Hello and welcome to my site.
images subject to copyright
[email protected] tel: 01970615638 m) 07475919616
I’m a painter/poet living in Aberystwyth on Cardigan Bay where I moved after some wandering to teach Spanish at the uni. My first book of poems, Look up without Laughing (Gomer), came out in 1998 and my first solo painting show was at the Museum of Modern Art Wales (MOMA), Machynlleth, Jan-Feb 2014. I like to work the image in paint and word, and my second book, Ball on a River: paintings and poems (2015), sets the two forms out on facing pages in interactive mode. The kind of link-up I’m after is seen in Miners’ (Rhondda shorthand for the long-gone miners' holiday) when the pits shut, the washing of coal stopped, and something happened overnight in the river at the back of our house: the miracle of the water.
The last fortnight in July
Jesus touched the river’s pulse
and said, suddenly: ‘Be clean’.
I came down with my jam jar
from the tall church on the hill
and watched the clouds wiping soot
from the water’s calloused toes.
Then I saw all the fish had
gone, aye, off to Trecco Bay
with 5000 miners’ boys.
Next, something and nothing I saw on my first morning in America, which involved a different vanishing act:
There was this guy in a Frank Sinatra
hat, like some punk in a 50s movie
-Hey you!- nifty on his feet too, between
the chairs in broad daylight when we’d gone back
for relish –Hey you there!- swooping like some
manky gull off the street, lifting bits off
my plate, dipping back quick for Joe’s, wasting
himself in the crowd, the frogspawn bun flipped
belly up, tidy as you like –Sod you!-
more Fred Astaire really, thinking of it.
The image draws me; also Munch's dictum, Paint your life, suggesting a kind of painting that's more a window in than out. Ball on a River implies movement: I've always felt in the process of leaving the valley I grew up in, like a ball kicked over the park railings into the river. 'We live forwards but understand backwards', says Kierkegaard. It may need a salmon leap upstream, but the past stays with us, in a state of tension every life has in spades.
That'll be the Day