The Seventh Quarry Issue 25 Winter-Spring 2017 and my poems

Issue of 25 of The Seventh Quarry is once again filled to the brim with the gentlest, most meaningful poetry one can find under the present poetry sky.

I appreciate it also for including as much translated poetry as possible. This issue features Dutch poet Germain Droogenbroodt with his poems, reminiscent of the graphic yet fleeting images from Oriental ink paintings.

I liked Kevin Carey‘s “This is a Dream or I Could be Lying” for its cinematic editing between supermarket reality and the reality of dreams.

I feel affinity to the poets who explore the issues of blood-life-death, as Sally Spedding, who wrote “Recipe of Growth” on these issues in gardening, and Czechoslovakia’s Milan Hrabal, who discusses rebirth in “Primal Grounds”.

Clive Donovan had several poems published in this Issue of The Seventh Quarry. Again, I saw a soul mate who feels for first daffodils in February and cut flowers in general (“Daffodils”); and the finishing lines from his “A Private View”:

A modern woman wanting a baby
Sobs with emotion but just can’t give herself

To a man

are excellent.

I found it amusing to read James Palmer‘s take on William Carlos Williams’ famous plums poem, (titled “Temptation”) because I once wrote a little parody myself. My reaction to Williams’ creation had anti-patriarchal notes, whereas Palmer’s is more reverential.

Jane Blanchard‘s “Non-Seuitur” is a heart-breaking story of a controlling husband who abandons his wife on her deathbed. Yup, say I, that just about sums up patriarchy.

Reproductions of Carolyn Mary Kleefeld‘s paintings were wonderful. I particularly related to “Women Worry Over Wounded Warrior”. What’s poignant in it is the longing look of the wounded warrior at one of the women. He seems to yearn for help, support and healing.

Which brings us to Carolyn Mary Kleefeld’s poem “The Calling to Heal” – which is written in her usually straightforward, prophet-like style. Kleefeld links, very truthfully, bloodshed to economic profit. She also says

Yet from our deepest wounds
come our deepest callings.

From the bloodshed
comes the rebirth –

This is so true. At the moment, the whole world, including and maybe particularly the capitalist countries, wake up to the truth of the destructive nature of capitalism. Communism, after decades of slander, is making a come-back in Russia, where young people start serious study of Hegel’s Logics and Marx’s Capital.

Peter Thabit Jones, a devoted knight of poetry and the Editor of the Seventh Quarry, kindly accepted some of my poems for publication.

I wrote What Poetry Is About as a response to what I read in contemporary poetry magazines. Thus, it’s self-explanatory. I can only be thankful for the fact that one can talk in poetry in a voice that is more blunt than one can in everyday life.

In The Dark rests in the same space as the previous poem: that of the truth, or one way to the truth, through the dark, red womb of the Goddess.

Missed You is much lighter and happier, although it’s also about love. He who has ever loved London will understand.

Realisation That Has Come With Time is not original in its composition: it is a journey, an evolution of love from passion into comfort. The poem is infused though with the same images of the Goddess: the long sleeves, the dance, the swans.

Frog Princess by Viktor Vasnetsov

Video: Miserlou

This is the tune that played at my Initiation ceremony at Tomsk State University. I played Honey Bunny. And now I play the rhythm.


We turn this composition into a little quiz game with our audiences. We ask the name of it and where they have heard it before. See if you can tell.

Oxana, of course, had known Miserlou only as an opening titles tune for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Oxana is a huge Tarantino fan and played Honey Bunny in a skit for Initiation Day in her University.

Andrew and Steve, being better musically educated, knew that Miserlou had been recorded many times before Tarantino had an insight to use the song for his seminal piece of cinematography.

In fact, Spotify has hundreds of versions. But it was Dick Dale’s American surf rock version of Miserlou that took flight to fame thanks to Pulp Fiction. Steve does a bit of riffs on his mandola in honour of that version for us.

Trivia point: the word Miserlou means “Egyptian.”

The history of…

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Watercolour Exhibition in Saker Cafe Todmorden

See and buy my two landscapes inspired by Portsmouth (Cornholme, Todmorden) scenery in Saker Cafe, Burnley Rd, Todmorden.

The framed watercolours, A3-sized

Heather in Bloom £45


Willow Gates £45

will be on exhibition in the cafe until end of September 2017.

Watercolour: Portsmouth Rocks

The title for this painting is obviously a play on words. It portrays some rocks in the hills above the village of Portsmouth (by Cornholme by Todmorden) and at the same time expresses my admiration for the place.

My favourite features in this view are: the new wind turbines on the top of the hill to the left, the forest that frames Portsmouth so beautifully in deep emerald colour in summer and the house on the hillside, tiny from this distance, although it is actually a whole terrace.

The rocks in the hills of Portsmouth protrude out of the ground, here and there, small and big. They look too me like the brittle bones of our old Mother Earth.

I used sweeping semi-circular lines in drawing, throughout. I hope this helps to express the idea that Portsmouth is a like a little earth, and, at the same time, it is part of a much bigger world, connected to everything in it.

Buy this painting for £50 at the exhibition in Todmorden Tourist Information Centre, until 29 May.

Watercolour: Cornholme Mills


This is a view from a hill above the village of Cornholme along Burnley Road down into the valley and further onto Todmorden. The chimney of the old Cornholme Mills punctuates the narrow valley. My daughter studied the history of this plant at school in the context of the Industrial Revolution and child labour. She now likes saying that she is glad she did not live a those times. The factory is the only one remaining working mill in Cornholme.

While working on this watercolour, I relied on clear lines of drawing, which allowed to maintain the impression of two hillsides sliding down onto a valley and culminating in an opposing hillside above Todmorden.

I combined more naturalistic and more abstract techniques in this painting, including my favourite “borders melt into the centre” technique, which, to me, showcases he unique qualities of watercolour paints perfectly.

See this painting at the current exhibition in Todmorden Tourist Information Centre, until 29 May.


Watercolour exhibition opens in Todmorden Information Centre


Exhibition of my watercolour paintings has opened in Todmorden Tourist Information Centre.

Visit the Centre in Burnley Rd, Todmorden, for free until Sunday 29 May to see landscapes inspired by views around Todmorden.

I also paint flowers, which I spot in Todmorden parks.

Panel4TIC2016In addition, a landscape portraying a Irish lake and another one of a Russian river are also on exhibit.

The paintings are original and framed. They are available for prices in the range of £30-50.

For this exhibition I painted two brand new landscapes, which are available for purchase.


A few paintings from private collections feature in the exhibition and are not for sale.

Panel6TIC2016The styles presented are varied: there are three paintings which I did in an abstract style with which I have been experimenting.

Some works have been done on dry paper, while others benefited from the special effect of wet paper that gives watercolour paintings their distinct look.

I hope you enjoy recognising familiar scenery in my watercolours as well as looking at the views from lands far away.

Have a warm and sunny May!


Watercolour Exhibition in Todmorden Information Centre during May 2016

Come see my watercolours at a free exhibition from 1st May 2016. Todmorden Information Centre is open Monday to Saturday from 10.00am to 4.00pm and Sundays 10.45am to 2.30pm.


I am presenting my favourite subjects, which are flowers and local landscapes. I admire the curves of the hills above Portsmouth and Cornholme, with their changing colours through the seasons. In addition to those, an Irish and a Russian landscape will also feature.

The paintings are framed and are available to buy at affordable prices (£30-£40). Treat yourself or buy a special gift for a loved one.

Watercolour: Mango Skin

Mango Skin
Mango Skin

This painting is no for sale. It is special for me. I painted it maybe in 2010 when I was only re-discovering painting and watercolours. I might have started going through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way or was about to start it.By that time, I had not painted for about 9 years – since I graduated from a 4-year Arts School for adults, which I loved. My favourite subject was watercolours.

I dug up my old watercolors, found a piece of watercolour paper and painted the first thing that my eye caught: a mango in a wooden painted dish.

I can see now that the main theme: uniting the green and the red – is still with me and I am still trying to solve it in my watercolours. Another theme has developed in various ways, but basically it is one of what lies beneath and of life, passion and power of nature that is visible almost immediately as we look.

This painting has remained an inspiration for me and a reminder that just the same powers sleep in us all the time, until we let them out through creativity. It is NEVER too late to start, restart or take an unexpected turn in what you do.

Watercolour: Lilac Apparition

Lilac Apparition £50
Lilac Apparition £50

I only used dry paper technique for this watercolour painting. However, I aimed to let the water flow especially in the more ephemeral  pale petals in the background.

With this painting, I am especially happy with how the bright big leaf and the dark shadows turned out.

Buy this watercolor for £50 from Kava Cafe, Rochdale Rd, Todmorden, until 1 December, or directly from me at




Watercolour: Heather in Bloom

Heather in Bloom
Heather in Bloom £60

The moors above Todmorden are mesmerising. Each new angle gives you new slopes and nooks and shades of colour. As they said in “Black Books” about white wine: ‘All colours. Well, yellow’. So, various tints of green at your disposal.


In this watercolour, I again used a combination of wet- and dry-paper techniques. I aimed to express the vivacity of colour and the depth of shadows that sometimes occur on our moors on a sunny day.

Buy this watercolor for £60 from Kava Cafe, Rochdale Rd, Todmorden, until 1 December, or directly from me at