Weekly Diary


I wore pain like a baby’s bib as June and I went to town using a route last trod by late neolithic farmers. I had ancient skeletons in my head, all of which were curled up in fetal positions, before turning the corner as the flagship of Admiral Jellicoe at the battle of Jutland. We were trapped inside Jonah for a time and then ate a meal on the supersonic wing of a World War One biplane. We came home together with boomerang smiles: I threw mine twice but only caught it once. The house looked like an adult on a potty from a distance and then a baby on a throne when we got close. I drew the curtains and June painted the very tips of her fingers. Poppy, the dog, had grown antenna in our absence and was tuned into an extragalactic radio station.



I saw the doctor very early in the morning; she had the thigh bone of an archaeopteryx in her nose which lit up in various shades of purple when she spoke. I came home in a medical haze to find June had taken root in a pot by the fire that we never switch on. I wondered if she would communicate in flowers as I climbed the stairs to change into my hedgehog clothes. June waited for the patch of green on the top of my head to burst into growth before she walked to town with blocks of ice for eyes. I worked in a space capsule that ground control had forgotten to send into space. I couldn’t orbit like well known Hermetic scripts so spun round in my chair trying to keep in time with the music that had entered the house via a downstairs window and was trying to escape through the roof.



I had to go out with ornate chimney pots on each shoulders. I delivered the dog to the lady who turns wasteland fur into ploughed fields with rooks following the plough (the little boy in my memory was completely covered with the cloth cap he was wearing – his father was a farm and his mother a farmer). I collected her a little later with my arms covered in bandages that I had borrowed from a mummy of the Old Kingdom. June, Poppy and I had to go out again later, noticing on the way that everyone could walk on water except the bearded man wearing sandals. We came home in the dark, the lights attached to my cranium attracting the attention of helicopter flies. A mouth from an ancient face opened the door for us with its tired eyes blinking in the background.



I had to go down the road in the morning which I have since likened to a secretary bird attacking a snake. The people in front had spoons for arms and were clinking along in search of breakfast bowls – I kept a safe distance, the music in my head opening the security locks of the vault where all the fish thoughts are kept (bird thoughts are kept in a box on a pillar like a hermit who hasn’t touched the ground for months). I kept the asceticism of my thoughts to myself as the the milkman sped by with crates full of black cats instead of milk. The man who often wears white put me on a conveyor belt, threatening me with a locked box if I accidentally fell off. I was tempted to jump down just so I could open the seal but kept my thoughts to myself until I got home.



I left the pill box house in the pitch black, dressed in cobwebs and a disc of soot forming a halo over my head. I looked up to see if I could see any flying horses as the bus drew up. I got off a school boy trip later with rooks invisible against a still dark sky. The old man was sat in a room full of pink dolphins and we talked in silence until a little man climbed out of the telephone with a ballpoint pen stuck up his nose. On my return June and I went out, she was dressed as valkyrie and I was Thor. We had a Nordic walk around the shopping centre before stopping for a magenta meal in a green and orange room. The lady who took my money thought I was on the television; she changed her mind as June and I left, our footsteps making depressions in the jungle floor.



The face in the mirror had a ring in its nose and the bath full of water had a volcanic island recently emerged in the middle. I had already carved the soap into little hands so I drew back the curtains and waved a message to the bird headed people across the street – forgetting that I was wearing only a black towel with the stars visible in the night sky in the northern hemisphere displayed across it. The tallest of the visitors was leaning against a first floor window while the shortest had already reached the roof. He was watching June walk to town with her shopping list across her shoulders like a cape. I stayed indoors to work like a man who repairs roads while aerial hump backed whales filled the sky, their song binding everything together like cement.



June remained in the dug out, crossing three of her legs and hoovering with the fourth. I was feeling a little better and left the submersible in the Mariana Trench to pace a path of ancient stone heads (smaller ears than on Easter Island but with longer noses). I then had to go out briefly when the face attached to a living room wall smiled, returning to a frown and a lightning bolt that reminded me of writing lessons in primary school. As the slime mould day moved on we all stayed inside the house – which was learning to dance. The urban landscape showing a glimpse of petticoat below its dress. I told the squirrel tailed man that my spectacles were a secure fence that kept in all the wild animals and kept out all of humanity – I cannot wear contact lenses.


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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