Weekly Diary


I picked up a flag left by a fleeting shadow and unfurled the table to put it on. June was hovering several inches above the ground with the aim of getting even higher in the afternoon. The young lady next door, who had an ice cube for a hat (if I had been in a more lugubrious mood I would have called it a metaphor for hope) was shouting at her partner for building a house out of silence. This was after I had wanted to furnish our house with chords of the C major scale. June walked up until she was at the bottom of our road. I meanwhile proclaimed the garden a section of outer space and promised to buy myself a space suit in the new year; I went quickly up it stabbing at the ground like the small flame that stands guard in a gas boiler and shook hands with a reproduction Venus De Milo statue at the top.



Having decided to spend the night in an electric kettle I woke amid steam (actually water vapour) with a peering face looking at a tea bag which was learning to swim in a fish shaped cup. The toaster is purportedly learning to drive and I expect to shortly live in a house whose contents are more gifted than me – unless I already do. I had to go into the garden to catch up with my other self before other people do. I tucked my moth wings into my jumper when a number of people walked up the drive with mountains on their shoulders; I tried to calculate which peak would be the hardest to climb. June descended a flight of stairs from the small cloud that is hovering in our front garden holding the body of another dream that had died in the night. She believes in heaven and I believe in reincarnation.



June and I woke in the middle of the English Civil War. We were both getting ready to follow the long tresses of a Seventeenth Century wig when the weather closed ranks. We obviously both sided with the Parliamentarians and postponed our journey. June had wanted to walk barefoot on Eleanor Cobham streets and I still hope to see the Rhine Maidens gold (even though it is supposed to have been stolen). I cleared my throat like an arthritic old man clearing snow from his front step and spoke to a stone figure the had been left by the back door. It had a hole where its stone heart would have been; I considered it the last piece of the jigsaw I have been piecing together all my life. June, Poppy and I then followed a path inside the longest coat sleeve in the world – we never saw the longest arm.



The house walls were made from grey feathers and I peered between barbules as a centipede came up what would have been the front path if there had been a front gate with its voice in a bag thrown around its neck. I fumbled about inside the bag for some time but never heard a sound. June had gone out while I was occupied wearing a golf course and shopping for a hole in one – I said it was a condor but as she didn’t know whether to look up or down I also called it a run away train with Casey Jones at the controls. As I did a family of spiders came out of the flats opposite apparently having been frightened by a large human in the bathroom. I went back into the house with streamers from a medieval illuminated manuscript issuing from the hole in my side.



I got up in a morning masquerading as night and left the house in the coal scuttle dark. I had to wake June before I did so as we were expecting a knock on the door: as it turned out it came later in the day via a skeleton holding a pile of clothes and having no knowledge of what to do with them. I met the King of the Day (who according to the Oxford English Dictionary is also the King of the Night) and we spoke of sea crossings as if they were scratches on the bonnet of a vintage car. I pulled a sewing machine out of a pocket in between front and back and sewed myself home. Where I changed the brightly coloured buses (in the past black and white horses) a group of children were busy holding up a sign – unfortunately its message had been erased by their parents.



I called out to two tiny figures that grew larger the nearer they got to the horizon. I don’t think they heard although the man with a double glazed face waved and a person delivering a fancy dress costume grew a very long moustache – I found out until later it was a young lady. The costume was for a young boy and was modelled on King Kong climbing the empire state building which itself was modelled on an iceberg sinking in the middle of an ocean after colliding with a ship. I saw the statue without arms again when I pulled a dream out of my sock drawer (I never wear socks so I have to put something in it). It had a white dove on each shoulder and a rook on its head. The rook had only recently arrived back from the houses of parliament.



The bedroom was full of very tall trees when I woke with a jolt (I think on hearing a monkey eating eagle cry). The trees were spaced about a foot apart which made dressing difficult and I designed clothes that would grow on me like fungi – I didn’t know where to put the stinkhorn mushroom so eventually turned it into a hat. June in contrast woke on the high desert plains and had a good view into both her own and my past. She was going to dress in regrets but I persuaded her not to. I said the galaxy was in the shape of a bowl of porridge and I looked into the cutlery draw for a spoon as we watched the dining table disassemble itself into a flock of birds that slowly took off. We left the tree house briefly in the afternoon to follow a path that circles the train station – a train went in and out.


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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