A Forest Ditch

Walking in the forest
I hear the quiet breeze
Flowing through the tall conifers.
Above me.

A Great Tit calls
with piercing clarity
Impressing his mate.
And me.

I come across a water-filled ditch
Long enough for Ophelia
To drown herself.
But not me.

I get down on my hunkers and draw –
Peat-brown edges,
Reflections of Sky,
Above me.

I fall into a state
Of introspective meditation
On the words of Lao Tsu
Who speaks to me:

The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.
In action, watch timing.

No fight: No blame.

Forest Pool
Acrylics on canvas, 45x60cm.

Today I planted seeds:
Sunflower, parsley, Zucchini
Sweet Pea, Antirrhinum,
Nasturtium, Night-scented stock.
Scottish Marigold (Calendula).

I hope they come up.
As usual.


Winter Walk

A woodland walk in winter, up through the glen, over the bridge at Horseshoe Falls and down along the riverbank where fallen trees block the flow creating new, deeper pools.

A male Great Tit calls as clear as a bell in the stillness of the wood reminding me of  Shelley’s inspired observation in his ‘Ode To The West Wind’: “If winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”.

“Winter Walk in the Woods”, mixed media in sketchbook, A5.

(The wee buddy walking on the path less trodden is my darling wife, Jacqueline, whom I often use in sketches for scale. This, however, may be a bit unhelpful to the unaccustomed observer since she is only five-foot-two :o)

Stars in their Eyes

“They serve revolving saucer eyes,
dishes of stars; they wait upon
huge lenses hung aloft to frame
the slow procession of the skies.

They calculate, adjust, record,
watch transits, measure distances.
They carry pocket telescopes
to spy through when they walk abroad.

Spectra possess their eyes; they face
upwards, alert for meteorites,
cherishing little glassy worlds;
receptacles for outer space.” *


Stars in their Eyes
Derived from Subconscious Musing, 19 December 2014, acrylics on paper, 42x59cm.

A very Merry Christmas to each and every one who has visited my inconstant blog, who is now “following”, and who has been kind enough to indicate a liking for some of my work. Thanks!

* Extract from “The Ex-Queen Among The Astronomers” by Fleur Adcock, 1979.

The Cherry Pickers


Acrylics on paper, 42x59cm.

This painting started out in the usual subconscious way but the real magic occurred when musing on the red splodges brought to mind this poem by Andrew Young, a Scottish clergyman and naturalist born in 1885:


The cherry-pickers left their picking

And ladders through the branches


And cherries hung like gouts of blood

Down the long aisles of white-washed


But now the sun is breaking through

Dark clouds that dry to pools of blue

And the smooth Medway lies


Except for drops the boughs released.

What is it makes the sun so proud

He will not suck a passing cloud

But needs raindrops to quench his


Well, let him do his picking first.

It was the “gouts of blood” that did it for me!

ps: Many thanks to yawn, pikink, and Hello Fig for having a look at and “liking” my previous and first ever post on WordPress. Thanks!