Sunday, 26 June 2011

Green With Envy?

Greens: forest, olive, verdigris, reptile, broad bean, apple fool...

Depth and spread of recorded words found wanting, we rummage for similes in the natural and made-made world - with varying success. Rendering the precise colour of what we behold being one of the less demanding tasks. One would have thought.
Yet, even clichés fail to deliver. Clichés: those victimised linguistic gems, deemed so apt when first conjured into being that their very popularity eventually turns them into the object of derision.
And yet, so imprecise, so utterly wrong. Emerald green – some traffic lights are; eyes? Never. Mine own are green, essentially; but also grey; there’s a hint of blue; there are speckles of gold and blotches of brown; and they change from day to day and mood to mood.
How can they be green when that is the colour of grass, of peas, of mint? How can ‘mint green’ be palest green with shades of blue when the herb is nearly as dark as cucumber skin? How can that same ‘mint green’ be called ‘jade’ elsewhere, and ‘jade’ in turn stretch to cover ‘turquoise’?

Thursday, 16 June 2011


Image found here

Butterfly-winged, all shiny chiffons and mischievous smiles, the sprite thinks you’re her possession, her iron reserve, her nest egg for a rainy day.

Weakness, dependency, interminable infatuation – is that what she thinks when you endure what she hurls at you? When you, without so much of a whimper, bear up to the acid burns she administers? When your hot-tempered heart suffers searing sorrow but begs for further torture? When you tear out your soul like the gory innards from a disembowelled body, and lay it, as a cat places a slain starling, to her feet like a gift?

The little fool, projecting her very own personality defects! It is Strength! Strength, Courage and Perseverance. Does she not know you’re a Dragon?

When she eventually comes round, will you concede that she’s a mere moth? Nothing but a figurine from a cheap Christmas cracker made of pewter; dull to behold, cold to the touch and hollow through and through.

Ironically, you’ll always have her because you felt it. She’ll lose you forever because she did not.

Friday, 10 June 2011


Triptych for soprano and string

Patricia Morehead

Ascot & Arcadia, Brum & Berlin: Cycling & Cancer, Death, Equations & Fractal Geometry, Honesty (brutal; lack thereof), Infuriating Juxtaposition of Kindness and Loss of self. Mask (slipping), Narcissistic Offender, Propaganda (your Dad’s). Quintessentially: Rights, Sex, Truth & Uterus. Venom Winning? X-axis, Y-axis… Za-bee-na.

Bizarre maybe, but encapsulating my week. Incidentally, I used to accuse this word - “bizarr” (~ bi:tsar) - of being a false friend. I believed its connotations of grotesque contrasts and incongruities pertained to shapes only, not people, moods, behaviour.

Tell you what was bizarre – in its 'weird', 'freakish', 'ludicrous' guise – raking through the books at Oxfam. Hoping for striking titles such as “Howzat” (my sudden interest in cricket being of a purely theatrical nature), I spied, scattered amongst the sports themed tomes featuring predominantly male-oriented topics, a handful of surprising paperbacks: “How to save your marriage”, and “How to make your marriage work”.
Clever Oxfam volunteers with a wicked sense of humour?
And would the (exclusively male!) authors advise: “Less Sky Sports, more costume drama” ?