Urban sketches

Some really cool paintings from kestralart.


2015-11-21 Aston 5 (2) Trees by the Aston expressway

Last Saturday I joined, for the first time, the Birmingham Urban Sketchers Group.  The location was Aston, following a road past a Seventh Day Adventist chapel and low-rise residences against which autumn leaves piled high in drifts, under the expressway to the park and Aston Hall museum.  Arriving late, on the coldest day of the year so far, I found other sketchers dotted about, hunched against the wind holding down their drawings.   The expressway rises to sweep over the residential streets.  The Aston Tavern proved a surprising haven in this urban environment, with log fires and good beers and classical music playing on the background.   Behind this is the parish church, with tumbling memorials leaning against one another in the graveyard.  I walked round the outside of Aston Hall (a large Jacobean manor that had been besieged by Parliamentarians in the Civil War) and looked down…

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Pace Race

Pace Race, a prose poem by milkdoves


As a factory worker, when the machines aren’t producing enough product we can turn the speed up, make them produce a little bit more than they did the day before. To a certain extent. Humans aren’t the same. Yet, we push and pull; contorting our bodies forcing ourselves to work faster, longer, harder. Some do it for financial reward, others promotion, the rest – only they know; you hope for their sakes.

Getting up a little bit earlier, home an hour later. 40 hours a week turns to 60, 70; churning in life’s blender. Weeks and months bleeding into one another until a mist of water colours gives way to retirements arrival.

We keep pushing, as new injuries grow old with us.

Fermenting attitudes: remember when we were disciples of the new order?

Dust gathers around us like insects pinned under glass. Forgotten stencils of a life once bold and vast. Not unless you reverse the looking-glass. Turn your eyes backwards. Kick through the dust. They are our machines, we are not their humans. Come home after 40 hours and spend your money with the confidence of the most reckless bohemian and stare in amazement as the heartbeats of insects reject the pins that bear their weight and give the sky colour.