Pleasure and Joy in the Uncertainty of Life


It is a shock to realise that I haven’t posted since February last. It seems both my world and the globe in general is in upheaval. Pandemic recovery, climate uncertainty, energy insecurity, not to mention a series of continuing wars across continents, are unnerving. We would all be forgiven for our descent into depression, anxiety and fear for the future. I find that I have to battle the downward trend in order to keep going. I have to keep myself firmly in the “now” and to recognise what is useful around me. Right this minute I am battling my own tech ignorance trying to shape this page. It is a slow trial and error endeavour, but I must keep going, determined to get it up and running. I am grateful for health, and for the level of activism around me working to offset the negatives, at all levels across the human experience. Music has always soothed me and energised me. Over the years art has captured my appreciation, both the gift of the artist and the uplifting of their subjects.  So as a return, I thought to point to a wonderful artist, Lavinia Fontana, whose exhibition was held recently in the National Gallery. I loved this piece, particularly for the cheeky sensuality of the piece. It prompted a poem which is also here. Enjoy and send me encouraging feedback, we are all in need of it.

Venus and Mars

            Painted by Lavinia Fontana


He has the tanned body of an outdoor warrior,

his open hand clasping her naked left buttock,


Her flesh is tinged a glowing pink

as if the exertion of the tryst traversed

her whole gorgeous skin.


His glint is like a mad stare, searching her face.


Cupid sprawls asleep on the bed behind,

satiated by their passionate outburst.


The purple maroon of the rear drapes

drip with an orgiastic pallor pointing up

the post coital glow of their bodies.


Sex bounces palpably off the canvas.


Peter Clarke

23rd May 2023