Weekly Diary


I stood on the precambrian rocks that had miraculously appeared in the back garden and surveyed the vertical tide come in. The rocks had traces of the earliest forms of life, which I thought looked like galaxies in the next universe along to this one – the next one along again hasn’t got any galaxies at all, just tea pots when everyone actually uses bags. As the tide stamped its accountant’s columns across the garden I came in shuffling words in my pocket, none of which described how I felt. I spent the remainder of the day in an architectural armpit writing out good luck charms; most of which will probably not work. June rattled pots and pans downstairs as birds made from recycled high explosive bombs landed in the garden; their craters resembling flower petals.


I found myself in a black white photograph at the pencil point beginning of the day waiting for hours for the photographer to develop my smile. June spoke in ticker tape and the dog in shuttlecocks, some of which she lost. After I had made an even number out of my odd jobs we went out for a meal; June actually leaving the house several spoons before me (I always get confused with cutlery anyway!) and we met later holding mobile telephones like bird of paradise feathers. After this I christened a dug out canoe and June a caveman’s cloak kept in a glass case – the case could be shattered in an emergency. I came home alone, the canoe changed into the alimentary canal of a giant snake: complete strangers continually climbing out throughout my sidewinder journey home.


I started the day standing proudly on the bow of a ship – not realising that it had already sunk. June was wreathed in seaweed and was busy trying to find ways of eating her breakfast cereal while under water. The person, who we have never seen but only heard as footprints in our heads, turned the page of the book she was reading and we watched an aerosol can of North American bison pattern the local sky. We parted when June walked a stopped watch to town and I sat on a melting clock to paint; the sky was a skeletonised leaf and the snapped off twig horizon sunk below my vision like an unread book. I carried on as a carpenter in an iron foundry for the remainder of the day; June returning with a Wagnerian Ring Cycle of shopping which we both had to put away.


While June was dusting off the collection of misshapen concrete blocks that we had planted in the front garden instead of flowers I walked to the railway station with an empty bag (save for a flashing light which I thought emanated from a lighthouse but actually came from the rocks). I climbed under the belly of a passing locomotive and hung on as a demigod dreaming of a desert island rung out a wet flannel on the tracks. I felt unwell in the occasionally lit catacombs and had to climb a Brachiosaurus of steps before I could reach the surface. I spoke to a person with fish gills and then walked across a vertebral bridge, counting hands and then dividing feet as I made my way across – the eye in the blackest cloud blinked and I waved my handkerchief like a crab’s claw.


I got up in total darkness as a voice like sound and then waited for another voice to accompany me. The crane derrick in the corner of the room (which was modelled on a fly agaric mushroom) swung round with my clothes attached and I climbed the hill using mechanical tortoises for shoes. I caught an invisible bus at the skull and crossbones roads and took a punctuated darkness journey to what was once my land and is now someone else’s. I met the elderly gunslinger in the saloon (I went in first as a cowboy’s horse, changed my mind and entered again as a cabaret dancer). We talked of the past even though it had already been arrested for what it had done and then of how many dead people it would take to make a hill – I plan to come back as a small boy some day to climb up it and fly a kite.


The wind was clearing its throat outside the window when I got out of bed – an old man with four wooden legs stopped to look up. I dressed in the rose garden which we had planted on the landing, complete with small ornamental pond with a cherub fountain; I gave the cherub my only piece of chewing gum and then built a subway under the carpet where I met a beggar from a badly written novel (he asked me for money and I then asked him). June decided to draw a map of the town on the Ordnance Survey part of the kitchen wall; I pointed out some discrepancies and she then showed me a very old print – pictured in which was a child who never grew up. I thought of this as I drew a circle round a square and then threatened to put a triangle in the middle of both.


I got up before June, holding an arrangement of flowers in front of my naked body; she came down moments later with a galvanised watering can and two pieces of fabric (one of which was frayed at the edges). I took her watering can and she then took my flowers. Reflected in the mirror was a well known painting by Hieronymous Bosch even though the only thing on the wall was a length of cord hanging from a hook. June and I walked to town along outstretched angel wings and parts of the planking from a Seventeenth Century man-o-war. We ate a meal in a wind tunnel testing the aerodynamical properties of various types of sandwich and came home as separate boxes of parts – typically mine was missing the instructions.


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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