with myths and future life Waiting to be born, gestating in rose coloured dimness
The pink light making a fingernail home.
Dream Poem 94: Clever Artists
Here is a massive famous Art Museum. Some artists break in the dead of night and take a painting. They use the famous old and venerable painting to make a new one. They break back in the next night And rehang it back in its usual place in the gallery. They wait for it to open. And watch for the public and the curators to see how clever they were.
(image, Cardinal Sin, by Banksy, Liverpool Museum.)

After Under the Skin (Director Jonathan Glazer)
Turn my face to the wall It is all too much Too overwhelming Duck out By pass Turn inward Whitenoiseunbearable Overtaking my senses Eating my mind Blotting my thoughts Turn my face to the wall and… This is what it is like to be her this is what she thinks As she steps out of life.

The crocodile bites the man And stands up as tall as he The man simultaneously makes love to a woman On whose shoulders Stands a giant woman And on her shoulders Is a much smaller man With a giant penis projection Carved all overs with tiny men
Patterned and pierced.
The yearning years
The yearning years, aged seventeen. I wanted something from young men. Not even sure what.
But the ones I was meeting, I was not getting – that special something from. What was it exactly I wanted?
I had read Romeo and Juliet, I had read Mansfield Park.
I thought I knew how men were supposed to act. Real Book Men. Not the boys up the road who teased us, tormented us and got on our nerves.
These Book Men acted with kindness, consideration and were complimentary and I wanted it, But I wasn’t getting it.
None of my boyfriends, not one of them was giving me the Mr Darcy treatment and I wanted it.
Perhaps the post-industrial back drop of a Northern City did not engender the kind of romance, fine words and sweet gestures I yearned for.
In the end I realized this book behaviour was not going to happen. Swains turned up in pea green Ladas not white stallions.
The best I could hope for was The latest Prince LP played for me A twirl at the Poly Bop Drinking cider on t…
Dream Poem 94: Liquid Mud
I open my mouth to scream. And it is choked up with liquid mud. It fills my mouth and throat, gagging me, stifling my cry.

Dream Poem 93: Ice Grey

Spray of silvery sea water Numb cold, blue cold Smashing against a towering cliff of grey granite Immediately it touches land the water is turned to ice. High, high up, the brine is frozen into stalagmites of gleaming pewter grey Instant freeze, towering cliffs. Incrusted like wax from a guttering candle layers of frozen water, Icy concretion by wave after relentless wave of  bitter cold deep.

All the Way to Rotterdam

Twilight over the sea An inky graphite blue And above the moon Behind a cloud Split like a slashed doublet Spilling silver satin Down to the sea A patch of blue black Black blue We move silently past Peering from our port-hole How good it is to be to have them here No fog tonight, unlike the Orkney crossing Just the silver dollar moon And a strong south easterly wind
All the way to Rotterdam.
Dream Poem 86: The Capturers
Choosing coloured pencils from the library shop at college to use with students on a trip to a museum.
The pencils are non-uniform very dirty  but the pigment in them is very good.
We go out, myself and the students to the museum another group is there, they are dangerous. They capture victims to hurt them.
We try and escape by hiding in a room in a tiny shop. We are gathering so we can go out in the street together Playing music and singing.
But the capturers are coming  and we hide in a room. A man and woman are already hiding when I try and squeeze in with them.
A handsome man in a shirt decides to brave it on the street. Slips out of the door and mingles with the crowd He is successful
And returns later dressed as a woman.
Dream Poem 90: Lesbian Rich Girl
Sharing a house with lesbians. I am in love with a super-rich girl she has make up inscribed with her own name.
At the night club there is gang warfare All the girls can leave.
And my true love is among the ones going I run to discover her and say “I will find you soon.”
It is chaos. Running. Fighting.

Dream poem 84: Long Dress and a Sword
Two teams of us On both sides of the hall To take games
The game was to take on a new personality And act out that personality I was in love with someone on the opposite side In every game they were on the opposite side I tried to explain this to them one day but it was wasted words We were never meant to be.
Fighting a battle Long dress and a sword I always win but I wonder if I will win this time and why me?
A grandma and baby are at the play ground Grandma injures her neck and I hold the baby and go to ring an ambulance. I don’t want to dial the number so I get someone else to do it the baby is tiny And starts rooting at my breast and crying. But I tell it “I’ve no milk anymore” Meanwhile the grandma who should be lying flat is playing on the park.
I’m opponents with another kingdom Although I’ve won many times before With my long dress and sword I wonder if I will win this time.
I hear the court advisor talking to the other side sayi…
Dream Poem 87: Bus Trip to an Island
It is cold and I have got gloves and coat to keep warm I catch the bus and end up on a dessert island cast away with some sailors.
They are an island nation like Tahiti or Hawaii I learn to understand life in the island The tides The gifts from the sea Village life.
In the village there is no marrying But people couple off as they want.
Another influx of westerners arrive Large girls in prom dresses and sailors There is a general free for all.
I observe and think “They are being very disrespectful, grasping and rude.” “Greedy.” I think to myself “They will learn They will understand this is not done, not acceptable.” They are just grabbing people to have sex with.
I have fallen in love with an island man, he is a carpenter and has tools We like each other but it Is not their way to stay as a couple and commit to each other. So I keep my thoughts to myself.
There is a crisis. A very large group go out to sea and are lost. They never come back And…
Dream Poem 91: Not Worth Pursuing
An office of glass and concrete It’s a bank.
There is some funny business going on – a scam A suitcase of money is handed over for investment but it is an inside job which is discovered at the last minute and the man has to grab the money and run.
We already know he will get away with it.
We knew it was happening but it was worth the risk and in the long run it is not worth pursuing.
The elders of the bank have allowed it to happen.

(images of the Seagram Building New York. Built in 1958 by Modernist Bauhaus trained Architects  Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson who designed the four seasons restaurant.)
Dream poem 81: Princess Stroppy
Princess stroppy In a campsite By a reservoir A princess in regal state gown, sewn all over with jewels, pearls, crystals, gold.
We have to keep her happy But it’s a campsite Basic and dirty There seems to be lots trailing about in the dirt. she is not happy, no Allerlierauh is she.
(illustration: princess DonkeySkin by Kay Nielsen.)
Dream Poem 54: 1920's Bed
At a night class I’m teaching,  there are three students,  a man on a bike and an older woman.
The class is next to the canal, People have drowned there  we discuss their motivation for drowning.
It’s the end of term and the whole college is getting together for a ceremony. There is a bed in an office. I go for a lie down feeling tired. It is a 1920’s bed,  Art Deco in colour and style  ash trays in the wall next to each side. All around are sky scrapers I feel very small and insignificant.

The Waterwheel Once Again: Mrs Rochester’s Story
Drawn as I am to it I fear it too Its dark beauty and power Black with age and use Cups again and again the soft water.
Made mild by dale and stone The drip, drip, drip of Mother Shipton’s cave Petrifying a hat, a ballet shoe An umbrella Hanging like excavated Pompeian Artefacts.
There is no wheel there in the Garlic forest up in the hills A damp cave for a home. Driven from town as a witch she was feared and saught.
This wheel is an attraction so great I abhor it.
It has a pull on me.
The rhythm of its rhyme, the rhythm of its rhyme, the rhyme of its rhythm A repeated phrase In mechanical shouts And watery gutturals The crank and grind of it The burden of industrial weight  The insolent preponderance of it pulls my eyes unwillingly to its black presence
Its perpetual motion
Wavering on a precipice How easy, how freeing just to let go The edge of reason I look down into the foam Everything is lost – all is nonsense.
Ode to Pina
Pina and her dancers Joy and abandon Pure physicality of space And shape.
Dance with Water Earth A forest An open cast mine A Modernist glass building.
loose hair And long dresses And their bodies move with grace and staccato In minimalist repetitions.
And I recognize my own body in this form and saw my body strong and flexible it too could work like this with this hair and this dress I too can be Pina in her hat and wellies.

Dream Poem 92: 1960’s Classroom Affair

A 1960s film, very stylized
The relationship between a woman teacher and a late teen boy He is blond and overweight by todays fashion standards She is dark and tanned, hair cut in a bob, beautifully cut clothes.
She is in line with the young man and is fighting her feelings.
She sits in her apartment in the evening. All in white, white YSL dress, white Mary Quant shoes She sits at white plastic furniture leafing through a copy of Paris Vogue. It is a very modern roof top terrace There are high windows all done in the Modernist Bauhaus style.
West Side Story – a doomed love affair.
The next shot is In the class room There is an info graphics film about the physiognomic difference between a man and a teenager. With kooky drawings and comparison measurements.
The next scene, He is there at her flat She is trying to tell him to leave But cannot help crying He wants to comfort her But convention stands in the way.
In the next scene They have cross…
The Change part 6: In the Fall-Out of Chernobyl, Black is Inapposite

She is in her black as usual.
Black coat and bag Black bra and knickers and slip Black dress All black, every day.
Saying – he is dead and I am sorry The semiotics of the outfit.
She is in her black dress at the doctor’s waiting room In the hospital Surrounded by women like her.
Some crying silently, anxiously, some dead eyed, exhausted with an IV of nuclear-ness drip, drip, dripping into their bodies.
With husbands With women friends With mothers, with daughters.
She is alone, and happily so she needs a break from the well intentioned baggage of others.
She looks at herself And she says “This narrative has to change”.
This event marks a way stone, a departure from the path she thought she was going on. Her agency in this new reality asserts itself and says,
“Dump the black, Live. This is your time now. He has had his slice of mourning, duty paid, honour given. If you don’t seize this moment and change you will …