Weekly Diary


The alarm sounded as I found myself standing in a house slowly collapsing around me (a little boy in another dimension was hoping for Lego for Christmas). Marks on the floral carpet rose like Grecian columns; the time lapse movement of honey bees mapped out the shape of flower heads on their barefoot tops.  June and I wore headdresses of sunflowers and went to town  We looked through filaments of bright orange flames, me dressed in broadsheet newspapers and her wearing a costume of ancient paw prints.  We walked home through industrial estate rain.


I walked June to work with bird song dropping from each street lamp in turn (blackbirds with ladies tights over their heads pushed barrows of fruit machines up the hill – at the top the organ recently escaped from the Royal Albert Hall sat eating).  I came down the hill with my computerised earrings flashing messages – sadly one ear could not communicate with the other).  Back in my studio I maintained the wind farm in my mind and reflected in the mirror like a bad headline.  June and I had been talking about moving into a giant fungus but its fruiting body has squatters.


It was a very rough night.  This was confirmed by the china doll who sat outside on the windowsill; it warned it would jump but I knew it couldn’t.  Inside, the head without a body grew wings just above its ears, they grew larger throughout the morning and when I returned from town wearing fourteen different items of clothing they looked like a map of Greater London.  I worked silently until June came back from the desert island on the roof when both the doll and I spoke at the same time – using the same words in different colours.  June climbed into an old shoe.


June and I met my sister on the concrete landing platform in town; we then met my father, who head had become a giant chimney billowing out dream smoke.  We ate our meal in the middle of the charge of the Light Brigade – I then had another pudding while everyone else stood and shone like street lamps.  I contemplated the road ahead like the giant mechanical gorilla I have mentioned before.  Later I saw a picture of myself with a mast on my head and the sail furled up – I waited to see if anyone would unfurl it but no one did.  The concrete eagle flew over head.


I snuggled up inside an envelope and waited for at least part of me to be posted.  The picture of a brain I had stuck onto the smiling face wall was looking more like a map of an unknown city every minute (in the city lived a toad called Emily; all the boys wanted to feed her with flies they had caught specially).  As the first attempt at making an invisible man I went out to collect some boxes.  I came back across a field of burning eyes; I stopped when they started to close – I kept a collection of variously coloured pencils in my pocket just in case.  The rain lapped up the milk like a black cat.


I left the cloth cap house some time before the vulture abacus was fixed above the dying mathematician (I counted myself out and counted myself back again).  I met the old merman sitting on a piece of toast in the middle of the bright green sea; I found my own toast and paddled like I had just entered my third childhood.  Incidentally it was a long time ago, when attempting to measure the longest strip of seaweed in the world that I found the found the remains of the first electric poet.  At that age I totally ignored the fact that he had an elephant’s trunk and ears like solar panels.


I got up early again – my eyes crumpled up like an old pullover.  I left June sleeping like a Neolithic long barrow while I got ready, accompanied by a char lady from a Fifties television advert (I later saw the bright white dog from the same advert floating outside the double bedroom window). I caught the train to an Ancient Briton gap in a Roman road and lit a bonfire while the sentries were temporarily blinded by sunlight.  I signed my name on the side of an old tractor and came home in a suit made from egg shells; the train was already waiting in the station.


About Gerald Shepherd

Gerald Shepherd is a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, digital/multimedia artist, photographer, writer, curator and arts administrator. He has also been involved with science art, performance art, conceptual art, installations and environments (as well as peripheral creative pursuits such as garden design).
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