Weekly Diary (Week Ending 29th November)


I went out into the open wound of the garden and stabbed myself in the foot. A group of old warriors had lined themselves up along the fence line and covered their bodies in primary colours. The pigeon on the bird table had turned itself into a house and was proudly displaying a young maiden in trouble waving from the first floor window. I drew a picture on an axe blade and then quietly whittled away the handle. I touched a yellow, blue and red hand before coming indoors to shadow bathe on the back of a sperm whale; the ocean in my mind was briefly tranquil before another storm waded ashore and made a line of footprints look like a man smoking a pipe in an Seventeenth Century Dutch painting.



I became a small clump of trees that the child in tartan trousers had to walk through to go down the other side of the hill. The hills in the distance looked like a saw blade that slowly cut off the surplus part of the sky. As I am still unwell June went out on her own wearing wings made from uneven lengths of string and a coronet of fallen apples that we had originally left for the blackbirds. The latter are ancient Britons returned in disguise and I regularly throw out the unhappy memories of Roman soldiers to Boadicea and her daughters. June came home sometime later with a flying saucer of shopping hovering over head. I helped her pack it away in the corn circle cupboards before laying down again on my stag beetle larva bed.



June and I went out with the elf prince in a duck grey morning. My face was also grey and she held a bag of letter ys which she tried to attach to the end of any homeless word she met on the way. I announced myself as a king of electromagnetism as I entered a brightly lit room occupied by bow ties and a solitary cravat. The school tie man came out a little later and took the beggar thief to his lair. We then followed a prophet of the deciduous tree people to his rendezvous with an evergreen tribe. I had an HB pencil behind my ear and inadvertently drew a naked woman on the inside of my hat. June covered her up with spent bullets she had found in an otherwise empty field while I distracted the Robin Hood cook who was starving the rich and feeding the poor.



I had to follow a path of subterranean tunnels even though my illness was acting as a bounty hunter and I had a price on my head. I came home along the same system, now changed into the silicon arteries of a robot mercenary. Ahead of me an old man was following his own footprints with a young dog snapping at his heels. Once home I constructed a galaxy on a dinner plate and was trying to work out how to place a black hole in its centre when June answered the door to a small man with a very large case. Unfortunately he had knocked at the wrong house – strangely he had the right number but the wrong street. He smiled at a girl dressed in semaphore flags as he walked down our drive with a small cloud overhead looking like a punk rock wallaby burying a sewing machine in a hay stack.



I managed to trek into the marshmallow countryside with a battlefield body and grinning gorilla in my haversack. The friendly giant gave me an underwater breakfast in an anthropomorphic beach hut until the submarine faced people walked by and I curled up into a ball and played skittles by myself. I came home as a caterpillar on a leaf, reaching the house with only the veins left. June was wearing a space suit and had written a message on a spanner even though I couldn’t find a nut it could undo. The benevolent tree sloth that lives a couple of doors down was making music by grinding its fossilised teeth as I turned time backwards and entered a green door in the side of a red boot. June came in a little later as a space bandit and complained about the muddy footprints on the kitchen floor.



I designed a porcupine chair in my sleep and then sat on it immediately after waking – the pain was like a night sky viewed through a penthouse skylight. I donned a suit of earth armour as the flower soldiers gathered outside; I practised fighting with tendrils wrapped round my neck and then hung upside down like a bat as the day bed changed into a coiled up snake in a gorse bush. All communication used paper aeroplanes until the airport was closed when the rain men landed in cricket whites. June was orbiting Mars when I took off inside a skyscraper: the tiny people on the ground were handing out postcards of the pyramids to the mice who will take over the world when the human race has gone. I picked up a card and wrote “I wish you were here” on both the front and the back.



June and I left the ark of paper animals with flames in our heads. The night had collapsed in on itself and I had ended up sleeping in a giant cup which unfortunately had a few dregs of tea left in the bottom. I tried to tell my fortune while looking at tea leaves on my otherwise naked body but only found star constellations from a section of space not visible from the earth. After a walk along a family sized gang plank we stopped off in town where one of our imaginary companions filled his bag with the minced up remains of nursery rhymes. The fox giant opened its mouth and we stepped inside for lunch. The chairs were toffee apples and the tables resembled wild boar. I said the past is a blank piece of paper and stared into empty space.


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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