by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you stay quiet and I will go.


Solitude. Acrylic and mixed media on panel. 20×16 in. 50×41 cm.

Instagram: @johnclinock



Strange Spring



If I was going to come back to WP at all it had to be today.
Today is one year exactly since I last posted on Art Rat Cafe.
Symbolism / Ritual / The closure of circles…

I took a hiatus from WP and began posting on Instagram because I wanted less. I needed a brain break and Instagram is a graphic novel. a gallery, a picture book. It’s clean and simple with a limited space for writing. It’s like texting whereas WP is like writing a letter. I like the way Instagram is structured. I can visit other artists easily and look at their work all together like strolling around their studio.

I’m not putting down WP at all,at all… just explaining why I went away and why I like where I went and why I will be staying there as well as come back here. Instagram is my Yin, Word Press my Yang. For at least the last six months WP has been on my mind. To stay or to go? It seems a trivial question now but I’ve been with WP almost ten years off and on and I have great affection for all my Word Press friends. I enjoyed blogging but began to question what more I had to offer.

I was teetering on the brink as they say, to return or not to return as the twelve month circle closed?  My virtual friend, Nadine, gave me a gentle nudge and over the brink I went, the Tarot Fool stepping out into unknown space, and here I am again.

every day feels

I’d forgotten how much white space they give you here. It reminds me of facing a large new painting canvas. I always find it terrifying. Lost in the tundra! The first thing I do is eliminate the white surface using five inch brushes and rollers. Looks like I’m doing the same thing here but with words. And that’s all I’m saying tonight. I don’t know where this may take me, I surrender to serendipity. I do know however that I will be sharing many of my Instagram posts, art and poetry old and new, and maybe I will even open up art rat cafe CAFE again.

Tonight and almost 24/7 my head is full of Covid 19 as is yours I’m sure. When it began it was a welcome relief from having Trump bouncing around in my brain every day. Now I don’t want either, ever again. But they are both real and present dangers in our world and I’m learning, slowly, how to open and empty and be. To do no harm and take no shit…

sweet delirium

Some of my recent pandemic art relieves the text above:

Hope – detail of random layers on worktable.

Every Day Feels Like Sunday Morning – Acrylic and mixed media. 24×36 in. 61×91 cm.

Sweet Delirium – Acrylic on panel. 12×24 in. 30×61 cm.

“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”

                                                                                                    Madeline L’Engle