overview without absence … right speech without primness … distance without indifference … self-honouring without complacency … creative chaos without slovenliness … dutiful without self-abnegation … outsiderness without cynicism … awakeness without self-regard … gratitude without kneeling … time without timing … effort without stress … anger without rage … risk without crazy … […]

  I’ve mentioned that I leave cards all over the place with a text on one side and my artwork on the other … supermarkets, benches, pubs. This is one of my favourite texts on my biggest cards which can accommodate the opening and the ending:   DESIDERATA (1927) Go placidly amid the noise and […]
June 2017

  For my illustrated cards I now have a Poems and Quotes file of 35 pages and growing.   Here are a couple of illustrations and some texts:     When Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years, he addressed a large crowd saying: I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy, […]
Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath 1932 – 1963 – American poet and novelist – was obsessed with death, self, and nature.   Her obsession with death dates from the death of her father, a biology professor, when she was eight.   You do not do, you do not do Any more black shoe In which I have lived like […]
Number 83

Roxanna Panufnik (b. 1968 London) She’s the British daughter of the Polish composer and conductor, Sir Andrzj Panufnik (1914-91).   She studied composition at London’s Royal College of Music and her works include opera, ballet, chamber, music for film and tv – and relevant here – choral.   She’s a fusion composer embracing, among others, middle eastern […]
Number 76

There’s a spot on the south coast we visit several times a year.   The bungalow opens on to the beach.   I painted a picture and wrote words on it and hung it on the wall. It’s clear on the original but writing over the layered acrylic pebbles was tricky.   It ends and ever / against […]
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Tony Bolton … Boltini… poet

I first met Tony some ten years ago when we had neighbouring allotments.   In the sunshine, wearing a hat, he could have passed as a French Impressionist painter.   As well as his lined and crumpled features, he has a distinctive Lancashire accent. In his talk I glimpsed moments of ecstasy. We talked over a lunchtime […]
Psycho Exercise

I came across this exercise, which I found very helpful, in a workshop along the lines of Neale Donald Walsch’s ‘Conversations with God’. Imagine a line on the floor in front of you.   The left end is misery: the right end is joy.   Stand on the line at the position you find most appropriate to […]
Thomas Merton

I’m just dipping into ‘A Book of Hours’ by Thomas Merton (1915-68) … Anglo-American, Trappist monk, poet, author on spiritual matters, and social activist.   Here’s part of one of his psalms: We face our mornings as men of undaunted purpose. We know the time and we dictate the terms. We know what time it is. […]