Out Of Step, Being Aware Of Being Aware, Peaceful, Be Calm Be Happy, Aircraft Overhead, Soon We Will Be Elsewhere​, Branch Lines To The Silence.

We were asked the question, by our meditation teacher: Had we had any special moments whilst she had been away? As usual, I was not quick enough off the mark to remember the time of writing my poem, which became Project 11 Being Aware.

Needing to correct my oversight I determined to post the video on youtube, even though, strictly speaking, it was not in the right order for my Home-Made PhD.

This is perhaps the plainest of my projects to date, which perhaps says something about my being aware. I wrote the poem in one short sitting, sat in our lounge with the sun streaming in through the windows. I then recorded myself reading from the handwritten notes into the camcorder, again first take was all it took.

Does it work, is it appropriate for a meditation group, should I work more on working with the simple. Either way, I feel able to congratulate myself in having reached this stage on an adventure, which began less than 3 months ago in the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts.

It doesn’t seem right to end the week without thanking Jane for her birthday party at the Mansion House, nor to not thank Steve Bruce for the upturn of fortunes at SWFC.


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Home-Made PhD Project 7: Weekend, Playing With Memory From A Distance, Turtledoveland Takes Off The Edges And Provides The Vague With Fade

It was three and a half years ago that my son Joseph and his girlfriend Marija’s visit to see us for the weekend led to a video being made using Turtledoveland. Now, for project 7, I adapt a poem from the time to work with the video, this then becomes Project 7 Weekend.

Of course, from a distance of such time, the memory becomes less clear; I may have put more emphasis on certain events, whilst completely missing out others, though I am certain the roadkill iSpy did occur, also I do vaguely recollect seeing the gypsies in transit at dusk, on Sunday when returning home to Louth after dropping them off at Grantham station.

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Moggs Eye Meditation, Project 6 More Than A Shell Type 3 Video-Poetry, Plus A Short Break At Honey House, Bidlake Mill, In Devon

The Plum Village UK Online Meditation Course Be Calm Be Happy provided the inspiration for my first attempt at Type 3 video-poetry, where the imagery comes first.

I had seen the photographs from Moggs Eye whilst searching for something quite different, as a collection, I thought there was a calmness, a serenity to them.

I pulled them into the video editor and arranged them to tell some sort of a story, although to be truthful they were almost chronologically sequential.

After the visual element was completed I added a voice-over; there had to be a little rearrangement, which you might spot if you watch the video Project 6 More Than A Shell.

Devon gave me the opportunity to try out our new camcorder. We were in a neat cottage with ample gardens; a birdfeeder by the French Windows provided my first prolonged piece of filming, but more of that later. For now, here is a photo of my oldest son at The Church of St. Michael de Rupe, Brentor which I am told is the highest church in England.



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Flickr Flickers, And Thus Helps Me Create Project 5 Parallel Histories, Every Cloud, So They Say, Does Have A Silver Lining – I Am Becoming To Be A Believer.

My old Flickr account is not accessible to post new photographs to, it does though let me see photographs from between 5 and 12 years ago, which thanks to the Monday Morning Writer’s Cafe became the theme for Project 5 – Parallel Histories.

The first 4 projects had the poem absolutely coming first. That is the poem was written and then the images were found to match the poem. I will call this Type 1 Video-Poetry

For Project 5 the poem was written with the images in mind, indeed the images, some of which you can see by searching ‘coastmoor Flickr‘ on google, aided the creation of the poem, and those self-same images were used in the video. I will call this type 2 Video-Poetry

There may be more of type 1 and type 2 projects before I attempt what I think will be called Type 3 Video-Poetry. That is where the video is created first, then a poem is written to suit the imagery.

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John O’Donohues call for Wild Soul Prayer, Home-Made PhD Project 4 Wild Soul, Peaceful.

A good while ago I wrote a few poems which I thought were prayers, not that back then, or now, was I a religious person. Those prayers I thought to encourage my contemplation, to be quieter more settling words. But to chase after a wild soul seemed to require a different kind of prayer.

I was reminded of a vacation that Kate and I had in Majorca, where we stayed in hotels that had once been monasteries. Our first hotel was atop a mountain with a very long, steep, and narrow road which we drove up in the dead of night, in the scariness of darkness.

This was Sant Salvador, A monastic hotel with its own church. Our bedroom was downstairs, along a plain-walled corridor. The rooms were cell-like in their sparseness, I guess they had once been monks quarters, places to be silent.

Yet both the rooms and the land around the hotel had magnificent far-reaching views, no wonder this place had been chosen for prayer and meditation. No wonder that today I would use the images to inspire my Wild Soul, Peaceful video-poetry prayer.

One day, after we had been touring around we came back up the mountain to be greeted by a host of quad-bike explorers, this place it seems was firmly on the must-see bucket list, though I am not sure how peaceful I would have felt going down the narrow mountain roads with no barriers to prevent you from going over the edges!

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Home-Made PhD Poetry + Video Poetry – Project 3 Embedding The Silence, Photographs, Photographs, Photographs, Captions, Captions, Captions, Crashes, Crashes, Crashes.

So I updated the licences for the software, such that photographs could be manipulated, and videos could be created. And it’s true for the first two projects of the Home-Made PhD things went sort of ok.

But, and this ought to have been expected, I got ahead of myself, I started integrating sounds (that is integrating not ingratiating), I started expecting the text to roll and scroll, I wanted the pictures to pan and zoom.

All of this without one minute of training, nor one glimpse of the ‘how to get started’ video. Nevertheless, headway is being made. Three videos are in the can (which can do I hear you ask), including Project 3 Embedding The Silence, a fourth is mid-production.

Actually, the fourth one is a sort of prayer (non-religious of course), which I will share with you textually after the photographs. The photographs are from the video, and are of my children (who else do you think I would pray for).

John O’Donohue asks that I write a prayer for the wild soul. I determine to listen to Slow Radio with the Benedictine monks as I do this. The monk tells of the two sides of prayer, one side is the everyday, and the other side is the silence.

Wild Soul, Peaceful

As a young boy all was ahead, most was aimed at play
I could not have enjoyed this time more
Let this stay in my memory
Let this be the foundation for my soul
Let this be the source of joy, of life, of beauty, of love
Let these touchstones join me in the present moment
Let them be in the breath I breathe
Let them be in the sights I see
Let them be the notes, in the scents I smell
Let them be the music in the sounds I hear
Let them be there in everything I touch
Especially when I touch my skin on your skin
I have no need of escape with such a soul within me
I have no need or desire to become someone other
For the old man also all is ahead, most will be aimed at play
I hope not to have been able to enjoy this time anymore than I did
Let this be my guiding light
Let this be the nourishment, the food for my soul
Let this be the fountain of joy, of life, of beauty, of love
Between the young boy, and the old man
Life had many pleasures, much was love
Life had many upheavals, much was love
Let me be thankful for the pleasures
Let me be thankful for the upheavals
Let me be thankful for the love of love
When there were friendships, lovers, children
When there were places, times, variable conditions
Let me be thankful
For the friendships
For the lovers
For the children
Let me be thankful
For the places
For the times
For the variable conditions
I have known disruption, I have known progress
I have known doubt, I have known certainty
I have known trouble, I have known peace
I have known stress, I have known calm
I have subscribed to the silence
I have thought to say this as a prayer
I am grateful, to be able to write this prayer

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Home-Made PhD, Plum Village (UK) Be Calm Be Happy Online Meditation Course, Branch Lines To The Silence.

I dug out the notes from my 2007 PhD proposal. How pompous was I, no wonder I wasn’t selected. My 2019 aim is not to intellectualise video-poetry, nor in any way to try to justify it. My objective is to popularise video-poetry (make it more popular with more people).

Meditation might help, I have enrolled on an online course, it runs Thursday evenings for eight weeks, though we are given additional materials to work with during the coming week.

In this mornings meditation I found a peacefulness. A good while ago I wrote a book called Branch Lines To The Silence. I would like the search for silence to be part of the Poetry + Video-Poetry project, maybe even with a follow on book.

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