Demented Confessions 2 – The Dive

The Dive

leaving the eye nest

diving into green man

this is who we were

risking everything

confessing nothing

because we could




Art and poem by clinock.

The Dive. 8″ (20.32 cm) x 6″ (15.24 cm).

Mixed media relief in cradled panel.

Deja vu – haiku – Shadows


shadows on my wall

memories of your sweet light

now you are away


photo and haiku by clinock

2013 redux.

Autumn Blues.

autumnbluesSummer’s blood

thinned by foghorns

and chilling rain

turns tentative,

injecting veins

with a shivering

stuttering neon.

blues detail1Stretched by wind

skin is tightened

into geometries

of angled cold,

light weakens,

eyes struggle

against sleep.

blues detail2

The season moves

with the languorous

throb and angst

of Tchaikovsky

grinding October blues

through the smoky air

of burning leaves.

blues detail3

blues detail4

Are these the colours

of rusting memories

of a summer gone?

the falling glories

of the wings of trees?

or the ragged motley

of a jester at a wake?


painting and poem by clinock (edited redux)

Ghosts – Dreams for Sale

bed1Ghosts sleep

behind this window glass,

their memories confused

by labyrinths of iron

and caresses

of prospective buyers.


Their spines and cheeks

leave no impression

but I see them,

layered deep in time,

all who slept and dreamed and loved

on this Baroque and dislocated bed

embraced in the arms of Morpheus.


The antique sign says

“Dreams for Sale.”

Outside looking in

I am inside looking out.

My face reflects

on haunted pillows.

I pause,


“You are loved”

and walk on.


 Photo and Poem by clinock. (edited redux)

Ghosts – the alone

ghost1Cracked and whispering,


across frayed and faded

veils of memory,


fractured interstices

of stained days,

the one alone,



Loss and paradox


dried bones in dank tunnels

beneath a burning bridge

where bright darkness

casts an eye,

staring down my soul,

stirring my cells



Intimate spirit


struggling for escape

but chained

to rusting remnants

and luminous ice,

a nameless shadow

craving release,



to be loved into

tree skin,

sleeping rocks and gulls,

wolf and worm,

petal and seed.

To enter floods and dust,

and the rising moon.

To let go.



Mixed media painting and poem by clinock.

map of my heart


In case I disappear here is a map of my heart,

a patched up job, repeatedly reassembled.

With a little patience it can still be understood

and if gently handled it won’t fall apart,

but please do not fold, spindle or mutilate.


Its paths and crossroads are still echoing

with songs of travelers passing through,

tears too are heard, of the wandering lost,

for though the roads are straight they are also worn

and collapsed with confusions and misdirections.


Notice how the blue of fallen sky becomes an ocean

where angels and mermaids dance in arcs of light.

I rest on these beaches when I lose myself,

cool my feet in the waves and sleep for awhile,

then I remember, this is the way back home.


And here are the greens of meadows where I lay

deep in new growth, my thrusting blossoms

seeding the verdant winds and high forests of isolation

with pollinations of laughter, longing and desire.

I smudge the map with unseen words against forgetting.


And there the golden glow of a thousand votive flames

illuminates the holy dark, recalls the first January sun,

places lamps in all the windows, engorges summer heat,

reflects itself in conjured forms of island fantasies

and shapes of full moon dreams in fields of wheat.


The signatures of red I will not hide beneath the surface,

they are its surging life and are crying for acceptance.

These bleeds of love seep through the gauze of landscape

however many bandages of colour I apply.

No compass needed here. This is a map of my heart.

torn and reassembled acrylic painting and poem by clinock

Goodbye Ian McKie – a eulogy

Ian from journal_2_2_2

I intended to return on an upbeat flow of positive energy but so often it seems that life has other ideas. This post honours the passing of my oldest and dearest friend, Ian McKie. We met at college in Bristol, England in 1962 and immediately it was as if we had known each other forever. As years passed we became inseparable companions. We shared our first writings, our deep love of literature and poetry, the mysteries and beauty of our boho lives, our romantic relationships and heartbreaks, experiments in opening the doors of perception, long nights of drinking wine in the smoky dark cellar bars of Bristol, loud exchanges with friends over existentialism and the relevance of the Beat poets, wild dancing to jazz until dawn then watching the sun rise over the harbour as we breakfasted on bacon butties.


I left England for Canada in 1966 and Ian stayed in Bristol, a teacher now. We stayed in touch by occasional phone call and letter but those were pre-internet days and communication was sketchy and expensive. On the few occasions I flew home to visit my parents we came together again and it was always as if we had never separated. Once Ian came to visit me in British Columbia and we spent a mad month in Victoria reliving our early times together.


Each of our lives evolved on different paths. When email and the Internet arrived we took advantage of it and wrote more frequently. Then there was Skype and we were able to talk to each other again. In the last five years Ian struggled through a difficult divorce, ill health and two cancer scares that ended positively. His physical problems increased but his mind remained clear and our talks were as they always were, full of wonder and humour at the vagaries of life, valuing what we had and how blessed we were to be alive and still be friends.


A few weeks ago Ian didn’t answer my email or my Skype calls and his silence continued. I kept trying, thinking maybe he was sick and in hospital, unable to communicate but would soon be home. After two weeks I was seriously concerned. Ian had never given me any of his Bristolian friends or ex wives’ email addresses or phone numbers. I had no one to contact to ask if he was okay. He had no children or surviving relatives and neither of us were on Face Book. Finally I emailed City Hall in Bristol explaining the situation. They emailed back saying that they had a death certificate for Ian…my friend was gone, just like that, gone…and I still can’t believe and I cry every day for him. Ian was 72.

So I post this in memory of him, to honour our friendship. I also post this in the faint hope that one of Ian’s friends somehow sees the connection on-line and gets in touch with me to tell me about how and when Ian died because I am in need of closure.


Ian, me old acker, my shining main man,

tonight I was told you were gone

away from this world we have shared so long,

an email from a woman at your city hall,

her daily bureaucracy surrendering

to compassion, prompt in her reply,

her paper work undeniable, factual,

an uncompromising and cold goodbye.

So now I understand your silence

but understanding cannot stop these tears.

Where are you now dear one?

Beyond any reaching I can do or think.

This was no way to say farewell.

For weeks I have wondered where you are

fearing the worst but not knowing, unsure.

We should have anticipated, planned, shared contacts


but we never thought it would be as sudden

as this, and you sounded so alive

the last time we spoke. The last time.

Can you find me now my friend? Send a sign.

You know I loved you as a brother

so why did you leave me like this, in limbo?

How did you go? In your sleep without pain

I hope, but maybe I will never know.

Perhaps it was like boarding one of the trains

you loved so much, settling into a first class seat

and watching your life and the world flash by

outside the dusty windows, slowly receding

into the final light of darkness.

And these, my last words to you, rattling

with the iron tracks that carry you home.

A steam trumpet wailing in the night.

Our years were wine, laughter and poems on our tongues,

the beauty of salty, sandy women and fish and chips

by the western sea and pine scented baths

in the late afternoon light from the Channel

and Arthur bringing hot towels and tea,

and windy walks home to your house or mine,

our mothers immersed in cooking, and dogs

wanting to go out, and readings of Eliot.


Can you hear me Ian, out there in the shadows?

Are you not allowed one phone call to me

to say a simple goodbye? Not much to ask

from the Great Mystery after a lifetime of love.

I am torn apart with losing you.

I am as cold and empty as you are now

as I search through soil and stars for you

to be with you one last time.

Do you remember once we talked for hours

of how each of us might greet our death?

As Dylan Thomas’..”do not go gentle..”

or with open arms of spiritual acceptance.

How was it for you my friend, at the end?

Did you “go gentle into that good night”?

Were you alone? I hope someone was there

holding your hand. I wish it had been me.


You are gone, not just down the pub for ciggies,

but gone, completely, never coming back,

however much I write and call your name

you are gone, washed into the darkness on my tears.

I am lost in time, still hearing your voice

sending love through the airwaves of the night,

still feeling your arms around me the last time we met,

still holding you alive in my heart as I always have and always will.