Thursday, 7 July 2011


In this, which is probably my most intellectual posting to date, I feature three artists whose work has recently inspired me to write a significant amount of new poetry.

I consider myself extremely privileged to know, and to have known, so many extremely talented people in the arts world, actors, singers, dancers, writers, poets, comedians, musicians, photographers and indeed artists, many of whom I am blessed to be able to count as personal friends including the three artists I feature here within this blog.

If you enjoy the art featured herein I would encourage you to explore the individual artist’s web sites etc. and share this with your friends and families, not for my own gratification or benefit but for the sake of the artists whose work, in my opinion, deserves a much wider audience.

Of course I also sincerely hope that you enjoy my accompanying poems! Grant

Copyright Statement: For all the images within this posting, with the exception of the photograph of Lika Sharps (Which is my own) the copyright of course remains with the submitting artist without whose kind permission to reproduce them here this blog would not be possible.

Jo Taylor works in a number of different mediums, perhaps today she is best known for her illuminated soot on glass works and installations such as exhibited during London’s Illumini ‘Crypt-mas’ exhibition
However, it is her other work, especially that with mixed mediums and fabrics and the use of vibrant colours that I love:-

Investigators Paradise

For more details, please explore the Digswell Arts Trust (Very easily found via Google etc.)

For the full Jo Taylor experience this bright visualisation is never more so profound than when Jo transforms herself into a stunning, living work of visual performance art when singing with the band Lika Sharps.

Lika Sharps are:- Jo Taylor Vocals, Graham Brierton Bass and the legendary Jon Thurlow (ChronGen / Scum of Toytown) guitars & vocals.

Queen of Broken Hearts
When Jo takes to the stage
with the band Lika Sharps
Like a slightly disturbing
psychedelic Queen of Hearts
Her haunting vocals can
tear apart your very soul
Yet caress you, soothe you
and make you whole
Every emotion is given life
and colourfully portrayed
Through costume, gesture
expressions made
This persona is an extension
of the artist inside
From which there is no escape
no place to hide
For once seen and heard
will be remembered for all days
Such a stunning visualisation
when Jo takes to the stage.

Internationally acclaimed artist Karen De La Bald is extremely well known in the ‘Goth’ community for her beautiful erotic gothic nude paintings and photographs many of which are available as greeting cards or prints, often painted in Watercolour / Gouache they really are amazing and if you want to see and learn more then please visit one of her many web sites, especially, The Art of Morgaine :-
Karen also uses a number of different mediums for her art and often creates paintings on River Stones, Boxes in fact anything that comes to hand!
For me it is a lot of her other, perhaps more traditional work that has really inspired me to write as you will see in the selection below.
Karen is married to the Performance Poet & Author, Ledger De La Bald (, they live in the beautiful Yorkshire town of Howarth,
the very heart of the Bronte Country.

Howarth Moor

High on Howarth moor
Among the ruins of a bygone age
She hurries away
Her cloak flowing in the breeze
She is at one with this place
But no one can see
The sadness on her face
As she turns away
And hurries back down the hill
To the sanctity of the town
Far below.

Storm Clouds Over Pendle

As the storm clouds gather over Pendle hill
She stands alone tightly wrapped
Against the elements
In a cloak of black
Who knows the thoughts
Inside her head?
Does she dream of Pendle’s dread
The witches’ sad history
Or just drink in the storm
Its power and mystery?

The Poet

A portrait of the poet
A study in character
Unruly hair
Beard so long
Hat and coat
That would do justice
To a bygone age
The very image
Of a classic poet
He portrays!

And Then They Were Gone

From where they came
I shall never know
Were they ghosts
From long ago?
One minute they appeared
And then they were gone
A group of people
Walking along
On the moors
Towards me
From somewhere deep
In history
Long forgotten
Their purpose hidden
They appeared unbidden
And then they were gone.

Ron is almost certainly better known as a writer, poet, proof-reader, critic and narrator (In fact, with his rich North East accent Ron could probably read a weekly shopping list and make it sound like an interesting work of literary genius!).

Ron is also well known for his collaborations with the Dutch Composer and musician, Paul Oomen and the stalwart work they have done for the charity project, My Breath My Music The charity is run by Ruud van der Wel:-
What perhaps is less well known is that Ron is also a damn fine artist with a very distinctive style and a fantastic use of colour, from his works, I have selected the four seasons.

Spring Touch

First light, first love
We welcome in
The splendid early days of Spring
And once more the Sun’s return
Earth kissed by warmth
This bright new dawn
New life abundant
Rampant nature
It is a time of growth and nurture
A time to rejoice
To dance and sing
And revel in
The first touch of spring

Summer Heat

In the summer’s heat come take my hand
We’ll dance through the sun kissed land
In blissful joyous celebration
Bringing love and laughter
To all creation
And when it’s time to take our rest
Beneath leaf clad trees
In shade is best
‘till then we’ll dance in summer’s heat
Bring joy and love to all we meet

Autumnal Tango

Come take my hand
We’ll dance the Tango
Swirling like autumn leaves
Caught up within
And driven on
By a twirling whirling breeze

Such passion in expression
We embrace the ebb and flow
As we dance the autumnal tango
Laughing as we go.

Winter Love

Come let us embrace the winter’s chill
Beneath frost kissed trees
Quiet and still
We’ll dance till the light of dawn
Beckons in another winter’s morn’

I hope you have enjoyed these images and my poems that accompany them, again, if so, I highly reccomend that you explore further the artists involved, until the next time, cool runnings, Grant.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Knees and Bumpsidaisy!

Well, I don't normally 'do' personal stuff on here but, when something unexpected, unusual and different happens, it's somewhat cathartic to share and maybe it will also speak to others.
There are of course a couple of new poems at the end, one inspired by something I observed whilst in hospital (The NHS at it's administrative best) and a poem within which I attempt to 'capture' a very vivid dream I had whilst heavily sedated on Morphine!

Yes, I'm still smiling!

To cut a long story short, just over a month ago my old knee surgery, a Unicondular, (partial replacement) failed suddenly, unexpectedly and with no prior pain / warning, my tibial insert had pushed down into the bone thus releasing the bearing & spacer making my knee joint go like two pool balls in a sock and immense pain.
I spent a week in hospital completely immobilised and dosed up to the nines on morphine while the consultant gathered a kit of parts from orthopaedic hospitals around Europe!

My leg completely imobilised before the operation.

The only option was full knee replacement but, knee replacement is one thing (Routine these days) but to 'Revise' my old surgery to take a knee replacement was a major operation involving bone grafts, reconstructive surgery etc. Hence a major op, I was in theatre for manyhours. The recovery period and pain is a lot more than for a 'normal' knee replacement too.

Post operative excersise was interesting, I was put in a CPM machine (Continious Passive Movement) which takes all the weight but simulates walking movement:

The CPM Machine.

And the CPM with my leg in it!

I'm getting there slowly and painfully, pain management has been a real issue as after I finished the drugs they sent me home with from hospital I was supposed to be able to cope with just paracetamol but that was ineffective and didn't even touch the pain!

The scar however is quite spectacular!

So, via physiotherapy & my GP am now on co-codemol which really does help and allows me to do my daily gruelling physio workouts which also help, which has allowed me to 'dump' the crutches and move onto walking sticks, as you can see below:-

Me on sticks with my 'Mini Nurse' (Keira).

I would like to say a very public thank you to all the Medical Staff at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage for thier wonderful care and attention, who, at times, made me feel humble and loved as well as just being looked after, if God put Angels on this Earth then I'm sure some of them are working there as Nurses!

Administration is however another matter, it's good to see the NHS spending money so wisely;

The Dust Inspectors

If there’s a spec of dust
Floating in the air
Who you gonna call?
Dust busters

If there’s a spec of dust
And it’s going somewhere
Who you gonna call?
Dust busters

“What’s that spec there?”
“I ain’t afraid of no dust”“I ain’t afraid of no dust”
But that spec
That spec of dust
Might just have a MICROBE on it!
A Microbe?
“Gawd, love duck guv’
Not a microbe!
“We need the ‘Dust Inspectors’

It takes two baby, it takes two
And here they come
The man who does not linger
The man with the calibrated finger

A quick wipe here
A quick wipe there
And his eye roll, his tongue lolls
And you can almost hear him hiss
“Write it down, write it down”
To his young assistant
Clip-board in hand
“Dust has fallen here,
Do I make myself clear?”

They look around
As if accusing
ALL the nursing staff
AND all the cleaners
Or worst still
The patients
“Pollutants” every one

It takes two baby
It takes two
To be a dust inspector

But it’s all a charade
A pantomime
A panacea for the modern times
Nothing more than a token gesture
Which shows up on some statistic
For the government
This really is NHS cash well spent

Spending money in the right direction
Eradiating all potential sources of infection
“Who you gonna call?”Dust busters!

One night, and yes the sky really was that colour, I was heavily sedated with Morphine when I had the most vivid dream, I have attempted to cature that dream in the poem below;

Orange Blue

Reality screams through the morphine dreams
And the sky turns orange blue
Through landscaped gardens
Across lawns of green
We dance towards the waters edge

The girl with the pale skin and hair of white blonde hue
Calls the water horses unto her
As the sky turns orange blue
But in the deep something stirs
Way out beyond the islands

We run laughing to the old house with little else to do
Whilst the ghosts of the past dance silently by
And the sky turns orange blue
Something dark is heading shoreward’s
Malevolent brooding of evil intent

We watch over her to keep her safe

She skips towards the waters edge

The darkness is coming in the wake of something
Moving quickly through the waters
It’s time to act, time to take our cue
But somehow time slows right down
As the sky turns orange blue

She’s on the shore-line sitting on a rock
We freeze in horror and can no longer move
She sings to the water horses
Under a sky of orange blue
Seemingly unaware of the sweeping darkness
About to rise from the waters and envelope her soul

And when we feel it’s all to late
And there’s nothing we can do
A tiger of the purest white appears
Under the sky so orange blue
She throws her arms around his neck
And is carried back to the sanctity of the garden

Thwarted now the darkness recedes
Turning back out to the endless sea
We hold hands and dance in joy, singing as we do
And the sunrise disperses all sorrow
But the sky remains a mystic orange blue.

Until my exploits resume, cool runnings one and all, Grant.