Category Archives: memory

a tree speaks

In November there will be an exhibition at St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh called Grown Together. Timed to coincide with the launch of the Tree Charter, this will feature the work of nineteen artists with a shared interest in trees.  I’ve been working on video material for a loop which will be part of a small installation.  The videos combine ambient audio captured in some local woodlands with animated  text and readings of some of my poems from the small collection called Drawing breath.

Here’s a test piece for one of my videos.  (Please ignore the headphone graphic near the start – it’s just there to indicate that there is audio to passing visitors).

The poem takes a tree’s-eye-view of passing humans, coming around to memory and how remembering works, or doesn’t…

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drawing breath

Trees can be very big, and some of them are very old. Their character and way of life is complex, in many ways hidden, and very different from our own. They can make us pause and they can make us gasp.

drawing breath is a collection of twelve poems arising from a collaboration with visual artist Tansy Lee Moir.

I’ve made booklet with the poems, some photographs, and some of Tansy’s drawings, and I’ve also made a series of recordings of readings.  Hope you like them!

You can find links to all of these and more about our collaboration here.

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old post

windstream whittled

boundary lines surrendered

sculpture on the way

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Gallery

Something a little different – a gallery with an assortment of some of the images and montages that I’ve made to illustrate this blog over the past wee whiley …


Found art

found artA poppy pin.
Fallen, rainwashed,
Rusted, gathered,
Repinned, raindropped.
A tiny lamp relit.

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Déjà vu

This piece (words, sound, image) was made in response to a New Scientist article by Jessica Hamselou about studies by researchers at the University of St Andrews, and the University of Western Ontario into the phenomenon of déjá vu.

You read more about the science in Jessica’s fascinating article online at New Scientist.

My reading and the poem are below, click on the wee tiny thumbnail for a larger version of the image.

Continue reading


The same cloth

In the UK, if you’re over fifty, every couple of years you receive an excellent little test kit from the National Health Service. It does rather bring you down to basics. Before continuing can I raise a quick cheer for cancer screening. I know it’s a faff, but really, it does make sense – so if you’re in the age range and you’re contacted by a screening programme where you live, I would encourage you to get over the ick factor, and get on with it 🙂 !

Although the kit does come with excellent instructions, you do have to figure out your own method for some of the fine details (so to speak). I suspect that the kit has probably seldom been an inspiration for poetry, but I have always found the versatility of cardboard a very marvellous thing…
dragon

The same cloth

Dragon chewed edges chart

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My cardboard construction skills,
Once creased castles to house plastic
Knights and errant imaginations.

Or a two foot Arc Royal flat-top as,
Floor bound navigators on our knees,
We projected playtime power.

The throne of easement today requires a
Temporary transom to stage my fifty something
Three day perforated tournament of poo sticks.

So salvaged corrugated cardboard,
Will again be pressed to unfold a counter,
And jury-rig a diagnostic flight deck.

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My rhumb lines of luck or doubt.
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About screening for bowel cancer in UK:
NHSinform
Bowel cancer screening UK (includes a very helpful video)