In wild

Watch on Vimeo.

The latest videohaiku. The London Borough of Brent put in “wildflower” beds in several of its parks this spring, part of an effort to stave off population crashes of wild bees and other insects in the UK, where the farming lobby is out of control. Unfortunately, the seed mix they used seems to be weighted more toward showy flowers than to UK natives, but it’s a start.

Falconiform

Up, and am sent for to Sir G. Carteret, and to him, and there he tells me how our lists are referred to a Sub-committee to consider and examine, and that I am ordered to be there this afternoon. So I away thence to my new bookbinder to see my books gilding in the backs, and then to White Hall to the House, and spoke to Sir W. Coventry, where he told me I must attend the Committee in the afternoon, and received some hints of more work to do. So I away to the ‘Chequer, and thence to an alehouse, and found Mr. Falconbridge, and agreed for his kinswoman to come to me. He says she can dress my wife, and will do anything we would have her to do, and is of a good spirit and mighty cheerful. He is much pleased therewith, and so we shall be. So agreed for her coming the next week. So away home, and eat a short dinner, and then with Sir W. Pen to White Hall, and do give his boy my book of papers to hold while he went into the Committee Chamber in the Inner Court of Wards, and I walked without with Mr. Slingsby, of the Tower, who was there, and who did in walking inform me mightily in several things; among others, that the heightening or lowering of money is only a cheat, and do good to some particular men, which, if I can but remember how, I am now by him fully convinced of. Anon Sir W. Pen went away, telling me that Sir W. Coventry that was within had told him that the fleete is all come into the buoy of the Nore, and that he must hasten down to them, and so went away, and I into the Committee Chamber before the Committee sat, and there heard Birch discourse highly and understandingly about the Navy business and a proposal made heretofore to farm the Navy; but Sir W. Coventry did abundantly answer him, and is a most excellent person. By and by the Committee met, and I walked out, and anon they rose and called me in, and appointed me to attend a Committee of them to-morrow at the office to examine our lists. This put me into a mighty fear and trouble; they doing it in a very ill humour, methought. So I away and called on my Lord Bruncker to desire him to be there to-morrow, and so home, having taken up my wife at Unthanke’s, full of trouble in mind to think what I shall be obliged to answer, that am neither fully fit, nor in any measure concerned to take the shame and trouble of this office upon me, but only from the inability and folly of the Comptroller that occasions it. When come home I to Sir W. Pen’s, to his boy, for my book, and there find he hath it not, but delivered it to the doorekeeper of the Committee for me. This, added to my former disquiet, made me stark mad, considering all the nakedness of the office lay open in papers within those covers. I could not tell in the world what to do, but was mad on all sides, and that which made me worse Captain Cocke was there, and he did so swear and curse at the boy that told me. So Cocke, Griffin, and the boy with me, they to find the housekeeper of the Parliament, Hughes, while I to Sir W. Coventry, but could hear nothing of it there. But coming to our rendezvous at the Swan Taverne, in King Streete, I find they have found the housekeeper, and the book simply locked up in the Court. So I staid and drank, and rewarded the doore-keeper, and away home, my heart lighter by all this, but to bed very sad notwithstanding, in fear of what will happen to-morrow upon their coming.

falcon in a birch
the nakedness
of the world


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 2 October 1666.

Building site

Still from "Building site" showing a digger in the middle distance surrounded by huge mounds of dirt.

View on Vimeo.

Where does all this soil end up, I wonder? It’s being removed to make room for the un-earth of a mass transit hub which, it seems, nobody really wants except for the investors.

Not the most brilliant footage, but I’m kind of pleased with the haiku.

Back alleys

still from "back alleys" showing two alleys side by side

View on Vimeo.

The latest videohaiku. I’ve been fascinated by the contrast between the super-scruffy Billy Fury Way, connecting West Hampstead and Finchley Road, and the posh alleys on Hampstead Hill just the east of it – my walking route to Hampstead Heath passes through both. This time of year, especially, it’s fascinating what decay looks like in each environment. Which is more magical, more portal-like? (I waver on this.) And which back alley better exemplifies the wabi-sabi aesthetic: the one colorful as a year-round fall, with dead pigeons and abandoned shopping carts, or the the one as clean and “natural” as a Zen temple?

Peace garden

Antony Gormley sculpture at the peace park

A videohaiku filmed at the Maygrove Peace Park, one of at least six gardens or parks in London dedicated to world peace – but the only one with an Antony Gormley sculpture, untitled (listening). Also featured in the video is Hamish Black’s Peace Crane. This park is just down the road from us in Kilburn, but few people outside the immediate neighborhood seem to be aware of it. For more on the park, see the friends group website.

Micturition

Strange with what freedom and quantity I pissed this night, which I know not what to impute to but my oysters, unless the coldness of the night should cause it, for it was a sad rainy and tempestuous night. Soon as up I begun to have some pain in my bladder and belly, as usual, which made me go to dinner betimes, to fill my belly, and that did ease me, so as I did my business in the afternoon, in forwarding the settling of my house, very well. Betimes to bed, my wife also being all this day ill in the same manner. Troubled at my wife’s haire coming off so much. This day the Parliament met, and adjourned till Friday, when the King will be with them.

with what
freedom I piss
this rainy night


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 18 September 1666.

Climate strike

still from climate strike

A haiku video using footage of my partner Rachel preparing for last Friday’s global climate strike—an event led by schoolchildren in which adults were also encouraged to participate.

Terpsichorean

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and home to dinner, and then to the office again, being pretty good friends with my wife again, no angry words passed; but she finding fault with Mercer, suspecting that it was she that must have told Mary, that must have told her mistresse of my wife’s saying that she was crooked. But the truth is, she is jealous of my kindnesse to her. After dinner, to the office, and did a great deale of business. In the evening comes Mr. Reeves, with a twelve-foote glasse, so I left the office and home, where I met Mr. Batelier with my wife, in order to our going to-morrow, by agreement, to Bow to see a dancing meeting. But, Lord! to see how soon I could conceive evil fears and thoughts concerning them; so Reeves and I and they up to the top of the house, and there we endeavoured to see the moon, and Saturne and Jupiter; but the heavens proved cloudy, and so we lost our labour, having taken pains to get things together, in order to the managing of our long glasse. So down to supper and then to bed, Reeves lying at my house, but good discourse I had from him: in his own trade, concerning glasses, and so all of us late to bed.
I receive fresh intelligence that Deptford and Greenwich are now afresh exceedingly afflicted with the sickness more than ever.

angry at my crooked foot
the dancing moon
in my glass


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 7 August 1666.

Give a little whistle

Up betimes, and forced to go to my Lord Mayor’s, about the business of the pressed men; and indeed I find him a mean man of understanding and dispatch of any publique business. Thence out of curiosity to Bridewell to see the pressed men, where there are about 300; but so unruly that I durst not go among them: and they have reason to be so, having been kept these three days prisoners, with little or no victuals, and pressed out, and, contrary to all course of law, without press-money, and men that are not liable to it.
Here I met with prating Colonel Cox, one of the City collonells heretofore a great presbyter: but to hear how the fellow did commend himself, and the service he do the King; and, like an asse, at Paul’s did take me out of my way on purpose to show me the gate (the little north gate) where he had two men shot close by him on each hand, and his own hair burnt by a bullet-shot in the insurrection of Venner, and himself escaped. Thence home and to the Tower to see the men from Bridewell shipped.
Being rid of him I home to dinner, and thence to the Excise office by appointment to meet my Lord Bellasses and the Commissioners, which we did and soon dispatched, and so I home, and there was called by Pegg Pen to her house, where her father and mother, and Mrs. Norton, the second Roxalana, a fine woman, indifferent handsome, good body and hand, and good mine, and pretends to sing, but do it not excellently. However I took pleasure there, and my wife was sent for, and Creed come in to us, and so there we spent the most of the afternoon. Thence weary of losing so much time I to the office, and thence presently down to Deptford; but to see what a consternation there is upon the water by reason of this great press, that nothing is able to get a waterman to appear almost. Here I meant to have spoke with Bagwell’s mother, but her face was sore, and so I did not, but returned and upon the water found one of the vessels loaden with the Bridewell birds in a great mutiny, and they would not sail, not they; but with good words, and cajoling the ringleader into the Tower (where, when he was come, he was clapped up in the hole), they were got very quietly; but I think it is much if they do not run the vessel on ground. But away they went, and I to the Lieutenant of the Tower, and having talked with him a little, then home to supper very late and to bed weary.

a shot bullet
pretends to sing

a consternation of birds


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 2 July 1666.