About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Rude Botanicals and the Impossible Garden

It's been a while since the IsamBards last poetry-walked the mean streets of Clifton, Bristol. Or poetry-sailed the Floating Harbour
But there's a new project in the offing which involves the University Botanic Garden, so there we convened last Friday morning for a spot of recon. 

It was damp and a bit horrible outside, and just as damp inside the greenhouses. But warmer.

I had my poetry head on and was maniacally snapping interesting shapes and fractals. 

I find cacti a bit creepy, but fascinating none the less.

A forest of them is enthralling.

Some of them look almost cuddly. 

Not triffids ... bananas!

Worthy of Georgia O'Keefe's attention, I think.
Outside there were art installations by Luke Jerram, in conjunction with Bristol Eye Hospital. Called The Impossible Garden, it explores visual perception.
This is Dazzle. Striking how the patterns recall the underside of the ferns in the greenhouse

This is Threshold.  

Luke Jerram is colour-blind. The hedge reads IS THIS RED?

I also liked the bench that had been built as if it were a reflection. 
Talking of which, this was my favourite artwork. It's called Upon Reflection. I caught an unexpected glimpse of it and it had a striking impact. 
Jerram calls it a comment on the UK's current state of flux, and it does change as you view it from different angles. It made me think of global warming. 

Elsewhere, nature was showing off its own installations.

Cat's arse ... open arse ... cul de chien ... take your pick

Talking of optical illusions, I can't help but see a flock of dark red birds when I look at these. 

I don't very often walk around a place thinking I'm going to write about something inspired by here, opting instead to capture what comes. 

It was quite exhilarating to fire up the old synapses. 


  1. whoo! -by the way, can *you* read that hedge? -I, with my partial colour blindness, couldn't make the letters out

    1. I did think of you when I saw it!

      I did find it a little harder to read up close, which was strange. LJ said he painted it through a stencil and it was really hard as he couldn't see what he was doing.