A poem of simply trying to see the wood for the trees, by (somewhat) reversing its meaning. A psychological self-test to extrapolate from details to the bigger picture, and find happiness through that process.
Rachel Cusk once told me to simply pay attention. That’s it.
The world is the detail, contentment in small things first.
A Cube of Air
The steel tube runs along the roof,
with holes for hot or cold air, now and then.
The room is fair, takes a while to heat
What a thrill it is to change the world
if only for a minute…
Heddington Downs — also known as Roundway Down (and in some cases Oliver’s Castle), is a flat topped hill formation near Devizes in Wiltshire, surrounded by a collar of landscape like rolls of flesh. As with Malvern Hills, the visual effect is incongruous, surrounded by mostly flat landscape, but unlike Malvern, these Wiltshire hills are chalk-filled. The clay mud is greyer than usual, stickier.
My family used to come here with old cardboard boxes and slide down the hill — the chalk remnants, bumpy ground and steep slopes made this a risky endeavour. The result of a successful run was…
A green NFT illustrated poem collaboration : Wily Guys x Anna Malina.
Our combined thoughts on the project, starting with yours truly:
The past is half-dream, half-memory. The earlier I go back the more dream it is — the primary school, the old homes, dead relatives, masked by layers and layers of stress and fear and inexplicable slowness.
I sometimes wonder if I even existed back then, or did I just emerge from a boring origin myth, as if from the shallow end of a leisure centre pool in a Wiltshire town no-one knows.
The origin myth is this: nothing…
Wily Guys has been my artist AKA for a while now (wilyguys.com, @wilyguys on Insta & Twitter, plus Medium, of course), and by way of an explainer, here is the small poem in which the name first appeared.
I wrote it during Barcelona midsummer - so being English, I was wilting - dreams were of cool air and cold waters.
The unfamiliar country and my pitiful Spanish/Catalan abilities led me to spend many a night alone - a conflicting experience, as I’d flat-shared for the previous decade in London hovels for wild fortunes, so the solitude was a sweet relief…
“It is the year of Our Lord 1474, King Edward IV has been on the throne now for 14 years. Life for us all is spent in keeping the lands and tenements in good order, that I and the villagers may live comfortably…”
In 1474, the widow Maud Heath, of Tytherton, 3 miles outside of the small market town of Chippenham in Wiltshire, arranged a charter to gift her land and tenements to the building of a ‘causey’ (olde English for causeway, from the French chausée — road with a laid surface) from her small village to the town.
Stourhead Gardens in Wiltshire, England, is perhaps one of the finest embodiments of the notion of artifact beating happenstance: that of the aesthetic superiority of human intervention into nature.
Left to its own devices, the natural world is a wondrous thing, to be preserved and respected and admired, but for some, a feeling of something approaching the Sublime only occurs when nature is modified, or appropriated or exploited. There is something compelling about this idea (a prose poem here attempts to cover it), but to broadly summarise: human intervention, i.e. the creation and placement of artifacts within nature is far…
I wrote this poem in tribute to a friend who lives in LA, a makeup artist for TV and such. I stayed there a while a long time ago, so I collected some half-remembered thoughts of LA for her.
The title is Nancy D, the name of her mother.
Los Angeles really done good
I mean it really did,
there is a mount there
they have fine valleys,
they have suckling honeybees
that channel the seven lane dew. …
I’d like to share a poem based on the evocative landscapes around the old spa town of Malvern in Worcestershire, England. I was first drawn to this place as the burial site of Charles Darwin’s daughter Annie. The great scientist had hoped the legendary curative powers of the natural spa in the town could heal his seriously ill child, but alas, she died here not long after arriving.
Her grave in this ancient place, surrounded by the peculiar and incongruous Malvern Hills, towering over a mostly flat landscape, had an effect on me that I struggled initially to articulate. …