Tuesday 2 November 2021

Not yet a poem

 Going to the shops on Friday, I noticed how the wet twigs and leaves made the pavement slippery, not dangerously so, but noticeable. I failed to make a haiku from this, but later it occurred to me that 'slippery surface' may be a poetic description of the screens we read on.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Media and poetry

 The Poemgranate twitter feed shared this poem:

"Stationery" by Agha Shahid Ali The moon did not become the sun. It just fell on the desert in great sheets, reams of silver handmade by you. The night is your cottage industry now, the day is your brisk emporium. The world is full of paper. Write to me.

The poem is beautiful, and the linking of moonlight and letters from loved ones is literally poetic. But it didn't make me want to receive a letter; it made me want an email or text from a friend. Communication, knowing someone thought of me, is more important to me than the media it comes by. But I can't think of a poetic way to describe an email.

Sunday 12 September 2021


 Let's start this with 'sankofa'. It seems like a simple idea, but I'm not sure I will ever completely understand it. I came across it reading about Larry Achiapong's flags at the Liverpool Biennial. I didn't physically go to Liverpool, but really enjoyed the on-line offering. I'm grateful.

There's a lot of examination of colonialism and its legacy in stuff I've come across recently, exhibits and talks. A site examining sugar industry, slave trade, and industrialisation in Flintshire came up in one of the discussions. To my shame, I am descended from someone who owned slaves.

Two things from Bulgaria's past: a photo collection and an article on early Turkish feminists. I know almost nothing about Bulgaria, but still I have come across these two things.

This morning I listened to the conference by the International Society of Ikebana Research, which was very interesting and has given me a lot to think about. Not sure yet if I will find it inspiring

And, it's a common word that I know I would use, but it was only this week that I read the definition of 'sundries'. It is only a bit different than I thought.

Saturday 3 April 2021

floating paper stars


floating paper star and petals
The paper stars I made years ago float very well in the canal. Now I will be thinking about making more to float this way, but for th moment, just thinking.

Tuesday 9 March 2021

what colour is a season

 Looking for haiku information, I came across the translation of the Zokuhen (Sequel) of the Eiga monogatari by Professor Takeshi Watanabe. It's not an easy read, especially with my very limited knowledge of Japanese history. But it is interesting anyway.

In the first 'chapter' on the site, which is Book 31, I think because it is a continuation of the work, there is a mention of ladies writing poems on "thin paper of the color of autumn leaves". Reading this, I though of brown paper, maybe the colour of a paper bag or the cheaper sort of envelopes; when I was trying to find the passage again I searched for 'brown' - that's how strong the connection was in my mind. Re-reading it, I think the paper was actually red, as in momiji/crimson leaves. In my defence, the first poem finishes with "autumnal wind among the pines" which puts the image of pine trees in my mind, dark green unchanging through the seasons.

I enjoy changing my wardrobe between spring/summer and fall/winter. Some people would see it as silly, and I don't really have a system for classifying garments, but still, I'm forward to pulling out the clothes I see as spring-like.

Thursday 25 February 2021

Things disappear

 Nearly 3 weeks ago, we went to see Omid Asadi's Hansel and Gretel (2021). It had been exposed to the elements for a while, and the paint reminded me of blotted lipstick, or crushed petals.

Its disappearance is part of itself; it is very linked to this time, this place, though the wider cultural references make it connected to other times and places as well.

I started writing this blog again, realising that things on the internet disappear, and the things I think about are forgotten, the thoughts disappear. 

The Asymptote site led me to The Willowherb Review, something I hope stays around for a while yet.

Saturday 6 February 2021

Ideas about flowers

Reading the article ‘A Comparison between Asymmetric Japanese Ikebana and Symmetric Western Flower Arrangement.’ by Marie Moriyama & Megumi Moriyama, (in the journal Forma, 1999) made me wonder again about ideas about flowers in western art. That article was linked to by Christopher James, in his piece Teaching Ikebana in Australia.

When I think of flowers in art, I think of still life paintings. Reading the wikipedia page on still lifes led me to Gerard de Lairesse's Groot schilderboek (1712), and specifically the 12th book of that work, the treatise on flowers. I feel very lucky that such things are available on the internet (thank you bibliotheck voor de Nederlandse lettern). However, it is a bit intimidating as a text, and I feel like it will only be a starting point for understanding more about the subject.

Wednesday 20 January 2021

Make more love

 It's nice that even when galleries haven't been allowed to open, they are still able to encourage artists.

Just checking out what the CFCCA have been up to led me to Frances Yeung's Finding Feminity in the Archive. I was especially touched by her Love is Chores. It reminded me of a talk I went to at the Whitworth Art Gallery, "Uzbek Suzani embroideries" by Noorah al Gailani, which the internet tells me was back in the summer of 2019. It was very well attended- I arrived late and the staff were putting out extra chairs.

The embroideries concerned are large wall hangings made as dowry pieces. They were shown to display skill, wealth, increase good fortune, and so on. Ms al-Gailani mentioned that these embroideries were an expression of love, the families' love for the daughters that were leaving them to live with their husbands' families. The time, work and expense, to express love. It struck me as the same reason women (and I suppose some men as well) make embroidered samplers to celebrate family events.

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Is it internationalism

 Actually, I feel like I am just not clever enough to understand the concept of internationalism as a political principle/doctrine/belief system; but I have been thinking about it.

Stone Flowers put out a new song, Change the World, just recently, and I have also just recently come across the Asymptote site, dedicated to showcasing international literature translated into English. Though created by people very different from me, with very different life experiences than me, both express ideas that I agree with, that I want to share.

Tuesday 5 January 2021

 Karen Arthur's Wear Your Happy video for 64 Million Artists' January Challenge reminded me of the lovely sustainable fashion workshop at Stitched Up Co-op that was developed and put on by Mien by Miss E and Wardrobe Wellbeing. (However, I am still wearing my usually scruffy clothes.)