GOTHVOS (old-face)

the thought melts in my mouth, tantalise my taste buds
old faces, like old hands carry with them
the residue of all that has been seen and felt,
the wisdom of ages, touching the deepest knowing

i see here the quiet, patient, care that surrounds this small holding
and it reminds me of my grandfather
born in an age before  the car or tv and christened Norman
his name and life so particular to men of his generation
bears witness to the enduring resilience and stoicism
that survived TWO world wars and a crippling depression

‘ship shape and bristol fashion’ this plot of land is ordered and ready
like my bench as i prepare to speculate on paper
with its rows of sharpened pencils, marshalled for action
my granddad weeded, hoed and prepared his allotment
fostering a sense of calm, to offset the chaos created by growth

he ‘worked the land’ moulded, honed, and encouraged
inviting nature to conjure from the flat, waterlogged fens of cambridgeshire,
asters, chrysanthemums and statices, beautiful blooms to sell at market
poles apart from this olive grove in the sun baked croatian island of hvar

what they share is beyond time or place
a poignant humility, an ever changing dialogue that listens
then responds to the great limitless power of the universe
far from the deaf, dumb and blind dictates of profit and loss
that hold us hostage and diminish our spirit


a détournement
this stone was given me to situate in hvar
inscribed with the cornish word GOTHVOS
(GOTH: old  VOS: face, edge, showing- like the edge of a cliff shows the strata and the history)
wisdom, knowledge, information- literally translated as
old face)

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