photos

I turn my camera on

Look without words
simply observe
click
it’s not perfect
take five shots, one hundred
lucky
it’s not drinks
my eyes become
photo scouts, seeing
colours and depth of field where
before
it was merely
the world

 

Today’s challenge was to write a poem that engages with another art form. I have been getting back into photography lately and really enjoying it! The poem title is stolen from the awesome song of the same name by Spoon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94IMfEvXtl0

Photo: Claire Doble

Medieval manuscripts

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I saw the little figures
looking cute and medieval
elaborate costumes, so delightful
an ancient ritual
marginalia in excelsis
hello summer!

I wasn’t too sure about today’s GloPoWriMo prompt: “to write a poem of ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art. But I’d also like to challenge you to base your poem on a very particular kind of art – the marginalia of medieval manuscripts.” But then I went into town to see the preparations for Sechseläuten and realised I was looking at this stuff IRL pretty much. 

Vanish or “Deleting photos, killed time” – spoken word

Photo by Rayi Christian Wicaksono @Unsplash

 

How the time vanished

just wicked away

having its wicked way

with me

I clicketty, click, click clicked away

and killed that time stone dead

it seeped out at the edge

as I trimmed the hedge

I pruned and I snipped

thousands of photos

down to one

or none

or just five-hundred and four

of the best ones

gripping that platform

with my mouse-clicketty fingers

as the world

vanishes

telegraph-portalled into a right-click

for more options and

it’s never finished easily

so queasily and

dizzily I try

to walk away

hey

if we don’t pay

but we freely stay

and our time, our time, our TIME

has all gone away

oh, I think we have paid

we’ve laid

our offerings at the altar

of an online church

secular worship

our selfie flagellation

I don’t know what’s worse

the addiction

our willing cahoots

the news

filtered

through chamber upon echo chamber

as it hits our tired eyes

it could all be lies

made

by performing clowns

now I feel ill

I need to lie down

try not to panic

this too, will all vanish

 

 

Link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/vanish

This recording is not as perfect as I would like because, ironically, I ran out of time. And I won’t have another chance until next week – so I figured you’d rather hear it now. The poem was inspired by the daily prompt – Vanish

The Dolder Classic car show

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Over the weekend, my brother and sister-in-law were in Zurich and since he’s a big car guy (and proud owner of an awesome Valiant Charger) we thought we’d check out the Dolder Classic vintage car show.  I think this is the first vintage car show I’ve attended and I really enjoyed it.

It was a nice scene – people just cruised in with their cars and would stay for a few hours (it seemed) then head off. Some of the vehicles were for sale, others just for show. Afterwards we checked out a few more beauties in the car park as well.

There were lots of muscular Mustangs, curvy Stingrays, a Delorean, some real golden oldies and, of course, many Porsches — I think Porsche must be Zurich’s favourite marque, you see so many on the streets here. My favourite was probably the superb Amilcar Pégase from 1936 – the workmanship and details were exquisite. It was an Amilcar that caused the death of Isadora Duncan (her scarf got caught in the wheels and broke her neck) so that’s an interesting bit of historical trivia.

As well as drooling over all the pretty motors, the people-watching was lots of fun too. I enjoyed seeing a family of six emerge from a two-door Mustang, some elegant old dudes in an elegant, convertible Bentley, a stylish matron driving her zippy, royal blue 60s Porsche and a pair of rockers with face tatts, a vintage jalopy and a baby bump.

Anyway, I haven’t done a photo blog in a while and this really lends itself, so enjoy!

London innit?

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London

Like an ex you suddenly find yourself still attracted to

Such a bad idea to get involved. We made a clean break but

old habits die hard.

London

The frenetic pace of the megalopolis

Seductive adrenaline rush of desire

gives way to the sweaty comedown of failure

Again.

London

Your beautiful grotty streets

Millions of tiny dwellings chock full of humanity

in all its vibrant, glorious horror.

London

The verve of creativity bursting at the seams… I could… I should…

tap into it, I could be amazing

But you don’t want me

The pain of utter imperviousness cuts deeper, somehow, than it should… I could…

Have been a contender? Maybe never.

London

You try to hit the ground running

Keep up with the crowds, meet up with like-minded souls. A mad rush

The things you lose by the wayside

can never be recovered

Until next time, my indifferent lover,

London.

St Gallen

Another day, another day trip. I took my in-laws up to St Gallen this week and it was simply stunning. Autumn in Switzerland can deliver these crisp, sunny days with amazing dark blue skies. It was warm in the sunshine but cool in the shade – perfect weather for sightseeing, really!

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We visited the Stiftsbibliothek – where no photos are allowed. I don’t quite know how to convey how awed I was by this place. Having studied Medieval History and medieval manuscripts at university, I felt quite moved to visit this ancient library. They had texts there from Charlemagne and the Bishop of Wurms – stuff I’d read about and written essays on! Seeing the illuminated scripts (under glass) in this environment really gave a wonderful impression of how it might have been as a monk back in the day in the presence of all these incredible books. I think I’m actually still processing what I saw and the enormity of it. Texts dating back to 800-900 – those early middle ages are such a fascinating time. Wow.

St Gallen is a small(ish) town in the mountains with a beautifully preserved medieval main square (Gallusplatz) encompassing a UNESCO world heritage site. In the old town centre, many buildings feature ornate oriel windows dating back to the late middle ages (shades of The Name of the Rose – a book I also read while at uni, thankfully at the time I knew the most Latin!). Apparently the oriel windows were a sign of wealth and St Gallen has some of the best/most examples of them around.

We also visited the cathedral/ the Dom. I’m always taken with just how different the impression you get of a church is from the outside compared to how it “feels” when you step in. This place was a serene, baroque fancy, all decked out in soft green-painted plasterwork and gold leaf. You get the feeling there’s still no shortage of cash in and around St Gallen! The green colour was reminiscent of copper roofs (which many churches have) or tree moss, so gave a lovely sense of the outdoors inside. And it was so light. Just beautiful.

I really enjoyed our trip to St Gallen (1.5hr by train from Oerlikon).