Encounters Field Trip Happenstance Observation Poetry Psychogeography rag-pickings

In Still Winter Air



Gothic lungs, breathe

still, winter air


Arms outstretched

movement in stasis

a silent cry

sounded in ink


Now Playing: Laura Cannell – ‘Banshee’ from Swooping Talons Remixes (Charles Hayward and Merlin Nova remix).

Aberdour, Fife, 16th January, 2016.

Field Trip Psychogeography Signs and Signifiers Sounds of Spaces and Places

Under a full sky


At the end of a walk
a congregation cry
under a full sky
the snow arriving
(Now drifting down)


Somewhere close to Aberdour, Fife, late afternoon, 16th January 2016.

Now playing: Hans Joachim Roedelius & Leon Muraglia – ‘Gently Falling Snow’ from Ubi Bene.

Happenstance Observation Poetry Psychogeography rag-pickings

At the highest point



aah..  k    a    a   h

..kaah   ..  .kaah

k    a    a    h



at the highest point,

a building? a parliament?

a clamour of rooks?




Coryphaeus, chorus, and

huddled conversations


DSCN0872 DSCN0873



Corvus chants

beak and feather

chatter, songs of

earth and sky


“Out of all of them, it has been the corvids, the rook, magpie and crow, who have altered for ever my relationship to the rest of the world, altered my view of a hierarchy of form, intellect, ability; my concept of time”.

Esther Woolfson, Corvus: A Life with Birds


Now playing: Bert Jansch – Twa Corbies

Encounters Happenstance Observation Psychogeography

An encounter with the uncanny



And we

………….who always think

……………………….of happiness rising

would feel the emotion

……………that almost startles us

………………………….when a happy thing  falls.

Rainer Maria Rilke – Duino Elegies 

It often happens.  A sensation at the edge of perception. A glint of light, a fluttering of movement. The feeling that some-thing has flitted across the threshold of the senses.

Something there – but not there.

And so it was, walking along the tree-lined footpath by St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh. Looking up, amongst the trees it was difficult to see it clearly at first. Something metallic, floating, but also appearing to be entwined amongst the branches, merged with the sky. It was only when a light breeze, initiated a gentle rocking movement that the suspended human form fully emerged.


From another angle, the drifting figure resembled a pencil drawing sketched on to the sky. A shaded human form floating against the blue canvas, slowly dissolving back into leaf and branch.

The gentle motion, both hypnotic and dreamlike conjured up thoughts of Solveig Dommartin’s character, Marion, in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire.  A lonely trapeze artist, inhabiting the space between ground and sky, who entices an angel down to Earth.


Solveig Dommartin as Marion in Wings of Desire


I have subsequently read other people describe the St Mary’s work as “sinister, creepy or disturbing” and it certainly startles you when you first look up and see it. An experience that I’m sure would be intensified if you encountered it in the dark under moonlight. However, for me, the figure conjured up a sensation of something otherworldly, yet strangely familiar. A fluid form of substance and air, swinging silently, and like ‘Marion’ suspended between the earth and sky.

From a distance I watched for a short time as many people passed along the footpath. The vast majority did not look up or see the figure suspended amongst the leaves. Silently watching, waiting to transform the everyday city into an encounter with the uncanny.


Now playing: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Carny

I have found out that the sculpture is a work called Spirit by Aliisa Hyslop, a Finnish/Scottish artist. Spirit is presently part of an exhibition at the Arusha Art Gallery.

The quotation from Rilke’s Duino Elegies are the last lines of the translation by David Young (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1978). Wim Wenders cites Duino Elegies  as the initial inspiration for Wings of Desire.

Field Trip Poetry Psychogeography Signs and Signifiers

A H a u n t i n g o f L e a v e s

A Haunting of Leaves

t h e r e    –    n o t    t h e r e

a n    x – r a y    o f    s i l e n c e

a    h a u n t i n g    o f    l e a v e s


l u m e n    e t c h e d

f i l i g r e e    o f    s h a d o w p l a y

f a d i n g    f l u x    o f

e a r t h            r o o t            b r e a t h

a    f r a g i l e    g r o u n d i n g

a    p a s s i n g    c l o u d

h e r e    –    n o t    h e r e

From a walk in Wester Shore Woods, near Blackness Castle, south shore of the Firth of Forth.

Now playing: Jakob Ullmann – disappearing musics