Tag Archives: Elaine Randall

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Our UK Tour – Green Men everywhere

October 11,  23, and 26

Are there old trees in Brooklyn?  Yes, but not quite like these–

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An oak in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s garden.

We were taken there by our friend poet Elaine Randall, who is among other things a child protection officer for the Canterbury diocese.   So she knows all the employees and every nook and cranny of the building and grounds.

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A yew in an Oxfordshire churchyard.

 

 

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A chestnut on the grounds of what was once Dartington College.We were taken there by poet John Hall who acceded to our wish to see the place despite his sadness at returning to a scene of loss. He even had to pay for parking at a place where he’d served as vice chancellor for two decades…  Dartington College as a haven for art education and exploration is no more.  As gone as Black Mountain College. Currently the Dartington buildings and grounds are used as a conference center. Black Mountain is a children’s summer camp.

 

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Another yew in another churchyard…    The connection is ancient and deliberate. The yews are almost always far older than the church or churchyard and have clearly been cherished by the newer order.  Perhaps not to the extent of sampling the leaves or berries. Yew leaves was a preferred means of suicide for the Romans and had some connection to pre-Christian graveyards possibly as protectors of souls after death.

 

 

 

And green, green everywhere in Devon.

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John Hall took us up the Dart river where these are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will any of these turn up as images in Basil King paintings?    Stay tuned.

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©Basil King, “Looking for the Green Man”  mixed media on paper, 24″ x 40″

 

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Our UK Tour–VEG BOX aka Free Range

October 10, 2013:  A train from London to Canterbury where Elaine Randall and Ian Rose met us, stashed our heavy bags in their car, and took us over (in the rain) to The Good Shed –a marvelous combo of farmer’s market and locavore food restaurant. Also possessing good parking, a rarity in Canterbury.

At Veg Bpx, Elaine Randall and Ian Rose (Ian Brinton, right background
At Veg Bpx, Elaine Randall and Ian Rose (Ian Brinton, right background) before the performance began

We had daunting directions to our reading that night at The Veg Box, aka Free Range.  Something about walking through parking lots to the back fire escape.  So I thought NYC with a ladder-like set of very steep narrow iron steps. How in the hell will Baz get his gamy leg up?

Turned out to be normal enough, just metal and concrete. “Fireproof.” And about six steps in all.

There we met Sam Bailey…who very shyly asked if we’d mind his opening the evening with some piano playing by him.  We are guests. Of course we said yes. But had sinking feelings. What music would he play?   He’d already done yeoman’s service running back & forth to his apartment for the right cables and computer attachments to make showing the Basil King film possible.

Our doubts justified?  Not at all!   Give a listen:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXxsApcxB-c

We were surprised too how many people showed up:  some were BMC fans (Ian Brinton, e.g.) but many others crowded in.  From Kent University, Christ Church University, University College. Townspeople too.  From their attention and the questions asked, the audience was full of readers.  Per David Herd, who heads modern literature at Kent, this is one place where multiple streams can gather.  We need such in New York City!

Baz at the Veg Box
Baz at the Veg Box
Martha King at Veg Box, answering questions
Martha at Veg Box, answering questions