My Diary: The First Days of 2014


I got up like water flowing uphill, touched the octopus ink stalactites in the echoing cavern of early morning and then crept downstairs as my only remembered dream eclipsed a far distant star (it was at least the other side of the street). June was wearing her alpha to omega nightwear even though I don’t recognise anything above gamma. After basking like discarded tyres (I denied mine had a puncture) we found ourselves cast away on the water between islands. The Sargasso family cooked a meal and the mermaids talked as if they actually needed bikini bottoms while the prince and princess in adjoining towers compared their tadpole memories. June and I sat like HO scale figures at the dwarves table.


I talked to the bus stop performing bear until the bright red Portuguese man o’ war arrived and my bag picked me up and took me on board. I travelled the first part of my journey clinging to the floor and the second part clinging to the ceiling; crashing to earth when the colonial bus stopped. I found myself holding on tightly to a small piece of paper – on further examination I found it had two eyes and an open mouth written in biro. I pulled a pencil from my bottom pocket and used it as a compass, drawing a line between me and the grand old gentleman who, it appears, everyone knows. We spoke at length about small things and then quickly about the infinite – the photographs on the mantelpiece meanwhile talked to each other about nothing in particular.


I woke up in what I initially thought was the mouth of a giant frog. I was just getting ready to use its tongue as an escalator when a figure from a previous existence waltzed into the bedroom with an ocean liner for a head. I told it to beware of icebergs and then June told it not to smoke (even though she was reaching for a cigarette) and we both watched it disappear in a cloud of frigate birds. I could hear the wind rattling the space antenna on the roof as I shut the frog door and looked out at the beached whale of a garden. I drew this as a picture in thin air using imaginary ink while the tiny goblin who had just managed to escape from an Eighteenth Century highwayman’s head gesticulated wildly as if attempting to remove the same black ink from the tips of its fingers.


June was stretched out in the manatee bed with cloud shadows of sleep drifting across her. I had already sung myself awake and climbed into a tree for a breakfast of raindrops. When June finally descended the sawfish mouth like stairs I had explored the strange forest behind the fireplace (all the trees shimmered like skeletons under ultraviolet light) and came back with a mouthful of nails and a plan in my head for where to hammer them – although I knew June would disagree. Before I could arrange a length of string into the silhouette of a man on our CID carpet we decided to go out for a drizzle of lunch, even though convicts from an anti-world were descending tied together sheets outside the completely innocent window.


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).
This entry was posted in Diary, Poetry, prose, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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