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I’m not much given to illustrating poems, but this acrylic painting on paper  does  somewhat illustrate a poem of mine – the first in my forthcoming book with Left Field Poetry, The Craft: Selected Poems 1989 – 2016. The image won’t be in or on the book, but here it is.

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Flow

Relaxed in the flow of things, we float
Down the wide river in a small boat.
There is nothing to do but to pluck
With leisured fingers on the lute,
Let the song rise in the throat
And spill over the water, or not.

The boat drifts slowly. On either side
The landscape passes like a long scroll
Full of intricate detail. Each tributary’s slide
Into the main stream makes the wide
River wider. How gradually we glide
Seawards, how vivid the afternoon sky.

The different water-birds around us
Vanish and return to the surface,
Drops sparkling. They are full of business
But we are caught up with luxurious
Late day warmth, the lute idly plucked,
The possibility of a kiss

Far over the river sounds can be heard:
A bull bellowing from his pen,
The high chaa chaa of a gliding water-bird
And the hint of the water’s gurgle
Against distant banks. The returning herd
Answers the bull. The boat drifts on.

Six plums tied in a cloth, some bread,
Are all our simple provisions,
Along with half a bottle of cheap red.
All day we have followed the delicate thread
Of the lute. We glide and sing. Ahead
The huge moon rising, almost red.

All day we drifted downriver in our flimsy boat,
The dark cargo ships slid by like dreams.
Now we are beyond the delta. We float
On calm water, deep blue and remote.
There is no land beyond the wet
Horizon. The stars are coming out.

___________________________________

 

 

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I got this gorgeous amethyst and wanted to set it into a ring. The trouble was the size and depth of the stone. I decided to carve a pair of hands gripping the girdle of the stone in their fingertips. This would allow the deep basket shape that I needed. The stone is so deep that it only just misses the finger.

First I carved a blank from some green carving wax – basically a piece of wax with a hole for the finger and a space to hold the stone.

Onto that I imagined, and drew, with a lot of checking my own crossed hands, the hands that would hold the stone, then removed whatever was not fingers. Here are some stages of the process.

After a bit of sharpening up, the wax was sent to Harald for casting.Then came filing, polishing and engraving.

Here are some pics of the final item. Click on them to enlarge.