A Tale of Two Shirts – and an old photo.

Shirt of a Deserter

In 1975/6 I was living in a student house in Weymouth in William St with my fellow conspirators Pete Jaggard and Doug Davies, plus a cast of stopovers and dropovers unknown to some, or even all of us. Whilst there I got matey with three guys on the run as deserters from the Italian army. At that time conscription was compulsory in Italy but these guys had slipped free. One of them took a fancy to my cherished Levis denim shirt and in a moment of happy madness I agreed to swap it for an Italian army shirt that he had stowed away. Here it is – in an old snap courtesy of Doug and the enduring quality of film.

in 1975

you were welcome

to the shirt off my back

 

 

Bee Happy

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As the summer fades into autumn the life in the garden changes. Birds exhausted from a lovely summer’s rearing are quiet and the hum of insects dies to a soft murmuring. Ash keys populate the path whilst the late pink roses curl with the first nip of the coming cold. Down the greening slope of the orchard the evening shadows fall longer with the dipping sun. The happy bees call us to be happy ourselves at this magical turning of the world.

Selfie 801

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Its not really me

just a passing reflection

of something or other

that glided across the horizon

like the wave of a tug

eager to bring home

the Mersey faithful

Brewery Arts Centre Exhibition

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If anyone is around or about during the month from 2nd August onwards then please pop in to the Warehouse Cafe at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal to see our mini-exhibition. Mat is an artist I met when we both had work displayed in the north west regional Outside In exhibition at Tullie House Carlisle last year. He works with a wonderful local organisation called space2create and its a pleasure and privilege to share this showing with him. My modest little drawings are part of my “Zen Series” using spontaneity, humour and direct transmission as conduits for personal expression (or something like that!).

 

Gallery Artemis – Cockermouth

 

House and Gren Ball
House and Green Ball

There’s a new gallery opened in my home town Cockermouth in Cumbria. Its rare for new galleries to open, especially in rural areas, especially ones geared to promoting new and emerging artists. So its a cause for celebration that Gallery Artemis has opened its doors. The major street works in town have made the opening weeks challenging – but its wonderful to see art competing for attention along with the fast food outlets, cheap booze stores and charity shops.

Singing at The Stone Circle

Stone Circle

oil pastel painting by keith fitton

Come Bank Holiday Monday, come Sing Owt to Castlerigg Stone Circle to raise their voices in support of the campaign to buy Blencathra for the local community. They will be singing  an adapted version of Woody Guthrie’s classic song, “This Land is Your Land” to celebrate this outburst of local passion. Its not about ownership (after all who on earth can possibly ever really own a mountain) but it is about guarding the rights of the present and future generations to enjoy walking and exploring on this classic mountain, free of inhibition or restriction. Its about guaranteeing the future of those people, animals and birds that depend on the mountain as a home and source of food/income. Its about present ethical stewardship, as opposed to absentee feudal land mismanagement. I’ll be there adding my voice to the choir. It matters.

Wythop valley

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like a mother’s embrace

this valley holds me

aspiring to nought save itself

blooming in a gorse laden yellowing

worn and care wrought

yet preserving its soft mystery

shining blue at the yew’s end

by the sloping of Sale Fell.

 

 

each letter

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each letter’s a breath each word a bone each exclamation a heatbeat each comma a thought

EACH SENTENCE’S AN EYEBLINK

straddling the gap in between

the capital and fullstop

from going to been.