Weekly Diary


June got up early, leaving the child’s pencil box to draw on the sky in the far horizon. I got up a little later, dragging ideas like a limp rag doll behind me and worked in the poorly lit turret of a Fourteenth Century castle for the rest of the morning. It was perched high on a cliff, although the cliff later changed into a writing desk with plastic soldiers lined up at either end. I wrote sentences as if they were sandwiches with a variety meanings in between – not all the meanings I liked and I swallowed hard when I found out that in some worlds two shadows cancel each other out. I worked in the doubly dark shadow until June returned and after a lunch of artificial fish scales we took Poppy out for a long walk. We went to the lakes where I threw something in and someone else threw something out.



I followed the strand of barbed wire out of the labyrinth, emerging into the amphitheatre daylight with questions in one hand and answers in the other – unfortunately I still can’t bring my hands together. June was asleep with early Christian lions when four wheels rolled by the gate looking for a car to attach themselves to; I christened them pilgrims and wrote a play in my head where god looked for god and still couldn’t find him. I tried to recall an ironic joke I had made in an earlier life about rows of empty suits of armour lined up on the battlefield near where all the warriors were buried but June came down the stairs before I could fully remember it. She had a photograph of the Bridge Of Sighs, saying that some time ago she had missed a trip to Venice because of a bad bout of sunburn.



I woke up in Atlantis by mistake; unusually June had swum out of the bedroom door earlier than me and was dressed in crockery as she did the washing up. She wanted to go out before the giants that make up most of the writhing horizon on days like this came too close. I had to strain credibility and then clean the Jainist temple in the garden before coming in to work in the tiger’s den with the young antelope of my early imagination. The choir master who had asked to stand by the middle door still had no choir and we both mused on the vagaries of luck as the Owl and the Pussycat’s beautiful pea green boat sank in the distance and the man who arrived everywhere by accident was proclaimed king – although some time later the Queen sued for divorce.



I held on tightly to the rigging as the old fashioned sailing ship I had constructed in my head during the night slid down the rented stairs; I passed June on the way, who by then had partially metamorphosed into a lump of ancient looking masonry. It had an early Sumarian script inscribed on one side which by the laws of paradox means it must be modern – I have long held the view that if something can be scientifically proved beyond a shadow of doubt then it must be wrong (I am currently working on a new theory of evolution based on the workings of a dandelion clock). June and I stayed in the land ship all day watching the plumage of the sky catch the light. I thought in feathers and constructed a town from sand and ostrich eggs, some of which were cracked.



I started the slipping on a banana kind of day by tripping over an apple core. I blamed the apple as it wasn’t wearing its glasses. I then took my own glasses to town so they could watch me having my eyes tested by a girl in a gold gorilla suit. She said she held all the secrets of humanity and I didn’t disbelieve her as the shadows on the far wall reminded me of a medieval joust between two telescopic cranes – the one holding part of a house roof won with the driver of the other escaping through the chimney he was carrying. I came straight home after the dark room test, meeting June on the edge of a mirror and seeing both her and myself change into masts on a sailing ship marooned inland. I felt the sadness descend again but she said she didn’t really like the sea.



I got up as early as the morning would let me (it is of course the gatekeeper of the day); waking June, who was asleep on the sail of a dimetrodon, before leaving. I caught the bus – which I likened to a large synapsid of the Early Permian – and followed the collective footprints of a family of walking stones across the glacial plain. I met the ice god in his warm room and we talked in almost straight lines until he left by an almost curved route and I planted Pythagorean plants in the non-Euclidean garden. I took a qwerty route home across the keys of a piano, walking up the C8 front path earlier that expected with a poem in my head – although I could eventually only remember the start and the finish; the middle having metamorphosed into a kaleidoscope of purple emperor butterflies.



I opened the gate of morning although, as has been the case quite often this week, June went through it first. I stood link a weak link in a chain until all the other links broke and June and I went out for a meal. We chose a tent in the Atlantic ocean for the venue as we didn’t want to get wet in the approaching rain. The porpoise waitresses let us jump through hoops and then June recracked the enigma code as I balanced a ball on my head which I pretended was the world and then an egg which I said was the end of the world. June continued to swim round the shops when I came home to police points of light across the outstretched hand of a dry river bed god. I stopped when it clenched its fist and then painted scenes from the Old Testament on the inside of my finger nails.


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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