NINE AM Projects
Brian Clarke: Spitfires and Primroses
Brian Clarke: Spitfires and Primroses Brian Clarke: Spitfires and Primroses Brian Clarke: Spitfires and Primroses Brian Clarke: Spitfires and Primroses Brian Clarke: Spitfires and Primroses

Pace London, 6-10 Lexington Street, London W1F 0LB

13 February 2015 – 21 March 2015

Black Spitfire Sky

Flat night sky stretched drum taut
absorbs engines’ roar and propeller thrum.
Silhouetted against sulphurous cloud,
reflecting rays of sinking sun – they come.
Formation flying above blackened earth,
ghost shadows pass in serried ranks
fixed, as crosses by the Somme.

Engineered, lacquer black, shiny, gloss insect backs.
Listen to their throbbing drone, complex, more than monotone.
Phalanx rigid, ’til they break, intercepting air attacks.
Birds of prey, Merlin magic, hunting, waiting, diving down
in chaos of inchoate cloud, up against the gathered storm.

Headachy WAAFs wield plotting rods upon their grid;
magnetic pull of fate, black-winged Thanatos attracts.
The croupier’s rake draws in the stakes, according to the bid.
Across time nature in nature’s testosterone acts.
Reckoning, beckoning. Can it be true?
“Messieurs − Rien ne va plus”.

A.J. Harrison
17th January 2015                                                     

Primula Vulgaris

Bideford Black paint seams pigment soil
darkening shadows of emergent day.
Black-patched crevices like bitumen oil
seep, history deep, through foundation clay.

Scale-layered fractals, dappled carpet imitating;
accrescent plant-growth tenaciously replicating.
Bird’s-eye view focusing, landscape resolves;
acuity intensifies as darkness dissolves.

Under the watch of the genius loci
fine fringe thrum-eye discerns the sun.
Pin-eye blinks at brimstone’s tongue,
falcon soars through a clearing sky.

While green-camouflaged leaves coalesce,
clustered heads embedded down
open their faces without a frown,
brave like brass buttons on battle dress.

Sweetness and Light
Devon morning, later light,
deep-lane pathway mottled bright.
Muddied boots as iced ruts splinter
brush spots of hope in blackthorn winter.

Syllabub lovely at our feet,
gentle possets or posies sweet?
Clots of cream, spills of custard
mellowed yellow to keen as mustard.
Delicate curds, gold milky balm
cushion the banks of the dairy farm.

Pats of butter and butterfly flutter
blur in warming daze;
dizzying blue with dispersing dew
mix in sea-born haze.

A.J. Harrison
18th January 2015

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