Posts Tagged ‘Copyright Sarah Harbridge 2017’


April 18, 2017

Eroded, ragged, losing its print in the air, sanded by the action of the wind that flaps it across the ground, softened by the rain. Carrier of symbols, wrapper and container, recipient and ground for marks.

Keeper and kept, multiple leaves pressed together, pressed against different dust jackets, dust emitted and collecting. Collected and collector of finger grease, skin, saliva, sneezes, tears, blood and beverages.

Fingers, your fingers touching, directing an instrument, your heart beating, your eyes burning with a distant solar light. Your legs and feet walking past the paper in the gutter, in the bins, on shelves, on tables and on the seats of trains.


April 17, 2017

Barely raining, a troop of three of us head for Tesco Express, the route follows the line of a sheer drop, railed off by some concrete posts and thick gauge galvanized poles. Beyond is quarry which has been reclaimed by plant life, its earth consists of yellow clay and sandstone and I was told as a child that a fossil of a coelacanth had been found there. Now nettles, brambles and stickybudded sycamore trees rise above the bank, while bluebells and flame orange calendula heads laugh from the human tippage. Far below, deeper nettles, goose grass and rosebay willow-herb become one with hawthorn and spindle bushes, the blanket of spring green stretching far across the valley into the dim urban bricks and the grey feet of the Clent Hills, punctuated only by the unnaturally long white carcass of the Dudley Hospital. At least eight men must have heaved the safe to the brink of the precipice and probably ran pushing and kicking through the brambles, to make sure it landed deep into the thickets. Those same men whose destiny lies in that hospital, outside the main doors still hooked up to drips sucking on cigarettes held to their lips by their remaining mates.

Aunt Ruth

April 14, 2017

On the threshold of visible, a paler sort of shadow in darker air, solid with a slight sheen – that was her under the seat of a chair, behind the pine cupboard in the middle of the room.

Two cats hunting for the first time in the screaming stench of mice, sending round eyes flashing to every surface, ears swiveling, whiskers angled in a fury. Their long bodies stretch up, their soft paws spring and land a silent thud, ever moving, the first time knowing real work.

Aunt Ruth was my grandmother’s aunt, the bulbous heavy turned legs of her table once more fill their own meaning.

Cat, in the tactile silence of night time. Petrified wooden balusters, bent laths, the chairs of my childhood night creepings, though no fear, now that my mission is my own and I am in the employ of my two hunting cats.

The seven ghost cats of 1929, murdered by drowning in Aunt Ruth’s boiler, a crime against the beaded dress of my grandmother, Aunt Ruth calling their names, where is dear Putta?

My cats meet their lives, their purpose, alight in the legs of the table, in landing on the table, in sitting under the table with twitching tail.


April 10, 2017

The spring is a shock, I feel guilty to have lived beyond the dark small days into the blue sky that glides over the shimmering glass of rectangular authoritarian lies.

The hazy passing car afternoons where the self-conscious poor, hunch over our Formica tables, tea and leathery excuses, of buns. No matter about the silver soaring flights of the busy.

Yet still, exhausted I sit in someone’s semi-public back seat, he says I look tired out,  with a lisp, as I am driven through the back streets and the traffic of the match or no match and the radio sport and the Hollies. I am both leader and most vulnerable, this dangerous ride on the back of an eagle is easy and I don’t care if I fall off as the violence in my father’s van left me accustomed to accept death in a vehicle.


April 7, 2017


So I discovered that I can be a good listener and a good conversationalist. So much so that she who was unsure whether even to look at me, spoke for half an hour and would have for longer, and when I said it was lovely to talk to you, she hugged me.
So, I don’t always have to be the one who does all the saying, all the confessing, as some people need me more than I need to fill them up with my life, like I do to a very few people.
There is a reason for this.
There are quite a number of people who want to say a lot to me.
The thing that we both seemed to be reeling in shock about was: time flying, you look back at the past thirty years and think where has my life gone?
We agreed.
I have known her since I was three years old, when I had freshly landed upon this planet, and I soon found her strange brick house part of it.
Her concrete floored veranda with a fridge and cat food dried in the sun and a bluebottle buzzing the top windows. She would love to have a cat for company now, “They are more independent than dogs!” but this road would cause her so much fear and worry that it wouldn’t be worth it.



March 28, 2017

For a second, I could feel the house as empty, an exhilarating expanding silence.

Un-tied opportunities, no restrictions, lucid future comets firing, in any space I turned to.

The objects that habitually mock my captivity, suddenly promising life, life as lived by people who I can’t even imagine.

The clinging, brooding, criticizing, blaming, foreboding force at which, I recoiled my neck into my chest, tightend my esophagus, my shoulders, leg muscles and held my breath, since some point in the mid 90s when my childhood torment not supplanted by happiness, had actually transferred to a position much more tightly bound.

Might have been gone in that glimpse of surroundings, altered.


March 22, 2017

You are the moon and I am a pool of water on the earth.

I watch you come and go and disappear for long stretches.

When you are full for one brief stilled night, the air is dry, you shine, lighting the grasses where blue shadows collect.

Dry ice so sweet I can smell the perfection of particles, your streams of light.

I can hear the beams you make, radiate strongly across space into the atmosphere.

Burst into glowing visibility above my reflecting skin, penetrate lying water of the newts, to sparkle in the sand.

And I try to absorb all I can of you, to flow into you, to become part of you, dearest moon!


March 17, 2017

Innocence is bendy and translucent. It has long hair and fragile skin.

Innocence is quite a bit slimmer and it smiles rather less like a schoolteacher.

Innocence has lost its schoolteacher, almost completely, at least until it regains its strength.

A small imp, feeling less like – “A walking tank of liquid shit” this evening, compiles a list of the cakes that Sainsburys bake to an acceptable quality.

Shadowed wit, growing like the filaments of a wild forest fungus, skipping – “quick and light”, is slowly creeping, holding the banisters, with care for the form it carries – that carries it.

Teddy and Donny

March 17, 2017

In the waiting room were two women, not actually at the same time but they were together. Both about 5′ 4″ tall, probably around the age of 70, with collar length hair, hairdresser set with coloured blonde patches. Each wore slacks and puffer jackets, one black, one brown and slightly flamboyantly decorated glasses. They spoke in short bursts with black country accents in a gruffness that comes from manual labour and smoking and as I was the only other person waiting, they cast their search for complimentary and reassuring smiles at me.

The first woman was in the waiting room with a rather shaggy fat white poodle called Donny, while her friend was in the other room seeing the vet, she waited. She and Donny were moderately relaxed.

Soon she swapped places with her friend, who was dragged from the wide flung door of the consulting room on a taught lead, by a less fat white poodle, whose coat had been recently clipped. His name was Teddy.

Teddy’s owner had a shorter perm than Donny’s owner and the couple were not so good at waiting, they paced about the room, the woman making exasperated huffs, and soon Teddy joined in, barking with increasing sharpness and volume until his barks were earsplitting.

Donny and his woman eventually emerged and an exchange took place where it became obvious that although the dogs’ official names as given to the vet, were the longer version, in ordinary life the dogs passed as: “Ted” and “Don”.

This raised the question for me of whether the two dogs were actually replacements for the dead husbands of the women.

They all left the surgery car park together in a fairly new, silver Volvo hatchback.


March 15, 2017

Looking at the spire against the cloudless blue of the first day of heat in March,

at the strange broken memorial urn with yellow sunlight streaked around its circles.

Looking for something authentically from my own motivation…

Does such a thing exist for me? Can I separate authentic motivations from motivations involved with or inspired by other people?

If I isolated these images in a film, would I be able to separate my own motivations in choosing, from connections I have with other people?

Does anyone have motivations that are isolated from the influence of other people, or is motivation intrinsically a social process? A process of intersubjective transactions?

Am I suffering from somebody else’s abusive interpretations about me being inauthentic and their association of this with my lack of creativity?

She spoke across the table: “Have you been to London?”

“Yes, we’ve been a few times, have you? Have you been to London?”

She answered: “Only the once when a policeman lifted me up, to see the Trooping of the Colour! But I’ve never been back, not all my life. It’s too expensive!”

Just as I thought about the spire, she came along the graveyard path with her enormous plaid bag, and spoke to me: “It’s a beautiful day!” I nodded yes.