And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

When I stopped being angry
I began to see the shape of things.
The arced fall from my hands linked deep


I am aware of the kingfisher and his boy.
The blue pulse of his solid wings.
His eccentric hover over the lonely back.

I followed him there,

There, where he courses down
and softly down,
smooth as an arc of light of silver blue
And dark

Dark as an olive

Into infinite river shades he flew and he flies

into the mirror dew of you

Feathers splayed across his thin skin

where someone sprayed bright colour into him.
A glimmer

and his small black eye catches me

into the rich fabric of his bright sky
a movement

or just a reflection of me.

From the shiny yellow surface of shallow self-esteem
I run,

Relentless, into your glass stream
And like a full ream of glittering fish, you dish me up like lust
A piece of latent stardust,
when the gold rush is over.
We both need to recover.

Me from the feeble act of my silver twist,
And you

From the dark fold of your clenched fist
Held against the gaping sky
where birds die

as you hold them up to fly
For they cannot bear the open air.
For cages must
represent their gold dust
when freedoms spike the air
with torrid breath,
to me –
you are my nemesis and my death.

I have swallowed that tiny bird.
It’s small black eye, its dart and fly, its secret streak of breathless flight
It’s illicit entry into dark night.

Are we so presumptious against starlight?



Artonnic was formed to undertake three hospitals in Cornwall. The relationship with the health trusts broke down after an initial sucess with Bodmin Hospital. Artonic as an organisation no longer exists although powerful lessons should be learnt here.

The ability to deliver art within this environment was dependent upon keeping the arts projects outside the linear hierarchy of trust management. In the beginning this was so, the chief executive who originated the project left as did the arts consultant. The new chief executive although a remarkable man had more important issues to resolve, the trusts were deep in debt, The projects then floundeed within the ill-informed, at least in the matters of art, and often squabbling line managers, modern matrons, Friend’s groups etc. It became clear that arts projects if they are to be honest to themselves should be responsible to the ideals they observe and not the hierarchy of the institution. It is advisable to keep the debate to these ideals and not continue until a consensus is signed up to. The often very bad quality of these projects is evidence of this with an increasing dependence on the personal qualities of the arts consultants, for example Leslie Green shines out whilst Willis Newson are simply bad.

The result is art chosen within the personal quirks of individuals who think they are shopping and so ignore a couple of thousand years of critical theory with the sweeping and false ‘All art is subjective’ concept or worse a form of propaganda to cover deficiencies or promote the self advertised virtues of a political attidude.

I come from a time when politics and art were a much discussed issue the dangers to both artists and societies of the artists being in the pockets of the politicians were apparent from the turmoils of war.

It was shockng for me to realize how much these warnings were ignored in the context of State sponsorship of art.


Ed’s visit to Exeter was inspirational. A good man with honest answers and no flack, let us hope that the British public can get past the bad press and media-related image concerns (certainly not all bad though and some glowing reports from The Guardian) and get Britain ‘back on track’ through the local elections this May.

Brilliant Q&A on Thursday with Ed Milliband in Exeter, Devon. Starting off with a short talk in which he mentioned Salford and George Galloway, bankers’ bonuses, the cut in the 50p tax rate, the need for apprenticeships, the cut in police numbers, 16,000 being taken off the streets and the dying throes of the Tory slogan “We’re all in this together”. Three other words stood out here too: Restorative Justice and Solidarity, listen carefully and you can hear his heart talking.  He took questions in blocks of 3, listening, making notes and always remembering a name. Never did he put a foot wrong, using questions to reiterate his policies he never finds himself ‘down a blind alley’ and his answers are not simplistic either, behind them lie characteristics that are not readily attributed to him because they are not immediately obvious and this, I think, is the real key to Ed Milliband – anyone who fails to see the fundamental goodness that he is purveying  “just doesn’t get it”!

Howling For Justice

Blogging for the Gray Wolf