A small selection:
A small selection:
Sustaining Practice, Supporting Creativity.
(A piece written to accompany a required video for the Woolgather Art Prize, for which I was selected. The question being "How you sustain your practise and how do you support a creative lifestyle?")
Sustaining my practice is like breathing, it‘s unconscious..
It comes with the morning,
In tea and in tying shoe laces,
In the sleepy on the faces of the people I pass.
It’s in the grass.
In the past and the new, even if the blue sky hides,
It’s in the shadows it provides..
Practise is sample, and there’s ample time to play,
Havening fun is a sustainable energy, and anyway,
Whether one or one-hundred, perfection is never achieved,
So in practise new ideas conceived, and creativity breathes,
And yes it may be true that routine can dilute,
And money plays a part in the quantity, it’s nice not to be worried,
Or feel hurried or rushed by currency, and we will,
But there’s still the other things, the birds and trees and playground swings,
And string or rope, and knitting needles,
And beads, and tons of books to read.
So you see, I practise by existing,
Creativity, with time, assisting, and delight, in both awake and sleeping,
And taking advantage of everything.
I have a tendency to chew before I spit, but you’re a delicacy my dear,
A charm, burning and enticing to my flippant nature, can I distract you from the small print, and you, accidental target, will become a fox in the street lights whilst I subtly mention my twofold path; I’ll lead you off the track if I can borrow your coat, a delightful promise perhaps, I’ll show you some of mine, love, if you give me yours,
And you’ll think it was your idea.
I have a tendency to wrap myself around little fingers, and yours is compelling my dear,
You’re proving a challenge, but I’m not one to cling to the monotonous, consider yourself a raised bar, and take comfort in that when you’re in pieces, I’ll try not to be too cruel in my chroma key green skin, and be who you need me to be; whilst picking out the frailty in the dusk. My thoughts are dancing around the edges of those that seem evident to you, and you, my dear, feel that I am the fooled.
It’s unfair to use this veener on you, you master of trickery, you slight of hand pro, you feel you are one step ahead, and I like that, it keeps you distracted.
Oh dear, my little exploit,
You think this is your game.
…and I like that.
Tricky little yoghurt pot, cannot get my spoon in full, cannot reach the bottom part, haven’t yet managed a mouthful…
The condensation on the side is making my hand pretty chilly, making my fingers get wet, making me feel rather silly…
But still I persevere some more, try my spoon the other way, tapping my foot on the floor, maybe this will take all day…
Maybe I’ll be here for years, try my thumb and try my finger, try my tongue, teeth in the way… and still the lower yoghurt lingers…
…and still the condensation gathers, drip drip dripping from my hands, dripping slowly down my leg and dripping slowly to the ground…
…soon my socks begin to dampen, my toes all white and porous, soon my chair begins to float whilst I hum this little chorus…
tricky little yoghurt pot,
why can’t I get to that spot,
at the bottom of the pot,
is there a technique I’ve forgot?
Floating slowly through the streets, past the church and past the steeple, past the school and past the butchers, past the other floating people..
..they don’t seem to float so well, I see them splash and hear their cries, but my yoghurts pots still tricky, I don’t want to avert my eyes,
I feel the acid around my tonsils, I don’t want to put down my spoon, I feel the water in my mouth, hope to reach the yoghurt soon…
The Great City Life.
Off white, high light, low ceiling, numb feeling, all breathing, all living? all dreaming?
Flat monitor screens fight the rare sunbeams; when they shine past the blinds, can’t compete for the minds, but are taken and stored, for the coffee when bored, and a need to complain about Great British rain… a guaranteed conversation, existence stays sane. Return to the confine, of desk, screen and deadline, the silence of spreadsheets takeover again.
Touch typing competes with the rain tapping beats, the air’s dry but the weathers got in.
In the quiet, fingers flicker, only eye movements quicker, clocks constant tock tick, a dozen mouse buttons click, atmospheric concentration, drowning thoughts and expressions, causing slow suffocation, still the silence unthreatened, except by the rain on the street.
…and come five o’clock when the working day stops, starched graph paper patterns will surely be dampend, on the backs and the collars, of the tired and bothered, as they escape from the off white, low ceiling, high light, but until then stay seated, dead still and defeated, uncompleted?... All living?... All dreaming?
Roll up a cigarette, sugar rush, better yet, better still, get your fill from the caffeine, maybe stay in, maybe TV, keep it easy, whiskey chaser coming later fills the gaps in the evening, see the ceiling, nicotine… nicotine, nicotine numbs, the thumbs on remote control, no control over, not over or through it, just wait for the fog to pass, pick up another glass, mind going faster than body and heart, thoughtful, smart, on the tip, on the edge of the window ledge, balancing heel, forty winks replace blinking…..
…thinking. Keeping one eye on the second hand, keeping one eye on the second hand, keeping one eye on the sand, on the land, on the floor, pretty sure that it soon will be yours again, it’s got to get better, it can’t get much wetter, and yet, rolling cigarette, fog in the mind, in the lungs, with a tongue stained the language of fools, clever fools, fooled the brain, let the rain in, complaining begins, fools will win, fools will win, …steal the grin, they exchange it for gold, leave you empty and cold, in the night… with only a nicotine light and a tether, opinions based around weather… forever, forever?
…surely more, surely reason, contemplate deep in thought, roll up a cigarette, sugar rush, better yet… better still.
To Each His Own.
Where I come from, that’s a pound or two,
tie it to a balloon and let it loose or it’ll smother you,
Clean your ears, tie up your shoes, I guess it’ll be a trick to lie in the deep and murky blue,
Float on narrator, tell of your woes, tread on the stories of long gone, mild and loving toes,
and paint the summer with a colour we don’t know, …we’ll take a cutting, and plant our own.
That means more than a simple deed, a stable saddle only tends to rest on a faithful steed,
he treads with care on heather, wearing leather, proud and pleased… oh blow your nose, your still a creature, bound, nought, crispy, spreading seed.
Clever girl, dancing on your own, unbeknown you’ll always be dancing with the sombre seeds you’ve sown,
lets dance as one, lets steam the sun, we’ll feast with meat and a carrot each so we still can see,
a hearty belly worn by many bumble bees, that is the one for me.
Oh just a nib, oh, looks so fine, oh just a grip on the lifeless, lost and tender vine, oh place the moon in to the crimson cup of mine and call my mother… I’ll be gone for quite some time.
But as for you, you and the blue, you plod along, sing your song unto the wispy morning dew. A tender kiss exchanged in harmonic gratitude.
…let blossom bloom… and hum you’re own tune..
Ambition and The Shadow Puppets.
Soap bubble eyes disguising the knives
Forks and spoons until drained away leaving a stain,
Greasy rim keeps it’s posture, and arrogant colour, whilst diluted, reclusive, retreats down the drain… and flows …and flows…
and falls in to all sorts of puddles and pools,
stealing from workmen and ruining tools, mocking ceramics,
stretching limbs through the gates, through the fence, seeking solice and still sentiments… and silence …shhh…
Under a soap bubble apple tree blossoms a buttercup, all buttoned up in a cloak,
Strewn on the worlds mossy breast, growth in contest and conquest… an apple but never an oak.
A seagull flies past, think he’s lost in the city; the frost in the city is not very frosty, compost in the city seems soggy and stale, seems full of tobacco, fried chicken and ale,
We’re sickened by fools and we’re sickened by lovers, we don’t like the people below or above us, a dove in the city gets looked at quite funny, unless on occasion the sun is quite sunny, then city folk seem to be much less resistant, the street paper passer is not so insistent,
The starbucker coffee boy’s sweep up the crumbs of the suits, crunching sums, crunching bums on to plastic chairs, static cares, perfect hair, wear and tear ripping their heads to shreds, home to beds made up of catalogue.
Dialogue swapped at the family dinner, is thinner, diluting the orange squash mother, another diversion, after which an excursion with rover the family dog.
For The Birds.
Hypocrisy, wrapped in cellophane and offered half the price,
Whilst nutrition labels teach our kids to read,
Jamie earned himself a shelf or two of ‘British standard’
Keeping silent, the decline of greener grass on which to feed.
We pack ourselves in tightly between shelves of traffic lights,
That tell us what we should and shouldn’t eat,
And count out pointless pennies to the sound of credit crunch,
Before sneaking in some value priced defeat.
A month ago we argued as a nation, for the birds,
And now to save a pound, we’re out to fight,
A capricious army of tabloid led bigots,
Principled in our protests, misguided in our flight.
We’re eating in to human rights because they’re home-grown, fresh and cheap,
...remember when our crops were just the same?
We have nothing now but bribery to fill our shop floor shelves…
And we still can’t see that we’re the ones to blame.
Problems With Being Dead.
Once upon a time, in the land of the dead,
lived a rabbit, a cricket and a hen with no head.
Said rabbit to hen “my good gosh, it’s got chilly’,
to which, replied cricket “oh don’t be so silly”.
This started a brawl between cricket and rabbit,
(though brawling had become some what of a habit),
so hen, getting fed up with all the commotion, googled the ingredients for a nifty love potion,
now three big potatoes are easy to get,
and so is a feather, a stamp and a net,
but the final ingredient, an aquafresh shirt,
left hen a bit stuck, so she asked her friend Burt.
Burt, a dog that got stuck in a fence,
was lovely and kind, though sometimes quiet dense,
but he wagged is big tail as he pondered the thought,
“you could try out the pink one the vicar just bought”.
So hen mixed the batter of love til it stood
up on it’s own, the way cake mixture should,
she divided it equally in to empty shot glasses,
and garnished the lot with banana molasses.
Her intentions were good, and her plan rather bright,
but the outcome, unfortunately, wasn’t quite right,
see, the trouble with combining the pink shirt and stamp,
is that that is the potion for dealing with damp.
So Rabbit and Cricket, and Burt the dog fence,
now had a problem of greater immense;
to always be bone dry and feel dehydrated,
is a feeling that everyone really quite hated.
“agreed” said cricket at the bi-monthly update,
“this problem is worse than a fart on a date”,
“agreed” said the Rabbit whilst itching his ear,
“this may be a rather big problem, I fear”,
but hen, with her head tucked up under her wing,
smiled to herself, you see, this is the thing;
though dry to the bone and with all humor gone,
the land had found something they all could agree on.
So the lesson I guess, do not get in a mood… or put things suggested by Burt in your food.
All works are originals, and of my own hand. Thank you for reading. Bess x