VENICE


Venetian Sunset – from Piazza San Marco … Pen & Wash – WHB … 2013

City of Islands
City of dream
Inscribed with colour
 Every line.

City of History
City of deeds
Imbued with story
Every step

City of Passion
City of pride
Engorged with fashion
Every stride

City of Clamour
City of bells
Ringing with meaning
Every knell

City of Turmoil
City of strife
Threaded with suffering
Every hurt

City of Mansions
City of graves
Instilled with ardour
Every shrine

City of Titian
City of art
Awash with beauty
Every part

City of Merchants
City of trade
Echoed by Shakespeare
Every shade

City of Conflict
City of strife
Turbulent city
Every vice

City of Water
City of flood
Sea taking over
Every surge

City of Magic
City of spells
Present in each pile
Every shell

City of Revels
City of fun
Carnivals rule life
Every fete

City of Intrigue
City of masks
Sophistry renews
Every day

City of Drama
City of sin
Would I were there now
Let new life begin.

Venice . . . Pen & Wash – WHB: 2013

SCOTLAND – Pen & Wash

A Gallery of my pen and wash sketches of notable scenes visited in various parts of Scotland – Highlands and Islands

Click on a drawing to enlarge it and view the titles

  1. Ailsa Craig – Firth of Forth
  2. Castle Tioram – Loch Moidart
  3. Castle Dtalker – Argyll
  4. Castle Tioram – 2
  5. Glen Lochranza – Isle of Arran
  6. Lamlash – Isle of Arran
  7. Newton Stewart – Galloway
  8. Rannock Moor Sunset
  9. The Road To The Isles

On Pedants

Cezanne – Turning Road at Montgeroult – 1898

ON PEDANTS
Dark Thoughts in the Staffroom

Sat in the seat of sorry separation,
Iron to pot chatters of morning’s mistakes
That made this morning different from yesterday’s.

“He said he’d get him after the lesson.
I said if he did, I’d get him after the lesson.”

“He missed a penalty. The ten year old.”
“We should have won by seven more.”

“I said I’d tell his mum about him.
He said he’d tell his dad about me.”

The Cezanne cottage shouting from the wall,
In reverence for being out of place,
Muffles its strength in an attractive frame.

Their life is a blister,
Thriving until a provocation restores a little life.
The child’s vitality vitiates their own, yet still,
Unheedingly,
They dedicate their lives to inevitability.

* * *

“Pour agir dans le monde il faut mourir a soi-meme.”
These end the life within them without a known success.

* * *

I Am Who I Am

C.L.Murphy

Words Can Express

Jerome Phelps

With a Little Distortion;

N.Anderson

No Need To Guess –

S.Matheve

My Face Is My Fortune.

The above drawings were created in the 1960s by four 10 and 11 year old pupils in my class at a Putney (London) Primary School.

Stop The Clocks

W.H.Auden … Pen & Sepia Wash: WHB – 2001

FUNERAL  BLUES by W.H.AUDEN

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. 

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Auden composed two versions of this poem.  This, the most popular version, was composed in 1938.  It was written to be sung by the soprano Hedli Anderson in a setting by Benjamin Britten.  It is now frequently used in funeral services, particularly since It was widely popularised in the 1994 British romantic comedy film ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’.

The pen and wash drawing above was made by me in 200. 
It is of Auden when in his sixties.

Six Pen and Wash Sketches

I reproduce below six of my earlier pen and wash sketches – all my own interpretations of visited scenes from the British Isles

Caldey Island, Wales . . . WHB
An English Dawn . . . WHB
Exmouth, Devon . . . WHB
Glenfinnan, Scotland . . . WHB
Ludlow, Shropshire . . . WHB
Rydal Water, The Lake District . . . WHB

The Bag Lady



WHB: My 2001 Pencil and Wash drawing of a Homeless lady outside the Marienwerdersche Church in Berlin in the 1930s – from ‘The German Century’ by Michael Sturmer

Depressed and defeated,
My world’s at an end.
Its simpler to die
Than life’s troubles to mend.

I sit here alone, 
My future in tatters. 
No one will help.
To them no one else matters. 

Men’s struggle for power
Has brought me to this. 
Their pride and their greed,
That’s what’s amiss. 

The end will come quickly. 
My future is bleak.
No reason to hope. 
It’s the fate of the weak. 

[ Previously published on this blog in September 2016 ]

Escape To Paradise

A Paradise’ . . . WHB: Pen and watercolour – 2014

our world is not always a nice place to be
so let’s take off for paradise
to do that we must dream
so make a wish and dream
the dreams made from memories
choose daydreams
for they are made from pleasant ones
precious jewels of remembered moments
of childhood pleasures recreated in golden colours
under warm and generous skies
for what is nirvana but bliss
a perfect quietude
remembered from that golden age
when cares were so far away as to be invisible
and joy was present
in the simplicity of a walk in a spring meadow
in hesitant steps across a bubbling beck
in that breath of early evening air
bringing the scent of heather
and with it the rustle of new leaves
bursting to catch the evening air
amongst the rolling northern hills
the cradled landscape of that now distant home
forever a part of my being
both bedrock and comfort of my present
and succour of my hopes for the future