Iliterate Poet

A dumping ground for my works in progress.

30 Dec 2010

She's a Lyrical Wizard

She's a lyrical wizard
waxing, wailing Lyrically
she's a wax on writing kungfu queen
Lyrical princess, the reigning role
of rock and roll.
Majestic lady of musical array
Her joy does bring the bands to play

Played my heart on one fine day.
Flute of love from mandalay
drum formed the beat of a later day.
Produced a future from the fray
Gave me words so I could say
set the future from today.

She's a lyrical wizard
waxing, wailing Lyrically
she's a wax on writing kungfu queen
Lyrical princess, the reigning role
of rock and roll.
Majestic lady of musical array
Her joy does bring the bands to play

My mind made up about Cupid's luck
My mind messed up where the arrow stuck
The futures here she helps me look,
for fine songs that Cupid's struck.
Offered up by a phantom ladies luck
Fairy door, sprinkled dust, needs must

She's a lyrical wizard
waxing, wailing Lyrically
she's a wax on writing kungfu queen
Lyrical princess, the reigning role
of rock and roll.
Majestic lady of musical array
Her joy does bring the bands to play

That spirit of the rhythm that she helps to bring
That magical ting of the bell that she rings
Lyrical spirit and the songs she sings
My heart reborn by silent strings
soul restored by all good things

She's a lyrical wizard
waxing, wailing Lyrically
she's a wax on writing kungfu queen
Lyrical princess, the reigning role
of rock and roll.
Majestic lady of musical array
Her joy does bring the bands to play

From Layman to Shaman in One Shot

As I sit on this toadstool
All - micro-fied my vision
I ponder and wonder
still cannot arrive at a decision
Step back! not twice mind
Once is enough to do the trick
Macro-fied precision
and all becomes clear.
far away but somehow still near
vision views one, two, then three fungi
thousands now appeared
a period past, they melted and merged
as they seem submerged,
into one and another.
This micro-macro-fied mushroom metaphor
became a thrown for all.
this beautiful fungal toadstool.
The decision to make, became clear
There are no decisions from up here
it isn't near, it isn't clear,
it isn't far, it isn't obscured
it isn't polite nor is it rude
it just isn't, and how do I know?
because I was told by this fun-guy.
We had a belly full of laughs
and some reindeer tea.
standing on my toadstool
My vision set me free.

29 Dec 2010


Nearly at the seventh, and life is about to renew.
Seven winding paths, I have travelled through.
At last I can see shores ahead of time;
Time to leave this sea of mine behind.
Seven lonely, arduous hills I have climbed.
Stumbled many times on the road I have taken.
Thought I had seen the shore before;
But sadly was mistaken.
Seven mirrors I did break;
My soul dragged through the bracken;
And now I put to good use, all that I have learned;
Because its been seven years now;
And tide is ready to turn.
Oh how I long to view the sands of life;
One grain at a time, appreciate every last one.
For seven years, this shore will be mine;
And when it goes and passes by;
To the sea I will take again.
I'll take another look, reflected in my mind.
Sea of souls and stormy weather;
Reflection of my pain.
Seven snaking lanes, for seven years the same
when its done complete, I'll do it over again.

23 Dec 2010

Grandad And His Friend

I wrote this poem last Christmas (Did it really pass that quickly?) The poem is a childhood memory of my Grandfather. He was an admired boxer who raised a lot of money for charity and also a fairground champion and Psychiatric nurse. He was one of the most gentle people that I have ever had the pleasure to know, everyone trusted him and thought highly of him and the Robins that returned year on year to land on his shoulder and feed from his hand were testament to this gentleness.

I remember him telling me a story about him getting in trouble with his mother (My Great Grandmother). You see, she didn't like him boxing, as back then the rules were nearly non-existent and there was a high risk of serious injury or even death in extreme cases. He found out about a boxing venue in Liverpool where he could win some money so that he could give it to charity. He was very young and didn't have any way to get to Liverpool, so he stowed away on the Milk Train. He had his fight, but his opponent wasn't playing fair, he'd put metal inside his gloves and one of the blows that my Grandfather received took a chunk off his nose, in the third round. When he complained that the guy obviously was packing weight, he pleas fell on deaf ears and at this point he realised it was a house scam. He knew he was a little out of his depth, not being from that area and being totally alone. Not to be deterred, he came out in the fourth round and knocked his opponent out, got the money for his charity work and stowed away once more on the milk train back home.

He told me the fight was nothing compared to the wrath he suffered when his mother saw his bloody face and disfigured nose. "Was it worth it, yes! and would I do it again, yes!" To me this was an example of A Gentleman, he was strong mentally and physically, but he was so kind and generous that you wouldn't even know it. Anyway, this is my tribute of-sorts to this great man.

Every year a robin came
and every year that bird appeared
knew that frosty Christmas neared
Big red saint, all white his beard.

Every year a robin came
Rested gently on grandfather's arm
Grandad with his smile and charm
Gained their trust, year on year

Always when this robin appeared
knew that frosty Christmas neared
Those days of past have melted away
but in my heart those pair do stay
Grandfather and his red breasted friend

Every year a robin came
and every year that bird appeared
knew that frosty Christmas neared.

19 Dec 2010

Greek Creation Myth

Spontaneously divine - the outset, ahead of time, anterior to the start
Chaos ruled on randomness’ mess and filled the void of emptiness
With mother Earth first to spring, full of power and prowess,
Goddess Gaea, high and low, mountain top to dell, river, lake, sea and swell.
Golden Palace: place of order, wherein men and Gods do dwell.
Chaos then spewed forth Tartarus, deep within Gaea’s Globe.
Tartarus’ underground, dark and damp primordial home.
Neath Hades, lies tormented cell, pitted third World of hell.
The place of eyes for eyes and swords for swords
A place where karma returns; from whence it came.
Sinners sins, sin's against, sin's sinners, down gloomy shafts, etched in minds.

And again, Chaos yawned and out fell Eros, God of sex and desire
Fairest of them all, that never did decay, fertility born on that fateful day
Eros with his charm and wit, was unbeatable, by nature’s endless course.
Eros desired parthenogenesis to be dismissed, mix the bits to create a new;
Create an egg from before the two: Entwined the silver with the gold.

Cough and splutter, Chaos did, and Erebus, filled the space of in betweens.
Caped God, cast a shadow to all four corners of Gaea’s ruddy lands.
Tartarus did nod and agree, he’d liked what Chaos had released. Silent;
Erebus; dusk in dress, son of the darkness’s mess, relentless without rest!

Nyx was next from the void-less mess that chaos manifests.
Erebus’ sister, of such shadowy complexion, hypnotic Goddess;
Of sleepy dreams, guards the door to creations secret streams.
She forms the night in Gaea’s realm, in a cave of echoing chants.
Just by chance, she happened upon romance, with Eros’ wish fulfilled.
Married her brother Erebus, under spell cast so well, by Eros’ intervention.

Born a daughter of the light, the dark dank two of the night, did delight;
At the sight of Hemera, born the day, that separated dusk from night.
At second sight, more delight, created Aether out of night. Atmospheric joy;
Did bring, Gaea, round from Chaos spring, to primordial even ground.

Gaea’s broadened breast, by herself did beget, her son Uranus;
Cloudy sky rolled in.
Eros scorned and without sweet love: Gaea mothered an equal
Brought forth her seed, to cover her fruitless seas and mountainous ranges, 
To marry starry mantle to earth and all within it.
Ourea and Pontus in similar fashion were born of the fiery passion 
From Gaea’s eternal breath.
All is set now, and the story starts, the world of creation and all of its parts.

17 Dec 2010

Life's Gamble

Whatever the hand you are dealt in life
 you must never fold
Whether starting life
big, brass and bold
Or starting out in the cold
For life is just a game
But one that we must play
Whatever the world throws at you
You must gamble away
Your past doesn’t determine your future
Though your future determines your past
So take from these words that which are true
You choose in your life, what you do
Alas’ I think you are starting
to see that life is about
Choices and choosing merrily
Of that I have no doubt.

16 Dec 2010

Another Artist Dies Today

Today, I cleaned out a dead artists home
His final painting completed alone
Brown shades of impasto on cotton canvas
Mattress darkened hue
Blood red phlegm on linoleum too.

Dirt in every conceivable place.
A failed artist lay in disgrace
No respect in his final resting place.
To ill to receive or ask for support.

Living four floors high,
pushed him closer to the sky
Couldn't walk, you see?
He had a family, kids an' all
but no help for him did come.

So much pain,
looked as though
he'd suffered for days,
before he finally withdrew.

I cleaned his place
muck and all
Now this artist
into the Grand hall
can walk tall.
No shame on him, for his torment.

Another wasted artist
on borrowed time lent.
Wish him peace, he knew hell well
Free from pain, he's left his cell
heard his name,
followed the call.

Another wasted artist died today.

4 Dec 2010

Building a sculpture stand from recycled materials.

Okay, so you want to have a go at clay sculpting but you don't have a stand to place your work on, maybe you don't have the resources to buy one of the sparkly newfangled stands that the big name stores provide, or simply like the idea of building your own out of recycled materials. Whatever the reason I am going to walk you through the very simple process of making your own sculpting stand for free, or as near to it as possible.

So first of all let's take a look at what materials we will be using to make the stand:

Materials Required

Adjustable swivel office chair
Bedside table
Wooden board (you can use a tabletop or kitchen work surface, whatever you have to hand)
Four nuts and bolts
T-shirt iron on transfer paper
Water-based satin gloss paint

Tools Required

Power Drill and pilot drill-bit
Philips head screwdriver

Step 1

If your bedside table has feet, like this one that I salvaged, unscrew and remove them using your screwdriver.

Step 2

Unscrew the bracket that's located under the chair's seat, then remove the seat and then lift the bracket off the chair's adjustable stem (Hydraulic piston).

Step 3

Mark four holes, using the chair bracket as a template, line the bracket up with the centre of the bedside table top to ensure even distribution of weight.
Step 4

Drill the marked holes using the pilot drill bit, then simply force the screws from the bracket into the pilot holes using the screwdriver to ensure that the bracket is securely fixed.

Step 5

Once the chair bracket is attached to the top centre of the bedside table, go ahead and turn the table upside down and place it on the chair stem.

Step 6

You may already have four holes on the bottom of the table from where the feet were once screwed, if not you will need to drill four holes.

Step 7

Line up your piece of wooden board, once it is in the desired position, mark and drill four holes through the board, so that they line up with the four holes in the top of the sculpture stand . I originally used a kitchen cabinet door, but wasn't happy with the end result, so am holding out for a recycled table top instead (Photos don't show the wooden board for this reason).

Step 8

Thread four bolts through the bedside table and wooden board, then tighten the nuts so that the wooden board is securely attached to the bedside table (countersink and fill the board with wood glue so that you have an even surface to make your clay sculpture on).

Step 9

Optional - Add a piece 2x2 wooden plank to one edge of your sculpture stand's work surface, this can be used as a straight edge to help with modeling the clay. You can also mark out a rule on the wood, so you can easily measure your clay components.

Step 10

Optional - The next part is just about adding some style to your stand and isn't necessary, but fun all the same. Prepare some images that you want to use on your PC, print the images onto iron on transfer paper for t-shirts. Iron the transfer paper onto the wooden parts of the sculpture stand, for a quick and quirky makeover. You could also paint and wax the stand to create a shabby chic antique effect and then iron over that, you could even paint on the transferred image to add even more flare to the piece.


I tested this sculpture stand with 50kg of clay and it handled it easily, although the bedside table was made from pine, the quality of the build was very good so it was a robust piece of furniture with good joints etc, hence its strength. Whatever you decide to use, make sure it is weight bearing. The chair base is obviously weight bearing way beyond 50kg.

The purpose of bolting the work surface onto the bedside table, rather than screw it, is because when you drill your armature into the surface to secure your sculpture, you will eventually have so many holes, that the surface will not be able to secure the armatures. You can simply undo the bolts and replace the surface with some new wooden board. You could of course, use a flange and pipe armature set-up to reduce the wear and tear of your sculpture stands top.

If your bedside table has a draw, then that's a bonus, this can be used to keep your tools together in one convenient place.

If your bedside table isn't large enough to be at a comfortable working height, then you can place spacer blocks of wood between it and the wooden board surface.

Adding some kind of lighting may also be appropriate, I haven't gotten around to that yet and if I do design something, I'll post another tutorial on how I did it.

I hope that you found this tutorial interesting and helpful, if you have any questions or would like to get in touch with me, you can find me on twitter @iliteratepoet.