Weekly Diary


June stood on a marble plinth like a Roman copy of a Greek original while I went out into the barbarian garden. She joined me sometime later to look for signs of Spring like designer fashion sprayed out of an aerosol can. I worked as a pair of jeans and then came in as a cotton top; ascending the stairs to my study with a radio telescope perched on my shoulder (Poppy stood at the bottom measuring the concept of stillness with her tail). I remembered all the people who now had the universe inside them and then, for the briefest of moments, became a jester in the court of Queen Elizabeth the first – I didn’t like her even when she laughed at my jokes. After this I wrote in animal footprints and then tracked my own thoughts across a vast unexplored wilderness.


June and I scrambled out of the crows nest after the bat winged people had left. I pictured our ship many miles inland and then imagined a procession of figures dressed in black except for their wedding veils and holding the ashes of their ancestors in christening robes. I blinked and they had been transformed into the rungs of a ladder which was being swallowed by a giant snake. I closed my eyes again and then accidentally walked into a tree. It was about this time that June went to town using a path created much earlier by a column of wooly bear caterpillars looking for somewhere to pupate. I painted a sky of red and black stripes on the side of a white van and walked a trail of butterflies and moths to collect the shopping.


The smallest of the celestial princesses was ill and I metamorphosed into a message on an answer phone and then June and I took the raincoat path to see the water mill lady. We came home upside down with barnacles growing on our craniums – these will remain underwater until we get into a dry dock. I folded up a concrete path and threw it like a paper dart, calling out that time can’t really be linear and then changed into a multi-armed organism that painted many pictures at the same time. Behind a man with his eyes on stalks drew on a house wall with sight itself; I composed music out of ears and then tied June’s shoes with rainbows – as usual I walked about in bare feet (one day I will feel a pot of gold partly buried in the earth).


I woke as an echo and June woke (after an interval) as the rocks the sound rebounds off. I had to tread water in a lagoon (I imagined myself at the centre of an atom, bearing mind that it is mostly empty space) and then conjured up a world where every single molecule had meaning. After the sentence had been completed June and I went out – even though I really wanted to start another story. We took the long route there and the long route home, although by then I was carrying a snail shell on my back that was big enough for both of us to live in. Music penetrated the conceptual prison walls as we opened the door to find all the animals dressed in their Sunday best – I told them it was a week day and they told me a story about an animal home at the very centre of our galaxy.


I got up inside an alarm clock and after finding the dice that god had apparently been playing with forced myself out of time itself – I noticed light followed floral patterns and all straight lines were abandoned. I touched the heads of people growing younger and left town by an old sheep drovers lane. I talked to the main shepherd in his flying air raid shelter (we rained words until the sun came out) and I then came home in a motorised shoe; talking to a lady in green and then a lady in red as I did so. June had gone out even though she had said she wasn’t going to and was waiting by an unreliable geyser in Yellowstone Park for an semi-imaginary park ranger to arrive – all the rangers are animals but no one pays to watch the humans play anymore.


It was raining inside as I took shelter in a coat pocket – only to find out some time later that it wasn’t mine. By then I was in town with a column of bright pink smoke issuing from the top of my head. I told all the people who passed by that I was measuring the scale of the next earthquake and then stood at the very centre of something even though I didn’t know what. I came home to get wet paint on my wet and dry hands, finding June with little white mice as eyes and her mouth like a passage from the bible. We both read in silence as the clouds became foot prints and the sky a living testament to the profundity of long distance running. I said my imagination was like a deep sea vent, called god an atheist and then retuned my guitar.


June and I found ourselves in an old photograph (I noticed that neither of us was smiling!). We got out before dinner and clambered into a world which may still be stuck in someone else’s photograph album. I had planned to be the first poet to recite underwater but June had already booked the dry land. We walked to town as two frames from a cine film – she was the fisherman’s cottage that metamorphosed into a giant crab walking on clouds and I was the captainless ship that hit the quay with too much force. It is not known what kind of force it was but the pretend scientists measured nothing with a very high degree of accuracy and the real philosophers walked about with snakes for hair. I came home before June with a small piece of a nontropical rainforest in my pocket.


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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