understated alchemies (11/Sept/18)

galleries, places to indulge mutually-assured anonymity, that’s why I spent time there, libraries the same, where shared solitudes can be found and those who haunt them inhabiting unchecked where the only expectation is do not disturb, leave it as you found it and leave nothing of yourself, museums too, all hallowed halls outside time back which laps tidal at the doors but isn’t itself allowed ingress… truly shared spaces when others have been and are being whittled away, pulled sometimes literally from under our feet these quiet largely unassuming bastions of quiescence openly offering a place to unburden, escape, to interrupt the daily noise… and even though there are others there you can just be one… just be… they hold an air of indifference to the world outside, even though of they stand other, a balm to what they may even hold in books or paintings or artifacts but in themselves undemanding of anything from you other than to be there… they challenge but only by choice, embracing all without favour, discrimination or judgement… they all exude an understated alchemy as natural as breathing…

© 2018 robert greig

absent minds (3/Sept/18)

ghosts taunt the trees and horse huddle in threes, or these three do, I suppose if there was a fourth then they’d huddle in fours, but these are just three, two brown and one white… and a wheelbarrow… for some reason it too occupies the field, grazing like the horses are maybe, if wheelbarrows graze that is…… whatever it’s doing I’m sure it has its reasons… from the first floor looking out over the fields of horses and wheelbarrows to where I know the Strait to be but can’t see way over into the mountains currently moidered by clouds themselves coming apart at the seams, hastily-sewn clothes shedding threads in fly-away trails… nooks and crannies, peaks and crags, on occasion peeking through… with a silver cheese knife he absent-mindedly sliced another sliver as thin as gauze, such precision all the while removing and replacing his spectacles, every time he spoke, off they came, then on again…… she pondered the contents of a book turning pages absent-mindedly back then forth, back then forth… another said “hmm” almost absent-mindedly to everything said and even when  silence became just that too long for comfort, another “hmm” escaped his lips… a fourth, as opposed to the three which were horses in the field, absent-mindedly folded a red napkin this way and that as though trying to recall the word, what’s the word… “hmm”, said the other, another sliver of cheese reduces the Caerphilly’s volume and another page is turned… yes, origami, that’s it, that’s the word… she sets down the napkin remembering she has no idea how to do it, rain strained remnants of sound from the air flinging it at the windows and walls, an agit-artist in a strop……

© 2018 robert greig

catchlight… (16/March/18)

catchlight…
… caught in the artists brush, conveyed to canvas either deliberately or by accident, an unintended consequence or with an intention whose outcome until the moment remains uncertain… and then…… beyond a skill learned, catchlight is… the inexplicable, rarely attainable although sometimes, sometimes… there, there it is, perfection in a flaw, just before the exhale, there, there it is, stray serendipity…… catchlight…… where attraction lies… the unexpected, uncontrived, not learned, not procedure, not even experience, just… it happens or it doesn’t… lightning in a bottle?… or in a fist, open it it’s gone, was it ever there?…… no step-by-step, colour-by-numbers, how-to guide, no rules of engagement, no prescription… a glimmer in the eye, a hint on the skin, timbre in a voice, a moments inattention…… it’s an accident waiting to happen, a slip of the tongue, a glancing blow, a seemingly inconsequential aside… an unclaimed asymmetry……

© 2018 robert greig