> <<

The uncomfortable truth

like a swollen river flooding

carries purpose with waste

and a tune you may only whistle

<<< >>>

No one can hold a soft, black moth

or a paper fly in a calloused hand

without damage or bruising conscience

it’s a deceit you are forced to learn


That face I love has grown older now

innocence creased, wan and leathered

it still holds the memory that burns

worth more now the envelopes open


Things go with you to the grave

not just secrets, lies or murder

words unspoken, silent confessions,

quiet prayers queuing for an answer

<> ><>

In that velvet, purple journal

love’s treasured moments rest

they glisten in their infancy

colours of a pheasants chest

<>< <><

Lives lived with faces to the wall

harsh choices made in haste

loyalty a dark knight, 

filiality a burnished, beaten sword

<<> <>>

Hold it tight together

your arms wrapped round it’s chest

what’s good, what’s brave, what’s honest

dressed in gold, a silken vest

> <


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Is taking the time

whose taken the train

or followed the line

to where the end is before the beginning ?


Whole nights wasted and forlorn

pasted in albums 

with yellow ends torn

not even buried, not ever drawn


Fake moments dressed 

cold cake, cold flesh

peppered bold, worn yet stressed

a layman’s cove 




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‘30,000 HITS under the sea’

(or a certain kind of nonsense)

30,000 HITS

The writer stepped out of the boat on 12.12.2010 and like Jesus or was it King Canute who stood and commanded the waters ‘Stop, come no further’. I walked, I swam, I sank in the flooding waters of social networking while I hastily googled ‘How to make an ark’ as those very technological waters lapped around my ankles. I soon learned with 6,489 other viewers, on a You-tube instructional video, from a guy called Norris who lives way out-of-town, near Baltimore in Maryland USA, just how easy not, that is to do.

I think it is one of the crimes of the aged who recognise supposed ‘medical loss of memory’ makes a great let-out for saying the most ill-founded, illogical and controversial nonsense. Generally, rational society forgives infants, the infirm and the elderly for errors of opinion and fact. Seniors can be razor-quick to take advantage and allow relevant gaps in their sentences to add weight to the notion that what they are saying, however apparently half-baked, should be given more credence due to the march of time, let’s not say ‘senility’.

Of course, it was actually Jesus who walked on water, Canute who spoke to the water – unsuccessfully, Moses who spoke to the water – successfully and Noah who built a big, wooden boat and called it an ‘ark’. It was, however, Captain Nemo who in many ways topped the lot by building a sea-craft, the Nautilus, that descended under the water to unknown depths to explore the mysteries of the deep. … relevant gap … While I assume at this point you may well indeed be unclear whether I recognise what is indeed fact or fiction, you are at least ‘hanging in’ there with me … That assumed I may continue, fairly confident that I have managed to at least half deliver a major hoodwink to you, my dear readers.

Jules Verne imagined a genius inventor with a troubled conscience who embraced the future while repressing the past, never an easy skill and one that eventually did him no favours as he comes off in our thinking as somewhere between psychopath and megalomaniac. Without a doubt, he can be considered dangerously crazy even with hindsight and that view could not be construed overstated or a harsh social character analysis. 

On the positive side, Captain Nemo embraced future technologies and sought to conquer an alien environment, something usually admired by humankind, who hold explorers and pioneers in very good esteem. i.e. – Christopher Columbus, the Wright brothers, Scott and Amundsen, David Livingstone, Uri Gagarin, Armstrong and Aldrin, Ferdinand Magellan.

When this writer stepped from his wee yoal, named the ‘Dubious Notoriety’ and into that great sea of technology’s effluence and began to float, sink, swim, flounder, he held no great pretensions other than the sincere desire to set his sail as best he could and stay afloat for at least a short while, whilst tending to his vessel, whatever form that took, within the mainstream or possibly the wake, of society’s newfound cyberspace. Nothing as grandiose as Mr Noah’s unique craft you understand or as technologically wonderful as Captain Nemo’s Nautilus but for all that, the writer felt a certain draught of pioneer spirit attended his flow and so he ventured on and on and continues to do so by golly, bit by bit, hit by hit, blog by blog, site by site and ocean by symbolic ocean.

This week his site, this site, was clocked for it’s 30 thousandth time (Blog Stats : Top Right Corner). That, in a way, represents 30,000 hits under the sea. The sea of social networking that is. Certainly, the equivalent of 30,000 Leagues for me, as I continue my own personal circumnavigation of the social networking world, trying my damn-dest to make a name for myself ~ edenbray the writer. A bit like Sir Francis Chichester? Ellen MacArthur? and good old Ferdinand Magellan? He, by the way, was the first one to do that particular feat. Now you didn’t like to admit that you didn’t know who he was ~ now did you?


P.S. I do know the film was titled ‘20,000 Leagues’ – but did you not know there was also a sequel with the predictable title ~ ‘30,000 Leagues – Under The Sea’!? – I demand recognition!

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Oak tree b&w

.. .

The old oak tree

makes an ancient eery sound

Its roots spread out

deep within the ground

.. .

The great old oak tree

standing sound and true

I wish something like that

could be said of . .. me

.. .


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The Eye People


‘The wonderful world of the eye people’

These past few days have been quite ‘trippy’ for me exposed as I have been to some pretty emotive sights, feelings and circumstances. Setting aside the predictable emotional angst and personal paranoia regarding the possible loss of sight to my left eye due to retinal detachment, there have been some fairly psychedelic experiences on both a visual and experiential  level as my eye has undergone varying stages of sight loss and effects and I have been introduced to the wonderful world of the ‘eye people’.


After my high-street opticians referred me to my local hospital’s eye clinic for an emergency examination and consultation I duly turned up at the Pilgrim Hospital and took my place in the general waiting area that is set aside for all outpatients. I have passed the shadowy entrance to the Royle Eye Clinic on my way to various departments at this hospital over the years, either for personal appointments or with friends and family but a little like the wardrobe in CS Lewis’s famous children’s novel it has stood unnoticed to me and never caused me much thought.


When eventually my name was called by the eye nurse in the Hospital’s large general waiting area it was not as a solo patient but tagged onto a list of 5 other names and after stepping out from differing parts of the room the nurse assembled us together and proceeded to lead us in a crocodile down the corridor and unceremoniously through the entrance marked … ‘ROYLE EYE CLINIC – PLEASE WAIT IN THE  GENERAL WAITING AREA BEHIND YOU’.

My name had been called last and so I felt duty-bound to make up the silent rear despite an overwhelming desire to shout, ‘My problem is really an emergency you know, I’m not here just to discuss my cataracts!!’. The journey seemed strangely long and final as though possibly we might not return and why, why after all were we called for in sixes?!  Six, six, six!

Seated now in the ‘eye clinic waiting area’, the answer became as murky-clear as the corridors and decoration in the ROYLE EYE CLINIC. Reason: There was not a lot of room in there. Also I began to understand the clever little device regarding the subtle spelling change in the name, for there was actually no way this particular eye clinic could fairly own the title ~ ROYAL.

After successfully hurdling legs and walking sticks I sat in one of the few remaining chairs and began to observe the room, adorned as it was with eye diagrams and posters reflecting a very different kind of society to the one I was born to and have lived within these past 60+ years.  Must remember to make a note of the Macula Society Coffee Morning, sounds fun!

.  .  .


‘.  .. the room was adorned with eye posters and diagrams’

Added to the extraordinary number of people crammed into this tiny waiting area was the equally large number of nurses in a diverse range of uniforms of white ; grey ; pale blue and white ; white and black ; red and white and one even wearing a royal blue tunic plus several other people wearing what you might loosely describe as ‘civvies’. The shorter of these ‘doctors?’ was wearing a huge, knee-length short-sleeved pullover with a diamond pattern that I’m sure a distant uncle must have dropped in an Oxfam sack after losing a lot of weight and that more than a couple of years ago.

Each nurse carried a large bundle of notes and papers, some bound in cream folders and all contained by large corded, elastic bands. They travelled in different directions like space vessels, calling names and escorting patients to a wide range of small rooms. Soon I was caught up in this jolly melee. First an eye test in a room dressed plainly with a chair, a table and an eye chart. Then back to wait some more in a new chair as someone had stepped into mine. Another call, another nurse, same notes I guess. This time for two lots of eye drops, one that really stings, in a room with a chair, a dresser and no eye chart and then back to find yet another seat for that ones been taken also.

‘O Budha, it is busy in here!’ Finally a doctor has the notes, my notes and calls my name. Has this after all been about disorienting us. Are we being softened up and gotten ready for – the questions?!


This doctor is tall, slim, smartly dressed and reminds me a little of an Asian Adrian Brodie. His room is small but the way the light is falling across the room from a single sash window it already reminds me of the interrogation room from the film Bladerunner.  Must remember the answer to the tortoise question. The doctor sits behind his desk and invites me to sit in the seat next to his ‘eye-contraption thingy’ standing in the middle of the room.

I have learned these past few days, that all of the ‘eye people’ have one of these apparent ‘instruments of torture’. The opticians in the high-street had three for goodness sake! This doctor has one and later in the tale the people at the Queens Medical Centre will have one too. Anyone who has had an eye test will be familiar with these absolute hunnies – with a chin rest, a head band, a scope and a bright light to shine in your eye while you are told to ‘look at my ear’, ‘look left’, ‘look right’ and so forth.. .

At the opticians they had wiped the rests with a medical wipe between users but the deeper you go in the ‘eye people matrix’ these machines have more of a utility function and are pushed around, left randomly in the centre of rooms and are cared for about as much as a builder might care for his folding rule or maybe a doctor his stethoscope? They are after all, ‘eye peoples’ tools.


Sitting with ‘Adrian Brodie’ in the centre of his small, gloomy, sparsely furnished office and watching the green light during yet another intense eye examination, I was now feeling more akin to 1984’s, Winston Smith and the handsome Doctor Islaam an unlikely casting as O’Brien the interrogator from George Orwell’s haunting Dystopian novel but the effect of various eye drops and a retinal detachment does do wonders for your imagination.

Later that night, attempting to get to sleep before an early morning drive to Nottingham for my retinal ‘attachment’ op, I was aware of ‘light flashes’ for the first time. These are a sort of prelude to a private and internal aurora borealis and I had been warned they were a real symptom of an impending detachment. As I lay in the dark ‘counting sheep’, I was seeing some incredible shapes and patterns including a sort of comic-strip template with vivid, pale green frames for assorted figures and shapes.


‘William Morris nature patterns’

Nodding off at one point I had a vividly realistic dream about photographing off-duty American Footballers wearing distinct pastel coloured training uniforms. To see colour in a dream is rare enough but these colours were so HD technicolour they were breathtaking.


‘.. . One clearly resembled an Escher print’

Over the past few days I have seen a vast array of amazing, electric colours, beautiful pastel shades and a collection of repeat patterns and complex designs. One clearly resembled an Escher print, others, William Morris nature patterns, some geometric shaped wallpaper designs in subtle colours, including metallics and a couple of esoteric relief patterns that reminded me distinctly of a particularly ‘trippy’ Jimi Hendrix psychedelic poster that belonged to my friend’s sister that would ‘come alive’ under the influence of certain substances and that my friends, was a very long time ago.


No, this wasn’t actually the one

The ‘eye people’ at Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham introduced me to another world of interesting experiences. On arriving at Floor ‘C’ and stepping through the doors I was taken to a ward with no beds but 6 curtained chairs!? … Six again.. .. Six, six, six!

The chairs were apparently activated by a remote control attached to each chair. Unlike my retina which was becoming more un-attached by the hour according to another one of the ‘eye people’. He took me to another room with very little in it. A table, two chairs and another ‘contraption’.  He shoved this contraption, which had wheels, so that it stood awkwardly in the middle of the room and he told me to sit at it while he carried out another eye interrogation and then wrote copious notes whilst half listening to my tale of woe. He then drew large chain-gang style arrows on my forehead and my cheek with a black felt pen. Both arrows pointed deliberately at the left eye in question. If I had still been considering a ‘run for it’, there was now no hope of escaping I thought, the ‘eye people’s’ net was closing in.


The staff nurse who visited my chair, the one of the six I had been given, could well be an alien in disguise I mused if this abduction was for real. She seemed a little disconnected to her work. Perhaps she had been doing it a little too long or perhaps she had another agenda? She might have played the nurse, or the sister in ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?’ the old black and white horror with Betty Davis and Joan Crawford but perhaps my imagination and the eye drops were now really beginning to play tricks on me. After all, she was attentive, kind, informative and helpful but then she was definitely one of them! One of those ‘eye people’ and that chair let me tell you was definitely no Lazy Boy and could well be described as a contraption. The ‘eye people’ seem to like working with ‘contraptions’.


The last ‘eye person’ I met was the surgeon who lasered my retina back on to my eye. She was young, around thirty something, she was slim and lovely, although she did have slightly protruding eyes a tiny bit like Stephen Merchant? She used a contraption too! All ‘eye people’ seem to use those but then she also used the laser and the gas bubbler too.

Hopefully she did a good job and saved my retina and the sight in my left eye and maybe I too am now one of those ‘eye people’.



This little ‘spoof tale’ is a bit of harmless nonsense really I wrote while lying on my tum and ‘posturing’ as the lovely staff nurse by the chair taught me – just blogging my way out of a pretty scary couple of weeks since I hit trouble with my eye.

My sincere thanks goes out to all the ‘eye people’ I have met. You do amazing things with not much. Sorry i didn’t learn all your names Your all great and I love you.


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Entangled, overwhelmed, a picture in mezzotint

dove grey – bordered in the usual way

of men and women and games they play

Of piano-moods or senseless abandon

where the wicked transgress and say it is not so

^ ^ ^

The leaf-lawn green and sweet, a mothers smile

we don’t only talk in words, language, gestures,

mock perception or a hand to trace your face

The given moment sentient in the mind’s eye

not deep or dark but tangled like wool

^ ^ ^

And in one moment, mounted on horses

dressed in flesh, a mountain above easy feeling

we shake ofF the intrigue, guile and terror

And hold each other closer than our mother

bite, scratch and scrawl passions sanction

^ ^ ^

If lonely guilt were left in the darkest room 

and the strangers we become, last years Kodachrome

lying in a box, a cell of transparency

Every word full, close-ups, vivid pictures

and our honest selves introduced as friends.

^ ^ ^


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christ-on-crossGEORGES ROUALT

An artist who consistently escapes the critics preoccupation with labelling….

The artist, his painting, his philosophy are generally watered down to the lowest common denominator ~ not with Georges Roualt.

His work sits raw and pulsating in a complete classification of his own …

He paints his feelings, daubs his emotions, bears his soul, his inner self … he hides nothing …

He has no shame as an artist, no guilt appropriated or otherwise … His colours describe his own humanity …

His line is exaggerated, rough and uneven while at the same time tempered, deft, perceptive …

 He sees only what he wants to see and as a ‘great’ artist … a truly ‘great’ artist,

his line describes his personal vision,

he defines that line perfectly like a blind man feeling a woman  …

He makes love with his art and his love is awkward, fumbling over-wrought with passion and rough sexual energy … He dominates his work while showing enormous sensitivity that touches the raw spirit and the flesh …  

His work transcends time … It is neither modern nor traditional  and yet it speaks to both … roars, murmurs and moans …

Georges Roualt has absorbed his art like a parent Larus, a Gull species, as in his art he regurgitates warm chunks in palatable pieces that we ‘subadults’ may now comfortably gorge … digest … with no fear of choking …

Please give time to Roualt’s work it will hopefully touch you … make you a better person.



on the left ~ edenbray’s version of ROUALT’s superb ECCO HOMO ~ to the right



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People today get pretty paranoid about a number of relatively illogical things, depending on your point of view or your particular peccadillo. From the dangers of passive smoking through asbestos poisoning and wells disease to the many and varied phobias including the usual and familiar, like claustrophobia and aracnaphobia and on to those even more extreme than brontophobia (fear of thunderstorms) or mysophobia (fear of germs).

However damaging the subject of these rattlesnake fears may be to their victims, none of them can ever be as controlling or debillitating than the inner curse that is the nub of that mischevious little 5-letter symptomia known as guilt (Cue – flashing thunder and scary music please) … Fundamentalist Christians, Catholic priests, no doubt other World Religions Teachers, Psychologists and Phsycoanalysts would give you differing, although possibly predictable but non the less worthy responses to the age old question,  what is guilt?


Edenbray is not here today to either reiterate, confirm or critiscize these many well documented beliefs or respected, proven and accepted diagnosis. No, today I just want to take a cool, long and hard look in the eye of the little blighter. This annoying, secretive parasite of the human psyche that can grow to such an unhealthy scale that, apparently, it can help create mass murderers, serial killers and phsycoanalitic nightmares of the strangest order yet for the most of us (hastily he separates himself from the earlier list) has at least been the cause of not a few arguments, both inner and vocalised, emotional pain and angst and contributed to not a few very stupid actions and reactions. Am I the only one? 

Deny guilt has a say in your life to your peril my friend, for this devious little ‘shit’ will gnaw out your very soul right in the fleshy centre of that denial and at very least may ruin many a good afternoon stroll or a healthy game of scrabble. No, we are not all psychopathic monsters riddled with parent-induced or strict religious guilt but we do, all on some scale or other fall prey to that little demon known as ‘guilt’.

Random note :~ the word guilt rhymes with ‘quilt’ and this seems fitting as squares of guilt add together and eventually grow into hideous proportions in much the same way as a patchwork quilt??


It has to be remembered that bed linen may not actually disguise guilt but it could be seen to cover acts of unfaithfulness that might well ultimately lead to just one variety of guilt. So in my search to determine what guilt actually looks like I have decided to organise an identikit operation that hopefully might lead to an eventual IDENTITY PARADE. We can then stitch these patchwork cameo’s of ‘guilt’ together and then ultimately learn to recognise the traits of the insidious demon ‘guilt’.

Guilt never has a happy face

We may process what we know about guilt more by what we know it does not look like than what it does. For example true guilt never has a happy face, nor is it particularly attractive. It may smile but then it turns out more of a sneer. It can never really be beachball joyful.

When we have singled guilt out, isolated it, named it and shamed it we may begin to ask – How did we ever fall prey to its devious schemes and wiles? How did we let this little monster bully us, invade us, worry us, negatively influence us and ultimately dominate us.

Paragons of un-virtue will interlude they have no truck with the pious, self-righteous, shameless and shaming roadster. ‘I feel no guilt’ is the monogram on many a playboys shorts, embezzlers wallet, dodgy tradesmen’s van, shyster, con-artist or a bawdy tarts bra and knickers. If she wears any. To these and all those who manage to control their inner voices like Al Capone carrying a baseball bat, guilt is indeed an Alien and should I ever meet such an one, he’ll get short shrift from my maple sledgehammer for I’m certainly not one of those who might entertain the notion of change, open-mindedness nor someone or some thing influencing either my life or my actions.

So this piece is clearly aimed at those who do believe in visitors from out of space or at least have already met the slimy little monster with a head full of teeth whose name begins with a gee and ends with a tee.

Yes, guilt my friend affects us all I would propose at some time and while guilt is not beautiful, alluring, pretty, handsome or desirable it is not necessarily ugly either, in the same way as a malignant cancer’s physical appearance to the naked eye can be mute and non alarming.

The problem with guilt is that it nags like a puss-filled boil, an insect bite, a domineering wife, husband or partner. It chaffs and ‘worries’ us like a hungry baby, a pain in the groin or an unpaid bill. Until we meet its demands it hangs over us like a blackmailer holding the darkest of secrets. It sends messages with devious cunning that we uncover in the unlikeliest moments. It can make us act very strange and if we bury it deep it leaves molehills on the surface of our landscaped lives to prove to us it has escaped and is roaming ‘out there’, dangerous, naked and free.

Guilt is no respecter of a persons age, background or social standing and people caught in its spidery web resort to the strangest, wildest, most diabolic recourse to remove its incessant taunts. You might say its vengeance is extreme.

Guilt does not let you be your ‘real’ self

Guilt hides away in the crevices of the human heart and folds of the human brain and teaches us to do likewise. It is a skeleton in the closet, a ghost in the dark, a rat in the attic – appearing at moments when you think it maybe has gone for good. Guilt is your secret even though you hide it so well. Or think you do. You’re better off without it but how do you ‘out’ it and how do you get the alien ‘out of the house’? How do you set that particular demon free? It’s a dilemma and one that keeps a whole lotta’ people in work.

Psychoanalysts, counsellors, doctors, priests …. So how do we loose the fettered monster? Choose your poison? Maybe we should all be a bit more honest about the things that make us feel guilty. Drag them screaming out into the light of day and expose them for what they are. Make coffee-time with your friends – your personal confessional. Come on, get it off your chest you know you want to and you might be surprised where it will lead. Maybe people will find you a lot more interesting. It might turn out a real turn-on for them or maybe they will recognise you are human after all and a lot more like themselves than they had realised. Open the cage, step out into the light.

Right then whose first?



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We fold the flag away

either by length or width

never by height or colour


We listen to the neighbours woe

Cover our eyes gladly with the corn

That grows through our window


Swaying in the breeze gently

Golden corn we hold in our hands

The summer fun has begun


So sadly the flag now folded  

Of causes, conflicts and clatter

Things now that no longer matter




painting: by edenbray ‘the man with the wooden gun’

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Common People


The common man is hidden

He hides

Society once dressed him in grey

And navy

But now out of the magician’s hat

Badly free

Punctured skin and stored notes

NHS notes

Honey bee hives, sweet and gammy

Political votes

Enter the torn horse kicking gaily

a New Daily

Opinion shattered, warming sugar-sweet

a viral horn

TV people collecting crushed data ice


Nature as usual, nothing much said, led

Red river-bed

Back down in the verdant silver valley

Money talks



Note# silver eponymous for silicone in the context of the piece

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