For those of you who haven't read it, or seen it, my latest collection of poetry is called To Be a Pilgrim and is available on Amazon. I won't bore you with self-eulogies – I'd like to say it's sensational, but hey: you be judge. What I will say is sensational, however, is my wife's art work on the cover (and for that matter in the interior). Her line drawing of the 'Millennium Man' exactly fits the theme of the collection: a back view, giving the impression of the man staring forward, supported by a large walking staff, a kind of axis pointing to heaven but grounded on the Earth.
Anyway, I think it's a marvellous piece of art work and the point is how these images and words can suddenly and unexpectedly seep into reality. As has often been observed, how life imitates art, or is
inspired by art.
My young son, Joe, regularly does Shaolin kung fu on a Saturday, and has been practising for years. He walks across the park to The Littledown Sports Centre, does his training there and then walks back home.
The other day he did exactly that, and was walking back, carrying his Shaolin bo-staff. This is a long staff used for weapons training. Suddenly, two ill-advised eight to ten year olds ran across to him. I
am sure you know the type: the sort that have nothing to do, and nowhere to go, except to be in a public park seeking entertainment, which isn't always healthy for them.
“What's that?” one said.
“It's a staff,” my son replied, warily watching their movements.
“I want it,” said the other one.
“I am sorry,” said my son.
“I want it,” he repeated.
“I am sorry,” my son said, “but you can't have it.”
“Why not?” said the kid.
“Because I need it for my pilgrimage,” said my son.
“Wow,” said the first kid, visibly impressed. “Are you a pilgrim?”
“Aren't we all?” said Joe, and swiftly moved on. They stood there – one scratching his head, the other stunned!