Weekly Diary

16/12 2012

I woke stuck to the bedroom wall like paisley patterned wallpaper; my eyelashes like multiple legs kicking multiple footballs – I scored a goal for breakfast and then ate the goal mouth (it is widely rumoured that June had eaten the referee but it was only the linesman). I escaped the house inside a ball point spacecraft, writing a message in the dark matter of deep space before orbiting the garden like a heron circling a fish and chip van. June was licking the house instead of stamps when I returned home wearing draught horse shoes and holding a blank canvas as if it was a lost continent. Unusually we never went out for lunch, preferring to stay home: me tied to a pre-war threshing machine and her with marble effect bookends for earrings.


I strode out of the early door wearing snakes and ladders as travelling clothes. I went up the hill to the tavern stop and down the hill for my countryside connection. The occupants of the rookery had moved from hot air balloon grumbling to radial engine chattering while an old blanket was pulled off the supermarket found sleeping under the disused railway arches. I met the winter king and we listened to the trees sigh as native birds looked up the definition of transcendental before singing songs about smiling faces in very old photographs. As the curtain people crossed a viaduct of broken cameras we passed the time by writing messages on each other’s shirt fronts; I pulled a scribbled over playing card from his top pocket and he pulled a bag of corn from mine. I subsequently used the corn to follow myself home.


I woke from a dream of old acquaintances throwing grenades into the fireplace of my studio; luckily I didn’t have a fire. Poppy and I had a jigsaw walk with less pieces than yesterday but on our return I still found one was missing. I then went out to the face to face garden centre with an old friend from my tree sapling days. I sat by staring eyes although she preferred bright red lips; we talked of double decker buses travelling along mole tunnels before I pulled a rose bush from my tea cup and made the shape of an electric guitar from the still fresh petals – we both noticed that the girl behind the counter kept her skirt up with a garter snake. I returned home about noon with a guitar in each pocket, placed an egg cup under the still dripping tap and rode a horse called Silver to my studio.


I got up before June had slammed our giant’s face door and absentmindedly counted how many new limbs had emerged from the wet ground in the wine glass garden. What looked like an octopus on the bird table had mastered sign language with the same manic dexterity as a burlesque dancer getting changed in a thorn bush. Incidentally, I noted that the garden birds were looking up while next door’s cat was looking down. The dog and I walked along the still crisp edge of a large piece of blotting paper thrown on a blood red ink stain and I then climbed the glacier to my bright white studio; the dunce’s hat chair was as uncomfortable as ever as I sat down in front of the letters I make the word painting from. Outside the man from the bottom of our road went by with a new set of severed arms.


I got up early for the second time this week. I went up the fairy tale hill holding a child’s plastic windmill in the sports car driving rain – thankfully I got a bus at the pit stop, getting off at the army hill where big black birds were playing with miniature soldiers. I noticed Napoleon was planning his Russia campaign (I tried to persuade him otherwise but birds do not do history); Wellington meanwhile was in the early morning cafe wearing a new pair of gloves – he didn’t do history either. I met the friendly giant in his hillside home; we communicated via badges sewn on denim jackets and I came home like Ruben’s representation of the East wind. When I got in the dog had buried the trumpet in lieu of a bone so I blew my own flower vase


June went to work moments before I got out of our Viking long boat bed (the dog was still sleeping). I made the Noah’s ark trip to my studio with my thoughts travelling ahead of me like beams of light made manifest in a dusty room; I touched the hem of the imaginary ornate Georgian curtains (in our imaginary Georgian house – Jane Austen lives next door) and then pulled the paint stained curtains of reality apart. Outside people I don’t know met with the precision of apparent friendship and I settled down to work in my Carboniferous swamp studio with giant dragonflies whirring overhead dreaming of making fossil fuel. I turned on an almost silent radio as an unknown orator spoke in honour of all the people who had never woken up from their happiest dream.


For the third night in a row I didn’t sleep. The vampire who lives in the boarded up house on the edge of town was parading around the garden holding a candy pink parasol. He dexterously navigated the neon stalagmite garden ornaments and was later to be followed by a replica of the Golden Hind propelled along on eight pairs of little feet – oddly all but one pair were wearing Disney character slippers (my best friend Athena said that its remaining bare toes were used to play the grand piano hidden in the compost heap). June got up late with a kaleidoscope head which she shook periodically to compose new thoughts. Unfortunately one of these thoughts concerned going to town in the pouring rain with me holding a shopping bag like it was a new born child.


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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