Weekly Diary


I followed the lady who was leading a unicorn through a field of white corn. She said she was the queen of the icebergs and only spoke to sailors – I couldn’t swim so knocked a hole in a brick wall and looked through it. I found the only thing the wall enclosed was itself and offered to help hold up the porch which Scarlet O’Hara walked along in Gone With The Wind – I would have continued if the Steel Claw hadn’t fused the mains, becoming invisible and emptying the fish pond filter in the process. Wanting to make a new start after my return from the second Trojan War I decided to put my childhood in a box and then seal it; however it escaped while June was searching for the packaging tape, instead we filled the box with obscure sounds, flashes of light and shoes that hurt my feet.



I had to find my way round fallen masonry after two semidetached houses had collided while reentering the Earth’s atmosphere and then went downstairs to eat a breakfast of stardust and petrified waves crashing on an isolated beach. June went out on caterpillar track skis while I stayed inside to turn rows of dots into an early form of landscape (the sky is a series of minute tears, too small to see with the naked eye and trees are the spaces once occupied by vowels in words). A letter that came in the post stating that my life was a series of concentric circles but didn’t say if I was moving in or out – or even how far I had got. My head felt full of Crimean War bandages as June came back holding a lamp. Her shopping had already begun to form bonds in the orphanage of her bag.



I woke thinking all existence is Muzak and resolved to make my own sounds (as soon as I am well enough). I wiped my face with a red squirrel tail I had grown during the night and then climbed down the drainpipe instead of the stairs – June was simultaneously climbing an ivy clad wall to place a digital alarm clock in a disused birds nest and the head of an examination board was hiding in a large clump of bamboo waiting to pounce on any incorrectly answered questions that walked out into that part of the garden (I was secretly glad that I had found time to plant some open questions right at the top). I found out later that the examiner was a distant cousin to Timur the lame and had a collection of skull shaped bells strung round his waist – from a distance he sounded like lambs gamboling in a field.



I noticed the bedside cabinet had grown wings during the night and made sure I shut the window before going downstairs with dragon claws instead of hands. June was almost completely covered by a light grey cloud and was letting Poppy, who had metamorphosed into a dark grey wolf, out into the garden. The fish had become little gold coins and I briefly thought about wading out into immediate wealth before realising that my dragon feet would tear the pond liner. When I went back inside the house was reduced to black and white and June was a charcoal drawing; I had to be careful when walking by in case I rubbed part of her out. Knowing that the front door would lead into a medieval mason’s hut I stayed indoors with the eight arms of a friendly spider wrapped round my neck.



I was still too unwell for my early morning journey and looked at the small figures clinging to tree branches in what has quickly become an out of control garden. I like to think of weeds as strands of a laughing girl’s hair and sat on my chair by the window as if I was seal and it was a polar bear. The sun would have risen behind a fairy tale castle if the sky wasn’t covered in grey cloud and the spectre I pulled from a Rupert Bear annual from the year between 1963 and 1964 hadn’t pushed a corkscrew into the sodden earth and pulled out the carefully hidden cork. I went to the doctor again, he had shrunk further since my last appointment and was preparing for the scene where he gets attacked by his own cat.



The man who spoke from inside swirling blue clouds told me he had left a message inside my head which he would come back later to read out. I had a good look to see if I could discover it first but found only a guitar I never learnt to play properly and a small ornament which I broke while trying to protect it from breaking. I still can’t work properly and instead pretended I could change into a candle flame and then into a blue wick – the sky is really the inside of someone else’s head and all that we ever see are precast shadows. Like most days this week June went to town carrying a shopping bag full of black ravens and then came back with one full of white doves. I secretly knew this was an illusion and the same birds went down and back (we really only have one shopping bag in life).



June and I joined a caravan train to the big town in the desert. She dressed in names and I dressed in numbers (I was taught to never call anyone names) and we rode many legged camels into a rain chandelier distance, the thoughts between us frozen in time. We met my sister as a woolly mammoth frozen in ice and glided into the warmth on woodlice legs. I was keeping my trousers up with a narrow band of distant horizon and had to sit down quickly when the trees lost their leaves and an army of little men got larger. June hadn’t noticed anything untoward and was burrowing like a star nosed mole through rows of brightly coloured clothes. My sister, as the flagship of the Dutch fleet during the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665 couldn’t quite make up her mind.


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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