Weekly Diary



June and I started the day as lizards on rocks – typically her rock was bigger than mine although I had more of the sun. I came indoors mid morning to record the spontaneous voices of angels even though they all sang on top of each other like climbers on a badly squinting rock face. When the angelic climbers had left, having taken a bite out of every apple in the house, the praying mantids moved as one for a blinking eye and then apart when June went into the front garden and I went into the back. She went into the house again when the seaweed tree curled up – I came in some time later as a merman with a limp and we talked in silken strands instead of words until I eventually went upstairs to work when our sentences got irrevocably tangled up.



The morning blew its nose as June and I woke with paper handkerchiefs on our heads. She then went out as a ship in full sail and I stayed at home dredging up ideas from a silted up waterway. A man with a green head wanted to come in as I emptied a hollowed out glass eye of putrid water. The water became tributaries of the Nile and I a Pharaoh in a square pyramid before I decided to change my religion and worship the sun (before I had included rain clouds and black swans). June eventually came back disguised as a lawn and I made a deckchair instead of a cup of coffee. I imagined, while eating a biscuit, flying cuttlefish predating ladies head wear and cognizant lapel badges which spoke on their owners behalf.



I had to visit a thatched cottage in my dreams and then a dream in a thatched cottage. I was visited there by a couple of friends I didn’t know – the man had a revolver for a head and the lady a salad bowl of ten pound notes which she said were lettuce leaves. When I got up I went to town with a lettuce leaf eater and then June and I called ourselves relatively short numbers and waited too long in the garrulous jungle for a meal. We walked the postcard route home, through an intestinal countryside which previously I had felt rather than seen, and picked up the lettuce eared being by a freckled lake – thus finding the world we live on was actually a lifelike bust of Aphrodite orbiting another sun (I named the sun “a flaw in the theory of evolution” and we walked home).



I started the day in a glass case; the morning had already proclaimed itself a Mobius strip (the afternoon would call itself a Klein bottle) and was preparing to move into an intangible state. June said that this was the state I already exist in when she dressed as wardrobe which she feared she wouldn’t be able to fit into her dress because of lack of space – I personally tend to throw all manner of bedroom furniture in a heap on the floor. The wardrobe went out before lunch, closely followed by a standing stone from Stonehenge and a hollowed out log which until quite recently had been still rooted in the ground. I couldn’t find the way to my studio and worked instead in a part of the forest that had remained unchanged since the end of the last ice age: pure colours grew like trees.



I woke suddenly when a someone outside the bedroom window called my name. It was early when I went up the still mumbling road to catch the bus. This arrived as a geriatric chorister and was propelled by singing although when I opened my mouth it stopped. The other passengers sung along until we reached a point when a shadow boarded on its own (I found out later that the person got on after I had got off but didn’t find his shadow until the end of his journey – I thought this was probably true for everyone). I met the mountain god in a valley and we talked, as usual, about straight lines touching the edge of a circle and of circles themselves which contain the reassembled thoughts of all our ancestors; I pictured them as iridescent hydra as I dug the garden for a row of runner beans.



The yacht which is sometimes my head had its sails furled up when I sat down to a breakfast of reflections on my past – unfortunately I had run out of milk. Both June and I stayed at home, I went out into the garden and she stayed indoors watching time itself grow older. I came in when our visitors materialised; they then occupied the space between the refrigerator and the sideboard like vowels between consonants. I didn’t think it strange that they appeared to have the legs of large dogs but was a little taken back when they produced their mouths from a pair of shopping backs – luckily they didn’t need feeding although I absentmindedly ate one of the dining table legs while engaged in conversation. The conversation and I never married and I returned to the garden.



I woke when the trees started a conversation between themselves – they were some way from our house but sound carries when the sky is a seagull. I could only make out the occasional word and I resolved to collect these up and keep them like letters from a loved one in a box under the bed. I went out into the garden as a spark of electricity and pottered around until the electromagnetic people arrived to conduct me away. I had to walk up the road countless times (although it is rumoured June did actually count them) balancing parts of a building only inches from the ground. Stopping when the long legs of railway tracks grew arms and set up an independent state under the bridge. I thought the dying should shout as loud as they can and then see how far away the sound could be heard.



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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