Weekly Diary


It was raining hard outside as I pulled an elephant ear off the bed (African rather then Indian although it could have been somewhere in between). I walked the dog along a tenon saw blade but resisted the temptation to count the number of teeth – if it was an even number I would have been proclaimed king. June spent the morning cleaning the scallop shell we have been living in while I coloured in the main sail of a yacht which had accidentally collided with the house during the night. I think it was their fault as we were travelling very slowly. I made a jolly roger out a cuttle fish bones and a pair of black tights and we all walked the plank to the Magic Roundabout restaurant. Both of our meals were of continental proportions and we drifted home quite late.



June went to work scattering seed behind her; I got up in time to see the shadows of the giant birds but not the giant birds themselves – while standing at the window I envisioned shadows as torpedoes sinking merchant ships in the North Atlantic. The bedside alarm sounded an hour late, I laughed as I knew that tomorrow it would sound an hour early. I was still musing on the irony of this when a secretary bird walked by on stilts. After I had walked the dog inside a toaster (we came out a light brown) I walked with Dante to the far corner of my studio. A snowman was drawing a picture of sun men chasing an ice boy; I painted in the end – where the ice boy puts all the suns out – and then wrote a poem to entropy.



I had to go to town early, stopping off on the way to order teeth for the mouth that had suddenly appeared in the back door – just after a white dove had made a black mark and then flew off. June wanted to turn it into a cat flap but I said only the dog would use it. Chewing on a cigar shaped like Clint Eastward I rode into the surgery and handed over a scrap of paper which, I thought, looked like a claw. I didn’t stop off at the livery stable on the way home, carrying my tongues of fire in a cotton bag and smoking words. I touched the door handle at one thousand degrees centigrade and then wrote everything I knew on the side of a match. June came in later wanting a cigarette and holding a spent matchbox.



I got up several times in the night, during the third time I had to fence with an Elizabethan adventurer who had accidentally found himself on our landing – I went back to bed with quite decorative starfish shaped cuts on each ear lobe. June slammed the front door like a missionary finding her flock already converted and I subsequently rose with the pattern on the duvet extending up one arm, across my shoulders and down the other. I spoke to a head held aloft by floating hibiscus flowers and then hitched the dog to a cloud and went out for a walk. I worked inside a light bulb for the rest of the day, breathing in mercury vapour. June came in much later wearing a shopping bag for a coat – we never did find the shopping.



June came home from work feeling ill, she flopped like an eagle while I was searching for native Americans on the brim of General Custer’s hat. I had to work in a glass globe like a lost mariner while she spread herself as a duvet on a Himalayan bed. I straddled real and unreal worlds with a string of images although I knew the alumni of mathematics had been talking by the column of numbers rising quietly in the corner of the studio – I still counted myself lucky. June felt a little better by the end of the day and winked back at the single eye in an otherwise featureless face (I cultivated the look of a twelve inch record deck). Standing in front of myself with paint stains not matching I knew I had the knack of turning the page of the day before everyone had finished reading.



As is often the case for a Friday I got out of bed very early; I imagined black figures against a black background moving invisibly before turning on the torch and making a striped tie for the garden (I only found out later that it only wore t-shirts – plus thermal vests during the colder months). I visited the old magician who pulled a breakfast out of a top hat; I meanwhile pulled a Hindu goddess out of one sleeve and eight pairs of gloves out of the other. We exchanged gifts and I came home in the company of a leading representative of the tree people. We had a lot in common except only he could be cloned. I mentioned I used to dress like Jesus and then walked round a puddle. June was feeling better and phoned me from a lily pad in the Sargasso Sea.



I got up late, looked at the alarm clock (who was practising for a turn in the horn section of the Count Basie band) and got up like a white feather in a martial snow storm. Downstairs Neptune was whittling a piece of wood into the shape of a bottle nosed dolphin (he called it a fish which explains everything about the demise of ancient gods) and I left hand in hand with his consort. She wanted to go to the ice-lands to light a candle and I came home again holding a red poppy; unfortunately as I was wearing a helium balloon as a coat I had nowhere to pin it – I did however see the dove again, flying very high. I talked to the good and bad book seller on the way home and entered the house as a hawk man, cradling memories instead of young children.


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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3 Responses to Weekly Diary

  1. yourothermotherhere says:

    All the water references make me feel like I’ve been reading in a car wash.

    • Oh dear! I didn’t realise there was that many water references. You have to remember because I am a vampire in my head all boats sail in the air. Actually according to the great granddaughter I am a merman werewolf vampire bear dog prince charming – the last named requires a lot of imagination!

      I am not really old enough to have a great granddaughter I hasten to add. I inherited a little granddaughter when I got married and of course they have a tendency to grow up, get married etc. etc..

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