Sunday, 30 October 2011


The man holding a sign proclaiming: THE END IS NIGH stands in a puddle with holes in his shoes. A dog cocks its leg up to pee over his frayed trousers as passing youths jeer and spit at him. Then, it starts raining torrentially.
  Trudging home, soaking wet, he trips and falls losing his wallet. Without noticing, he gets up; and a speeding car runs him down throwing him over its bonnet. He limps heavily, bleeding internally, somehow managing to stagger off.
  Fire engines are in his street—his house is burning down! His wife and children are burned alive before the fire brigade can save them.
  ‘We’re deeply sorry for your loss, sir.’ A senior fire officer quietly tells him.
  ‘Oh, well,’ he shrugs. ‘It’s not the end of the world.’

Saturday, 29 October 2011


WELL-KNEADED IN THE COMMUNITY, a photo by Narolc on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
In the foreground, I have incorporated a medieval scene of people tending the sick and elaborated upon this theme with inspiration from a pun based on our all too human need of a sense of belonging. Have fun!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


IT'S ALL IN HAND by Narolc
IT'S ALL IN HAND, a photo by Narolc on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
My very latest picture.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


While the exact circumstances surrounding the death of Muammar Gaddafi remain unclear, the figurative queue for kudos formed by those claiming responsibility reflects poorly on our contemporary morals. Once again, a toppled tyrant becomes a trophy corpse for the winning side. As farcically as this resembles the contrived denouement of a Hollywood blockbuster, it atrociously exposes the weaker side of human nature.

Those who would normally express compassion for people suffering through natural disasters and in war zones, appear to demonstrate the conviction that certain figures deserve no pity. Strikingly, these are seldom the same people whose lives were directly impacted by whichever deceased oppressor is the current focus of media saturation. Reacting to the news the general public in the US and the UK reveal a knee-jerk response that is both automatic and unthinking, and almost Pavlovian. This reaction suggests—in the public consciousness—acceptance of the exaggerated significance of symbols in place of an understanding of what they represent.

Gaddafi, along with Saddam Hussein and all the preceding generations of despots including Idi Amin, Pol Pot and ultimately Stalin and Hitler, have become enduring symbols of (and synonymous with) evil. Their well-publicised notoriety has made these wicked people into monsters who, in the minds of most people, personify evil. The most monstrous aspect of this aggrandisement of symbols is one little recognised: the mental paralysis inflicted on those who accept and perpetuate it. When people fixate on individuals they perceive as manifestations of evil, they unconsciously forfeit their personal responsibility to (recognise and) oppose evil in all its forms. In doing so, they accept the subtly peddled misnomer that armies beyond their control have the only relevant battles in hand.

Few people would attempt to defend men like Gaddafi, who was clearly capable of committing atrocities. To revel in the removal of figures like him—celebrating with childlike tunnel vision the slaying of yet another dragon—appeals to our collective sense of justice. A naive feeling follows; a connection with the moral upbringing of our past, when we were taught that bullies can be overcome if we stand up to them. This may well be true, but the trouble is that contemporary bullies are the most powerful people on earth. They are sophisticated and ruthless masters of disguise, adept at misdirection.


WORK IN PROGRESS 3, a photo by Narolc on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
This picture is now complete so I shouldn't really refer to it as a work in progress. However, it relates to recent previous uploads (to Flickr) that are sequentially numbered. I welcome any suggestions for a title. Any ideas?

Friday, 21 October 2011


Foretold, told four times, a man is given sufficient warning about the imminence of morning,
Yet—up at the crack of dawn—he remains in awe,
Oblivious, despite being told the score,
He’s none the wiser for his memory’s poor.
Serrated edges grated wedges propping open doors,
Out of which pop whores,
They display their price lists and do their chores,
It’s the sort of thing his wife abhors,
She rushes round slamming doors.
She screams her reproach as his head focuses on the sunrise,
The unbelievable source of his recent surprise,
He’s play-acting to disguise his guilt is his wife’s surmise.
Later, inspired by a truculent waiter, she repeatedly orders rounds of cucumber sandwiches she refuses to eat,
Momentarily, it makes her life complete,
But the next day is a repeat of the complete nonsense she feels is her lot,
She wakes with her nose blocked with snot.
She has to work, she groans climbing into the car she says she needs,
She has to be so strong because she’s surrounded by weeds.
At work, she spreads her germs and ill feeling,
Half of her subordinates are cowering, the other half are reeling,
As her congested, venomous tirades upbraids both the innocent and the slow,
All day long until it’s time to go.
Lo—at home her cretin spouse, still in the house, is transfixed by the sunset,
Fuelled by a sense of her martyrdom, her wrath, she decides, he will not forget,
She clubs his skull with cucumbers soaked in various fluids—endorsed in a best selling book by feminist Druids.
As the stunning sunset fades, she wades in so he’s doubly stunned,
Resenting every pleasure he’s had that she feels she’s had to fund.
In a stupor on the floor, he cannot take any more,
Just as she runs out of cucumbers from her usually ample store,
In an alcove adorned with pentagrams above the kitchen floor,
Where, on her knees, she sees processions of oppressed women suffering throughout time,
While she fervently prays to female deities she invents with names that always rhyme.
Her husband is a sexist parasite; she knows that is his crime.
Stabbing Action Man figures with needles, she longs for occult powers she equates with voodoo.
She comforts herself at the reading groups she forms,
Reciting Germaine Greer and Kate Millet, fondling her pierced nipples, then she nibbles a lamb fillet.
Of course her friends support her, they exhort her to leave her irredeemable husband,
They urge her to join their lottery funded lesbian kibbutz,
And she often wonders why she doesn’t.
But then, she knows, he would assume he’d won,
And make it awkward for her to see Farley, their son.
This eight-year-old product of their unhappy union was her pride and joy,
Being a trendily afflicted—with Asperger’s—introverted boy,
He rarely spoke, would often choke and collected bags of snails,
He wet his pants and worse, frightened his teachers and made them curse,
But, for her, he was a blessing—like a living holy sign,
She only had to look at him and everything was fine,
Because in him she saw a spark she knew was quite divine.
Battered unconscious with cucumbers, her husband slumbers on the bedroom floor,
He dreams of custard creams on silver trays,
Proffered by professionals whose profession was anticipating his pleasure,
Every moment of the dream, for him, was a moment to treasure,
For in his dream he’s a man of leisure,
Dropping in on smiling friends, he lends his time to needy virgins,
Eating and drinking as and when he pleases,
He wheezes in the backs of chauffeur driven limos exhaling expensive cigars,
Stopping for cocktail parties thrown in his honour in all of his favourite bars.
He floats on lilos in heated pools, surrounded by admirers he elegantly schools,
His eloquent instructions elicit their drools,
He made his fortune out of educating fools,
His self-help series provides the world with indispensable tools.
Gurus seek his guidance, he writes speeches for the Dalai Lama,
His words and actions are globally revered,
Even in the press, his reputation’s never been smeared:
Now, that is, his consciousness has disappeared.
But in reality, hate lies in wait.
His wife always gets him to swallow her bait.
If he had a friend in whom he could confide,
He’d admit he’d sometimes considered suicide.
But then, his wife would think that she had won,
His funeral, for her and her feminist mates, would be a source of fun,
Besides, he’d never again see his son and that would mean… No more snails!
And with this thought, his weary heart fails

(Leaving me free to tell other tales—Julian Cloran.)

Thursday, 20 October 2011


TEASING MURPHY a video by Narolc on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
While on holiday in Mojacar, Spain recently, I couldn't help blowing in Murphy dog's ear. He's a beautiful dog who belongs to my good friends and neighbours, with whom I stayed.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


WORK IN PROGRESS 2, a photo by Narolc on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Following on from my last upload to Flickr. The line stage is complete, colour to be added. Watch this space.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


A sailor was drinking with a card player with a skin complaint.
The player’s hands looked sore and blistered, his fingers swollen with peeling skin and bloated knuckles.
 ‘You’ll be alright, mate,’ the sailor, making light of it, chuckles. ‘Only,’ he frowns at the player’s fingers, ‘how do you think you got it?’
‘I’ll tell you what it wasn’t,’ the player, beginning to explain, frowns. ‘It wasn’t because I shook hands with clowns or wiped them on my dressing gowns…’
The sailor swallowed his drink and after a lengthy pause is on the brink of repeating his question.
But, raising his hands, the player understands.
He decides to put the sailor out of his misery.
‘The plain fact is that contaminated cards are the source of my affliction. I don’t know if they were poisonous or if I am allergic to that specific brand, but I’ll never play with them again!’
‘Fair enough,’ the sailor nods.
‘I’ll tell you this…’ In the air, the player’s podgy finger prods. ‘I won’t touch that pack again, unless I lose my brain, I’m telling you. I’m suffering so badly, I really am in pain!’
The sailor nodded sagely, but he thought his companion was nuts.
‘I’ve made up my mind,’ resumed the player. ‘No ifs, no buts, I’ll not go near those infernal cards ever again!’
‘Well that’s fair enough,’ said the sailor after an awkward silence. ‘One thing’s for sure, mind, this would never have happened to you if you’d been playing cards on board my ship.’
‘Oh, why?’
‘’Cos we always swab the decks, mate,’ the sailor guffawed. ‘We always swab the decks!’


Via Flickr:
I've had a bit of break from Flickr (busy writing poetry, surreal vignettes and, off and on, struggling with a novel) but I'm back here with a work in progress. I will upload the finished article along with other visual pieces I'm currently working on.