Poetry and images

Susana Noth-Bates and Monika Kostera: How we meet in the imagination

Michelle Holland and Monika Kostera

Brian Holland and Monika Kostera

Monika Kostera and Mandy Payne

Monika Kostera and John Slavin

Monika Kostera and Dorothy Ann Simister

How We Meet in the Imagination


Susana North-Bates paints

Monika Kostera writes

This is Ireland and I'm myself, by Susana North-Bates


Dreaming Ireland

where we used to sail

maybe a thousand years ago

I remember so well

your song and the sea

You - the colour blue

Me - the colour green


Offering to Ing, by Susana North-Bates


Take this offering, Ing

and remember me to your sleeping passenger,

the Sun,

may you both enjoy.

Listen to wild songs of grass,

of sheer razor green buds,

of the madness of blooming,

and the flutter, the flutter

of everything.

Sing him the fierce, untameable joy

of what you both are,

yet will never know.


only comes to mortals.


Susana North-Bates


Sing to me, mermaids.
I promise to listen
until, drop by drop,
I melt back into the sea.

The sea is generous
It gives to each
according to her dreams.
It gives me hope.

For the journey was long
but we are here now.
The golden boat
brought us
of the nine
worlds meet.

Where the sea is generous.
It gives me travel and dreams.

So sing to me, mermaids,
sing me emptiness,
sing me silence.

The Shaman's Boat, by Susana North-Bates


The shaman?s boat is waiting.
Let us hop in; it will take us
across the sea, and further,
where the sky overflows.

Boreas is preparing
a feast of cloudberries
and ice wine
for us.
He expects us to bring him
an umbrella
and a deck of cards
to play with in his house.

How good of the boat
to be sailing so lightly
through this strange, humming weather.
It knows things,
calling them by name.
It is calling us:
Tonight it will snow.


Michelle Holland creates artwork

Monika Kostera writes


Musical wave, By Michelle Holland


Iona seaglass and driftwood book, by Michelle Holland

Read me the sea

from the cover of waves

through the currents and thrills

to the depths

where the pull is so strong

you must read

until dawn.

Read me suspense and plots

of the ebb and the flow.

Pause at commas and hyphens

of the shoals of fish.

Trust the bubbly apostrophes

to be lyric or grave.

Read away so deep and so wild

through the darkness and twirls

caught in the black sands.

Read with eyes sore from strain


you fall all the way down

to the end -

unsettled and dreamy,

safely tucked away


the seabed.

Wester Ross Seaglass and driftwood book, by Michelle Holland

More of Michelle's artwork

Brian Holland scuplts

Monika Kostera writes

In Brian Hollan's studio


Springing from a common root

now as in ancient Cyprus,

four thousand years ago

here they are!

the sculptor knows

exactly where to look

Like fairy rings

they grow and dance

the rites of mycelium

The sculptor calls them

by their names in fire

and they stop for him

to tell the oldest tale

that makes us human:

the song of of pottery and poetry

In Brian Holland's studio

More of Brian Holland's work


Bronze age pottery excavated at Kition, Cyprus

Monika Kostera writes

Mandy Payne paints

Paradise Lost, by Mandy Payne

Dreams cast in concrete
at a time
when the future was blue
and streets took to the sky

Then a time of displacement
a betrayal of dreams
Paradise lost its memory
and all became silent.

The artist stops and listens;
from slabs of concrete
she knows
how to liberate stories

She invokes them gently:
Stories to stories
present to past
tales meeting
in the space between

Abandonded Utopia, by Mandy Payne

Link to the Overlooked exhibition blog

More of Mandy Payne's work

John Slavin paints

Monika Kostera writes

The Road to Montsegur, by John Slavin



Pictures of anarchy
stopped by the eye
Shift when the watcher
turns away


Chestnut Root, Vallespir, by John Slavin


Roots, branches and rocks
betwixt and between
the solar storms


Bugarach from Rennes-les-Bains, by John Slavin


Shadows and light bustling
revealing the Earth
unwatched memory


Autumn Afternoon Bugarach with Tree, by John Slavin


The way sunwards,
let loose in colours
Cathartic Vallespir


Autumn Beech Forest South of Bugarach, by John Slavin

John Slavin's website

John Slavin's paintings at Sutton Gallery

Dorothy Ann Simister paints

Monika Kostera writes


Dorothy Ann Simister, Butchered reflection

All concurrent worlds
huddle and brush
against each other
in the same space,
shrouded by
the dark
astral light.
She looks at them
and they pause
in a shop window
by a painterly flash
of alchemical magnesia.

Dorothy Ann Simister's website

John MacLeod sings

Monika Kostera writes


He tuned his guitar

and we hopped on his train

the moon shining


over Isle of Man

We met some good friends

and the devil


The blues is a gift

of pure sadness

transmuting to grace

It flows wherever it pleases

you hear it

but don’t ask

it to stay

We parted ways

but the journey was good

and it went

exactly like this.

Doug MacLeod's website


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