Crown and Bough

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Victorian Extravaganza

The Victorian Extravaganza is an annual fair held in Llandudno.  It has attached itself to the Victorian theme because of the turn-of-the-century steam machines on display.  That and Llandudno was a popular tourist/holiday-maker destination during the Victorian era, as can be seen in its architecture.

1 // selling balloons
2 // "shut up and take my money"
3 // fresh doughnuts
4 // enjoying doughnuts with Jamie
5 // the big wheel
6 // Afon enjoys the ferris wheel
7 // Roan in the Paw Patrol plane (of course)
8 // on the pier
9 // candy stall
10 // view from the pier

Photos taken on 400 and 200 speed film with a Pentax K1000.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Push Through

From Instagram:

 You know how when you don't feel satisfied with your art, whatever it may be (for me, it's writing, photography, for you it may be music or painting) and you just want to give up because you're like, "What's the point???"  But then there's this little voice like an echo answering back, "What else is there?"  You can't stop making art.  You'd shrivel up and die.  So we carry on.  It's not a nice feeling, but I suppose art couldn't exist without it.

And my friend Seth, with his semi-sage advice, answered (paraphrased), "Push through."

Saturday, 19 May 2018


When we left the midwest for the subtropics of central Florida, I was old enough to feel the loss of the seasons.  Maybe it was because we moved in late August.  That final summer never ended.  I was left eternally waiting for autumn.  I thought about the rusting light of that season and its matching colors, the closing of and slowing down of things, and was bereft.  Which, come to think of it, was fitting.

Still, it's a shame my mourning for autumn crowded out the other seasons.  Particularly spring. (Fall and spring are the two most transient, and therefore most thrilling, seasons, to me.)  Now as nature awakens I too am awakening to spring; how it smells, how it feels; how all the tiny spots of green-brown buds on rain-black branches are more beautiful than the fullness of summer leaves, as if they're winking at you, with squinty eyes, having only just woken up...

Photos taken on film with Pentax K1000.

Friday, 18 May 2018


Ask of her, the mighty mother: 
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature's motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

-- from "May Magnificant" by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Poem: Portrait Gallery

You loiter in a room of windows
birthed from silver in a dark, close cave
stinking of chemicals.  They stare out/in,
those petrified, along with their various habitats;
wrinkles; crinkled work clothes, sleeve cuffs rolled.
Black and white, outlined in lightning.
The particularity of them strains and runs over
like batter in a waffle press.  Incomplete
specimens of beetle-wing detail: a lone, rolling
eyeball, a wiry beard, and a bulging body
emerging from a wave. (Venus from Wilendorf
in her glory?)  You can't help but feel
there's something forgotten, between yourself
and these strangers, brought face to face across a canyon
to commune in this upper room -- a dialogue of looks.
An urge rises, then drops, like a belly
in a swell of sea, to wrangle ghosts
smiling their secrets, to say to them,
where is the rest of you?
Where have you gone?

Inspired by this gallery of Bill Jay's work currently on display at Oriel Colwyn.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018


In like a lion, out like a lamb.

(Okay, I know that saying is about March, but such was our April this year.)