Thursday 7 November 2013

Viewing the dawn: Namibia

This image is featured in the current edition of 'Outdoor Photography'

Monday 28 October 2013



What is it about a face
Never seen or met
But whose image
Stays in the mind?
The painter saw him
And now I see him
Centuries later,
but I'm caught.
The painter can't have lied
About his look: it's not grand
Or status laden,
He gazes from the picture
With a humble humanity.
He is pained:
Either he or
The world is in trouble
And his sorrow for it
 Can be read
In crumpled brows
And patient eyes.
I’d like to talk with this man.

When we die, we leave
Little behind beyond family,
Memories and goods perhaps:
All transitory traces.
The title of the painting
Tags him as ‘robusto’ –
A poor testimonial.
It is not his size which captures attention.
To be known for an expression
And of compassion particularly,
is a truer memorial:
A legacy given to us
By a man and his painter
Whose souls met
And touched.

The painting is thought to be of Robert de Masmines c 1425
by Robert Campin. It is titled Retrato de un hombre robusto


Thursday 18 July 2013

The Photograph

The exhibit was a muddle,
A clutter of metal, alone in a room.
Shadow and light gave effect
But eye and brain struggled for more,
 What meaning should we take away?

An icon of two feet,
An instruction to stand there
And "use your camera".
Unusual, and breaking
The normal 'showpiece' mode.

What was confusion,
simplified into message:
"It is not chaos".
The camera's lens
Brought clarity.

The eye had failed
To see the truth,
We had seen what was
And not the space between,
Mess, had deliberate form.

How often we think we see,
Know, understand, empathise
Only later to find the facts
Other than what we thought.
Space brings its own shading.

Republic of Azerbaijan Exhibit
 Biennale Venice 2013

Saturday 30 March 2013

Kimpton Church

The pillars lean now
Tipped by angels dancing up
Sliding down, from God.

March Cold

Saturday 9 March 2013

On first visiting a Spa - for a 'treatment'

I didn't fit in.
My jeans and fleecy top
was not the garb of design.
The white butterflies around me
were in towelling robes and mules.
The darkened relaxation room
with water trickling,
pipe music piped,
candles and daybeds
oozed cliché calm.
I read 'coded Shakespeare'
with interest but aware,
oh so aware of the 
tinkle laughs and twitter
of my neighbours:
a moth amongst cabbage whites.
Even my drink was wrong,
my black coffee shuddered
in its tea cup amongst
spa water and elderflower.

I was called and guided
along sultry darkened corridors,
the breathy music piped on
subtle, soothing, quiet -
I lay on the operating table
being stroked and anointed,
pampered with care.
The cliché lived on but
the harsh Australian tones 
of the masseuse  didn't fit either.
We laughed a bit,
I was relaxed,
I liked the balms,
My anti ageing unguents
tried their best......
to cancel out 
the birthday reality
of tomorrow. 

Tromso, Norway