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 shapes of things I’d never seen.
The arced fall from my hands linked into shades of remembering.

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

I follow him there where he courses down
and softly down,
smooth as an arcing light of silver blue,
dark as an olive into infinite river shades he flies and he falls into mirror dew
until I reach for the feathers splayed across his skin
where someone sprayed bright colour into him
and the glimmer of his small black eye catches me into his bright sky
a movement or was it a reflection of me?

From the shiny yellow surface of shallow self-esteem
I run into your glass stream
A full ream of glittering fish, you dish me up like lust
or latent stardust,
when the gold rush it is over.
We both need to recover.

Me from enacting my silver twist,
you from holding your clenched fist
against the gaping sky
where birds die as you hold them up to fly
and 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 entry into dark night.

We are presumptious against the 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

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