Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Preserve Open

I choose the circle not the square

I want the bare bones of belonging

not the drapery

which holds dust in all its folds

made of all my shed skin and dirt

and yours too

How many more years

will I witness winter trees

fuzzing with leaf?

their branching black lines

against England’s grey skies.

These black bones support

the muscles of my mind’s eye

I cannot know.

So I cultivate open

and then

I preserve open

Monday, 22 January 2018


I coined this word yesterday to describe some idea I hold dear...

It isn't about polyamory, in its modern incarnation, much as this is a sane approach by some thoughtful people to an insane mainstream social set-up. I suggest paleoamory. It is when one's way of loving and physicality is perhaps more like it was in the auld time. When the few folk there were, moved upon the earth wildly, like the creatures we still knew ourselves to be, and did not own each other or the land, or anything more than we could easily carry or stow. When we were lovers of the green and took shelter in caves, under trees and in bowers. When we lit fires and sung for pleasure, and recounted the tales of our ancestors by memory, so as not to lose our skills or origins. When the finest story tellers mated in freedom with the best singers, and so generations of great art were already being formed into lyrical flesh.

Perhaps this time never existed, maybe it was always about power and control, as soon as we had tools and words. But I choose not to think so. Inspired by Ursula K LeGuin's 'Always Coming Home', a proposed 'archaeology of a future time'... I offer paleoamory in this spirit. Is time linear? Can we create this future past? 

monogamy is a beautiful ideal? It suits some people, and that's nice for them, I'm sure. I think it's mainly a by-product of property and money, and has been codified as positive from its use consolidating wealth in families and power in dynasties. It's a good way to produce armies and workers, and has the by-product of social stratification, inherent in any system where one must make one permanent choice - a rush to win the game. It leaves most folk unfree and the planet covered in man-made things.  Non-human life is made secondary to that sulphurous exhortation for humans to go forth and multiply. It is also an excellent means of controlling and distorting human desire, particularly of women, and supressing the natural loving expression of anyone not fitting the generative heterosexual norm. It has got mixed up with good things like trust, friendship, companionship, sharing responsibilities, protection of the old or ill, child rearing and home making. All of these great things exist perfectly well in the cultures where they don't favour monogamy, and most of all, in my made up new culture. 

This tendency towards wild love and real fellowship arises whenever it may, and persists in May Day rituals, and other traditional licensed madness throughout the rolling year. It will always sprout again following periods of suppression, by religion or state, however long. I can only speak for my country, perhaps in yours all is perfectly well between the sexes, and holy freedom is the blessed norm. In England, things are far from ideal, but it's better than some ideal of courtly love, or religious law, or tyrannical utilitarianism. 

Arise paleoamorists, even if there are only 108 out there. (They probably won't be reading this anyway, as they'll be rambling in the woods, picking the first spring shoots, and getting their deer hides out of the oak bark tea in which they steeped all winter, to get on with making new shoes for Beltane dancing.)

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Fellow feeling. 

Not fellow thinking, or fellow justification, or fellow idea. 

Monday, 25 January 2016


I gave up making Art so that I could get on with doing drawing. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


     A friend of mine came to stay a while ago and out of nowhere asked me what my 'spirit animal' was. I told him I didn't have one.
“No problem”, he said, “What would it be if you could choose one now?”
I thought for a minute. I had been working all week in my vegetable garden, harvesting rhubarb and purple sprouting broccoli, weeding the beds, turning the compost and enjoying the company of the robins, as well as an occasional duck flapping up from the tiny River Graveney, a tributary of the Wandle in SW London. Thinking of the heavy alluvial soil in the garden, I said:
“An earthworm”.
“No, you can't have that, choose something beautiful, something bigger...”
     He seemed to want me to pick some sort of photogenic megafauna, perhaps with fur or feathers, or maybe even just a face, but I persisted. I told him how the worms were pulling my compost down into the clay soil, making it easier to work year by year. I described how even the mucous-strengthened voids they leave as they pass through the soil are beneficial to plant roots, making space for them, aerating the beds. I mentioned how all this soil-eating earth-turning industry took place out of sight, almost silently, to everyone's great benefit, occasionally even the robin's. My friend still wasn't happy about it, but there you go.