Weekly Diary


I rearranged the toy soldiers on the battleground bed, creating a formation I have christened the “phoenix sinking”. June had got up an hour before and was marching around the living room with vacuum flask guns firing hot water friezes. She was picked up by a two winged figure and they pitched a tent on a hill overlooking the town to watch a procession of people falling down it through the ages; the farther back they looked the less likely it was that the person would get up again. I had stood in the garden in the morning looking like a pole waiting for its totems – several did arrive but refused to emerge from the undergrowth. As the heat began to win prizes in an imaginary garden fête I left the bran sack field and went indoors, the cracks in the paving admiring the creases in my jeans.


June is on a mid winter summer holiday (it is apparently its own and someone else’s season), catching up on butterfly jobs in our beetle pupa home. I skimmed pebbles across the top of the badly put together sideboard and watched them sink into the tidal drawers. June went to town using strands of her own hair as guides, I followed some time later using flashes of light off the top of my head. When we met she had placed her shopping bags in a circle and was awaiting a Red Indian attack. I don’t really approve of stereotypes and came home on an early version of hovercraft (it stopped off half way and vacuumed a house). I noticed the people in the next street to ours were still besieging a castle while the occupants of the next street to them had only just discovered fire.


For once I got up before June, chose a voice from the voice cabinet and a hat with open eyes in it and walked quickly (or ran slowly) for the bus. I changed buses among feeding rooks and took the brightly coloured slime mould route to my childhood village. I heard the band leader issuing instructions from the pendulum pit and we both pulled coloured handkerchiefs from our mouths for breakfast. I then climbed a rainbow tree and collected up glasses for him to carefully wrap in the collected profiles of passers by. We stopped when I pulled out a full frontal face and couldn’t find a space on the Middle Kingdom wall for it. I came home in a capsule pulled by stone flies landing by the garden pond where a water lily had propelled a spear into the side of a crucified figure.


June pulled herself off a fine tooth comb a little while before I jumped out of my hair brush bed. I discovered her downstairs trying a dress on a giant shop mannequin (it had grown to over fifty foot tall after finding a glowing orb during the night). I took an express train to my studio, my energy coming along later on the local freight and she went to town holding her hair as if it was a cornfield under the imminent threat of harvesting. She came home after a prolonged shop to form a missing continent on my revised map of the World. I dedicated my thoughts to all the lost inhabitants of Atlantis and then filled the space between the cistern and the sink with photographs of big cats wearing clothes made from human skin. I never answered the telephone as I knew it was a wrong number.


Immediately after jumping out of bed – with an ancient Greek goddess not fully emerged from my forehead – I invented a form of non moving athletics (although I still found this too tiring) and laid on the bed while June arranged dark shadows downstairs. I went down with blinding lights issuing from the eyes in my hands and then found my sunglasses and my keys. In the mirror I noticed my beard was slowly eclipsing a sun in the constellation of Orion: June wants me to cut it off so she can paint a zebra crossing across my face – so far I have shut my Belisha Beacon eyes and refused. I took Poppy to the footplate of the World’s first transgenic steam engine and the driver cut her hair while the fire man stoked the fire. As the fire subsided for the day we took her for an unscenic route walk.


June was still in bed pretending to be an aircraft carrier during the Pacific campaign when I got up using the dog as clothes. I had already disguised my own carrier frame as a tropical island, hiding my funnels as palm trees. As the first saint of a new religion (it is practised in at least five distinct dimensions simultaneously) I threw a line to the drowning people in the still dry garden and then with a specially sharpened pencil amended the line into the silhouette of a little girl feeding birds in the park – unfortunately June and I frightened the birds as we left the house. We ate a meal in a printing press and then held ink stained hands as a pair of clothes rails danced to the music of the Glen Miller Big Band free falling through the Earth’s upper atmosphere.


This was a collapsed star sort of day: somewhere in between a revolving neutron star and a black hole (which in my werewolf Mother Teresa story I place in Calcutta). I followed the faintest of pencil lines for the merest moment in the morning before going out in the jaws of a great beast. My friend and I climbed out of the unblinking cockpit eye and met the old woodsman away from the woods. I collected holly leaves for a barefoot dance while my friend went through the dustbins: which had been arranged to look like the ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. After I had performed my dance to an audience of tree shrews we came home in the same mechanical beast as we had left; the flag on its tail belonging to no country in particular.


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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6 Responses to Weekly Diary

  1. Brian Hughes says:

    Slime mould is very weird, almost alien, stuff. Just thought I’d throw that in.

  2. yourothermotherhere says:

    I’m happy. I got my Gerald Shepherd fix!

    • Ha ha ha, that is good! Thank you very much!

      Stranger times might be ahead as June is finally retiring – she is older than me so she is well passed while I am still approaching; not that artists ever retire of course! She is decidedly normal with an understandable liking for a clean and tidy house – which is fine if I wasn’t in it too! Two weeks and then fireworks!!!

      • yourothermotherhere says:

        Maybe not for awhile. From what I understand, when people retire they just kind of kick back for awhile and enjoy the new time off the clock.

        And well, if you need to be outside a lot, you do find interesting things to photograph, so I’ll not complain!

      • We will have to see! The dreaded word redecorating has already been mentioned!

        I had some more strange photograph collections somewhere but can’t find them at the moment. I have got masses of photos to sort through though.

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