The Presence of Absence


The Presence of Absence

As we walk the earth we cast a shadow.
When we are gone our shadow remains,
To walk alongside others.

I developed this project as part of an inspirational course I attended with Valda Bailey and Doug Chinnery.
I developed the project to include both visual image and words.
Below is a brief version of the project statement and some of the images.

I intend to continue with the development of this project … so this is just the beginning.

Project Statement.

As we walk the earth we cast a shadow,
When we are gone our shadow remains,
To walk alongside others.

We ‘see’ with our hearts and minds. What we see isn’t always in the ‘present’ as memories, feelings and associations influence our perception.

A poem becomes the poets shadow, lingering when they are gone. Someone reading that poem to another passes the poets shadow on, entwined with their own, taking on new meanings, shaping new light.

Objects, words and phrases resonate through the tangled net of time, shadows from the past mingled with the present to form the shadows of the future.

Time isn’t a line dance it’s more like free form jazz. Making its own connections and rhythms.

These are the poems to go with the images above.

Wonders of the deep

Small boy’s paradise,
Secrets trapped in tangled nets.
Salt in the lifeblood.


The madness of piers

Different rules apply,
Where waves make the shingle sing.
Lost voices whisper.


A sadder and a wiser man he rose the morrow morn

“For all averred, I had killed the bird,
That made the breeze to blow.”

From “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by S.T. Coleridge


But answer came there none

Oysters turning blue,
Shining sun and sulky moon.
The world is nonsense.


Explaining the solar system with fruit

The heavenly spheres,
Tamed as fruit on the table.
The cosmos is ours.


Heart Wood

You greeted us when first we came,
Your arms outstretched,
A whispered welcome in your leaves.

Your trunk was wind-bent,
Your limbs twisted but unbowed.

Your gnarled bark grasped by tender hands,
Your strong arms scarred by the ropes of a swing,
Where gleeful children of all ages played.

Later the sighing swing became the place⠀
Where teenage trysts were made,
And urgent secrets shared.

But years and rain took their toll,
The time came to say goodbye.

After the chopping was done,
And the logs were stacked for winter,
Only a rough-hewn slither remained,
In the shape of a heart.


Tilting at windmills

O errant knight,
Gaze into your mind and see,
Your dreams become real.


Who can determine,
The world beyond our own thought.
Our dreams are our truth.


Home from the hill

Home walks the wild hills
Home rolls with the swelling seas
Home is within us.


No dominion

“Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion”

Dylan Thomas


Daring to dream

“…I wrote my will across the sky, in stars”

From “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” by T.E. Lawrence



We are but shadows,
Tangled in the web of time.
Then is now is then.

Subscribe to my newsletter

Enter your details to below to receive occasional updates on what I am doing and any events I am involved in.

I promise not to bombard you with emails!!

After subscribing you will receive an email asking you to confirm  the subscription.