Categories
Collaborations Encounters Field Trip Folk-Lore Found Art Observation Poetry Psychogeography Signs and Signifiers

Following Ben Jonson: From Culross to Dunfermline

To begin the journey, we congregate almost four hundred years after Jonson. In front of the Palace walls, a set of variations in muted ochre, the orange pantile roof catches weak strands of sunlight on this September morning …

≈≈≈

Tales for Travellers and Travellers Tales … walking in the footsteps of Ben Jonson

It was a delight to be part of this wonderful project where we took Ben Jonson out for a walk in September.

Rebecca Crowther has documented the activities of all who took part in a new website which records our nine mile social walk from Culross to Dunfermline. Here you’ll find some background to the project, photographs, a short video, sound recordings of our interactive stops along the way and our own contribution from Murdo Eason.

Some extracts below:

dscn4506-001

still

s

i

t

t

i

n

g

dscn4478

In a quiet place

I watch the sky

fall to earth.

.

A few leaves

cast adrift, circle

as clouds and trees

slip silently below

the skin of water

≈≈≈

The sock & coulter symbol of the plough. A farmer’s life, turning soil, slowly returning to the land

dscn4517

dscn4982

You can find it all here:

Tales for Travellers and Travellers Tales … walking in the footsteps of Ben Jonson

 

Categories
Happenstance Observation Poetry Psychogeography rag-pickings

Slow Time – Assorted Ragpickings and Footfalls

dscn4965

.

Conflux of cobbles

Walking against

Autumn’s wake

.

..dscn4200-001

 .

Deep           Time

Shore           Line

F r e s c o

.

dscn5105-001

.

a scattering of jewels

criss-cross streams

of early morning light

.

dscn5102-001

dscn1479

.

drifting

at the edges

meaning, slipping

away

from the words

.

...godot3

.

Godot Tree

Waiting

For leaves

To fall

.

ksroad

Autumn morning / City pastoral

(King’s Stables Road, Edinburgh. Horse and cattle markets were held weekly in this road from 1477 until 1911)

 

cobbles

.

Underfoot

the spaces in between

One cracked cobble

.

.dscn3143-002

.

“Several whales have come in upon this coast

Anno 1652, one, eighty feet in length”

Moby Dick (Supplied by a Sub-Sub-Librarian) – on the Fife coast.

.


dscn4427

.

No still life:

Foraging wasps, drunk

on autumnal colour

.

dscn3852-001

.

Always good to head for a higher perspective. On the way, counsel from the elephant wood shaman.

.

dscn3895-001

.

Towards the brow of the hill:

a wind blown tree;

an apparition,

forming in the sky

.

dscn3911-001

.

Always the tracks

of footfall

beyond the now

of time

.

dscn5066-002

.

Frost already underfoot/ A smothering of darkness/ Celestial lights & the eerie glow of the petrochemical plant/ A heron stalks the shadows

.

Now Playing: Robin Hayward – Stop Time (favourite piece of music of the year).

Categories
Field Trip Happenstance Observation Poetry Psychogeography Some Questions of the Drift

The Desire Line of Water

DSCN1667-001

.

from source to sea:

the desire line

of water

rarely follows

a straight path

.

DSCN1675

.

Flux -> Flow -> Gravity -> Time:

all combine

with light, to reveal

the sounds and colours

of falling water

.

DSCN1479

.

All of the utterances.

From a babble of words,

a line of desire

occasionally emerges

.

linedesire4.

.

Images from a walk between Kincardine and Culross and from St Fillans Churchyard Aberdour.

Now playing: Philip Jeck and Jacob Kirkegaard – Soaked

Categories
Field Trip Observation Poetry Psychogeography Sounds of Spaces and Places

Two Spectral Trees – Somewhere North of Devilla Forest

Two Spectral Trees - Somewhere North of Devilla Forest

Looking up to the ridge, over the evergreen crowns, two spectral trees hang mid-air in the limpid heat. A  smoke spiral, all coiled movement, settles to stillness as a Rorschach blot of charcoal smudge bleeds into sun saturated blue. The universe melts into my hands. A sublime stasis cupped and held close.

For how long is not the right question – linear time is of no help to us here.

The “caw caw” of a black craw  – pierces the membrane of this no-time. The moment trickles away, dissolves on the ground, scattering the seeds of its eternal recurrence as memory…

CIMG2247

Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past but its theatre. It is the medium of past experience, as the ground is the medium in which dead cities lie interred.

Walter Benjamin

Just a brief extract from what will eventually develop into a longer piece or a series of shorter pieces. We have made a couple of visits to Devilla Forest, near Kincardine, recently and it is clear that it will take us a good few more trips to really get the measure of this place. Our foray into the heart of the forest last week was an exercise in getting hopelessly lost which coupled with the first intimation of Spring was no bad result.  The overhead sky, was a cloudless colour field of bleached blue and once the sun was up it felt like the last of the winter murk was being cleansed away.  We eventually ended up North of the forest climbing up to a ridge above the tree tops. Here we found the spectral trees and a curious weather mast amongst crumbling drystane dykes.

Mast I

Drystane dykesScot's Pine - Devilla Forest - You Could Feel the SkyDevilla Forest is located just North East of Kincardine and the name is said to come from the Gaelic “dubh” and “eilean” meaning “black island”. The forest is now run as a commercial tree plantation by the Forestry Commission and consists mainly of Scots Pine, Norway Spruce and Larch. However, the area has a long history of land use with Prehistoric coffins, stone circles and Roman urns all found in different parts of the forest.

Devilla Forest

There are also plague graves, a stone which a local legend says is marked by the grooves from a witches apron string and the remains of a World War II explosives research establishment within the forest area. Combine all of that with four lochs/ponds, burns, meadowland and rich wildlife – including red squirrels – and it’s easy to see why this site should we worthy of further investigation.

Oh and there is also a history of Big Black Cat sightings. We may have the chance to record one ourselves in The Nature Report Book.

CIMG2238

Unfortunately there were no maps:

CIMG2239-001

“I hunt among stones” – Charles Olson.

Prior to last week, we had made one previous brief visit to the forest on 23rd February. This date coincided with Terminalia, the ancient Roman Festival in honour of the god Terminus who presided over boundaries. Often his statue was merely a post or stone stuck in the ground to mark the boundaries between land.  Aware that some psychogeographers throughout the country were commemorating Terminalia in some fashion, it was perhaps a serendipitous discovery to find some wonderful local examples in the forest:

Meith Stone This is a Meith Stone which has the St Andrews Cross carved in the top. The stones were used to mark land boundaries and sometimes initials were inscribed on each side of the stone denoting land ownership. Apparently five stones have been found along what would have been the old drove road between Kincardine and Culross.

Standard StaneThis enigmatic looking stone is known locally as The Standard Stone, which according to local legend marks the spot where a Danish Army defeated Duncan and his generals Macbeth and Banquo in The Battle of Bordie Moor. (1038). The stone could also have been where the Scots army placed their battle standards, but is more likely to be the base of a medieval stone cross on a parish boundary or a wooden gallows.

From our initial couple of visits, we can feel that Devilla is going to yield up some interesting discoveries if we can manage to avoid getting lost next time.  Then again that may be no bad thing.

The Owl is awaiting our return.

CIMG2016

CIMG2260

Now Playing: Boards of Canada – ‘You Could Feel the Sky’ from Geogaddi.