It’s made from long shreds of dark tissue paper, this image, but to my eye it looks geological, like veins of quartz through contorted strata of rock. I briefly studied geology many years ago and I still like the language; Ordovician, Silurian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Cretaceous… They are simply names to identify the age of rocks, the periods of geological history, but to my ear they have a kind of poetry to them.
There are a few poets who have used the language; the artist and writer David Jones in ‘The Anathemata’, J.H.Prynne in ‘The White Stones’, or more recently Lavinia Greenlaw –
‘Here the bedrock is older than life/ on earth. It carries no trace of death,/ no methane or anthracite, nothing to burn./ Fiery capillaries of copper, cobalt, gold’ (from ‘A drink of glass’).
And then there’s the great Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid, with his strange combination of the geological and the political;
Red granite and black diorite, with the blue
Of the labradorite crystals gleaming like precious stones
In the light reflected from the snow; and behind them
The eternal lightning of Lenin’s bones.
(The Skeleton of the Future)