MacIntosh Patrick
who is quite well
(but not widely)
known for his landscapes
painted here
or hereabouts.

David Hockney said if  Van Gogh had spent a year
locked in his room
he would still have come out
with an armful of masterpieces,
the hole in the carpet,
the pan in the sink,
the stain on the yellow wallpaper.


a white building

a white cloud

a white bird

and blue

out of which an  orchestra strikes up

taking the young Spaniard drinking a brandy by surprise.

May I have the pleasure?

(he looks up at the woman, nods)

mmmmmmmba da mmba da mmmbada da

(they dance a snaky sexy tango then she loses it)

Oooops! Sorry. My fault.

no problem

(they dance several flawless circuits of the room without saying anything)

do people still say ‘oops?’


what do they say instead?


the others, the people who don’t say ‘Ooops’.

all manner of things

such as?

shit, for fuck’s sake

I see.

we english tend to say ‘ooops’ a lot, I’m afraid

you’re very polite

sorry to interrupt but could you possibly pass the salt? That sort of thing.

I know. It’s a –

(the music stops. They hold the final pose for a second then part)

see you around

I hope so

the white bird flies off.

Saint Thomas Isle

GORMLEY 001 oil

There’s this river more or less in the heart of Embra that is

well worth a visit. The easiest approach is via the Gallery of

Modern Art (itself well worth a visit); a pleasant path leads you

down through the trees and  on a sudden, lo! the level waters

of Leith. If you walk a hundred yards downstream you come

to Saint Thomas Isle and it is here, any day in June, if you

suffer from any skin disease, acne, rashes, eczema, psoriasis,

impetigo, you must stand in the water, naked, stock-still, eyes

closed, until you have counted up to five hundred (using the

standard  ‘ 1 elephant…2 elephants….3 elephants’  method of


 When you open your eyes, you will be amazed to see that St

Thomas has indeed lived up to his  famous words of hope for

humanity: “All ye who suffer, come to me, and without

making any rash promises,  I will do my best to help.”

It is best to come early.

a G

Bag in the Wind

In some film –

‘American Beauty’? –

there was this shot

of a plastic bag

caught in a circular air current –

up and round and down it went

up and round and so on

which I sort of liked

because it was an unusual shot

to concentrate on

and perhaps to give it much significance

(“life is just a plastic bag

blowing in the wind”)

would be a bit pretentious,

even ForrestGumpish

nevertheless I liked it enough

to take this shot

of a plastic bag

on a cobbled street

about to take off.