Tag Archives: jung

Inside This Earthen Book-Box 1

This is only part one of a blArt about my new Inside This Earthen Book-Box ITEB

Part 2 will follow in a few days with more images of the Book-Box

pot wit scrolls sm
6 scrolls surround my pot on a hexagonal table, notice the Beuys’ scroll has felt over it!

A while ago I wrote a series of poems to be printed as scrolls which I placed inside a big pot.

I called the project Inside This Clay Jug after a poem Robert Bly had recited after the original translation by Rabindranath Tagore of a 14th century poem by Kabir. I first heard the recital on the late a Jackie Leven cd. I loved it and was lucky to have known Jackie when he used another pen name, John St Fields. I loved his rendition of Inside This Clay Jug for years and was fortunate to get together with Jackie shortly before he died. The project was as much in memorium to him as it was a celebration of knowledge passed down in ancient times by communities who hid their precious writings in pots in caves or underground like the Nag Hamadi library and Buddhist pots found in Kandahar.

the jug sm
Pot + Scrolls stand on sand base. There are words from Kabir’s poem on the pot. Each scroll has a leather thong with the name of the subject or his associative domain created on a clay tab.

I don’t expect anyone to go to this link BUT it has an account of how Buddha’s pot for alms was found in Kandahar, it’s an incredibly complex story but the kind I find quite fascinating if & when I find the time to explore. For me this kind of exploration is the closest I’ll ever get to actually setting foot in Kandahar cos am a lazy old tyke. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=umZEfH1n0X4C&pg=PA281&lpg=PA281&dq=Buddhist+pots+found+in+Kandahar&source=bl&ots=XcgKUd5QC8&sig=qX35SJ3d_ZAJ9w4c_sG7PDX6YGQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqmNzu2_zUAhUNY1AKHV-ADl8Q6AEIRTAJ#v=onepage&q=Buddhist%20pots%20found%20in%20Kandahar&f=false

Recently I bound a copy of David Jury’s beautiful letterpress version of my poems in pots into a codex book.

1 isev bk SoB comp sm
Inside This Earthen Vessel (ISEV)

Letterpress print version bound as a codex book 

I only made two copies so far, one for me and one for DJ. And I have added a lovely little purple tassle to mine and sent it up to an international competition to see if they like it.

Whilst making the book I made a couple of extra cover and thought one day I’d make a book-box with one of em and put into it every incarnation of my poems for the Clay Jug Project about which I also published a book called G BATCH.

a cover of gbatch
Front cover of G BATCH

Now I know G BATCH is not the best name for the book, it’d be better named something like Inside This Clay Jug an Introduction. I preferred at the time to take letters from the names of the six men that my poems are about and as a group is also a batch called it a batch, G BATCH. The book is handmade in an edition of 50. It explains my ideas behind the project.

a orignl carl jung design
In my collage of Carl Jung I include a mandala I invented for Jung with pots and fishes plus a Buddhist Wheel of life. He is wearing his Gnostic ring.

It also has the master drawing that I used for the etchings of the six men.

isev at corsham court 2 sm
ISEV displayed at the Bath Spa ‘Concrete Poetry’ Symposium

I re-wrote the poems and published about 3 versions of them, Inside This Earthen Vessel (ISEV) was one version wherein I did the layout of the poems in the shape of pots and when DJ saw them he suggested we collaborate on the letterpress version which he would print. Those prints of the poems are now quite famous. Back in 2014 The Poetry Library at Southbank exhibited their copy in the Open Show of that year. They were recently (June 2017) exhibited at Bath Spa uni as part of their symposium on Concrete Poetry.

I did do a ‘concrete poem’ with the names of the G BATCH, actually more a log poem:

a gbatch concrete poem sm
Look carefully and you’ll see the names carved onto the logs.

Nowadays the bark is dropping off so I am going to recut the names a little deeper into the trunks to add to the poem’s lifespan along with some clarity.

Here’s some images of the Tenzin Gyatso (Dalai Lama) one when it was first cut.

a gyatso log stands
In my log poem I put his name where the T is in Batch. I s’pose I can recut the name as Tenzin?


a gyatso log cut
Tenzin Gyatso is the Dalai Lama’s name.






OK so gather round


OK so. Now I’ve got you on the bait am going to delve deeper, stay with me, don’t worry, be happy and all that stuff. I coined a word today, am always playing with word and meanings. ‘familiarism’ like say, apulhed seems stupid as a word and concept until you get familiar with it. As do ‘mickey mouse’ and ‘tintin’ and ‘snoopy’ and then onto more difficult things like ‘gnostic’ or ‘Gurdzhiev’. All of those words are strange unless and until you become ‘familiar’ with them. The first 3 were ‘cartoon’ characters. All of them carry a life-view, a take on life or a way of dealing with issues etc. So do the last two words ‘gnostic’ & ‘Gurdzhiev’, each have the same- carry a life-view, a take on life or a way of dealing with issues. It’s just that most of us are not familiar with them. Now.

I am starting to log into social networking sites. I think it’s to do with that networking thing which has always formed part of human need and function. Meetings and gathrings*, nowadays in the digital clouds of Twits and Linkds.  Gurdjeff who was a bald bloke with a big white moustache watti drew on a previous blog, talks a lot about ‘connecting’ in his massive tome, ‘Beelzebub stales to his Grandson’. Don’t try reading it cos it’s too big and too complex and too hard to comprehend. But it is very important I tink. It’s like a good film. It arrives in your consciousness and seeps in and later, years later, you go,”Oh G. said that in ‘Beelzebub’s Tales’’ or tails cos ‘Beelzebub’ has a tail. He relates how groups throughout the history of humankind have had meetings where they come together to, meet. From the United Nations to local councils, from the bike boys to the gathering at Khamar Khiid (a monastery in the desert an hour’s drive from Sainshand, Mongolia folk and monks met for the ‘enthronement’ of the 9th Noyon Khutaght or ‘Tulku’. This new incarnation of Danzanravjaa an artist, teacher, playwright and mystic who was according to Sue Byrne’s article in Tibet Foundation’s magazine about Mongolia rising from a (soviet) shattered past and its re-emergence of Buddhism ‘renowned throughout the Gobi desert’. Now all of that may seem umfamiliar to you, and may indeed make you tink you are definitely reading a wrong blog, but bear with me, if you haven’t already gone. It’s unfamiliar to me too. BUT, that’s precisely why I look into it. I WANT to learn about the unfamiliar, why, because I believe we need to be shaken out of comfort zones. My specialism was art but I realised it was only a key to the door of the unfamiliar. Like the surrealists, they opened a door and let us peek in, as did Duchamp and Maxt Ernst earnestly. So by looking into that article on Mongolia I realise there are other countries and other histories outside the ones we are inculcated with. And in the case of Mongolia, they were a Buddhist nation and before that a warring lot and then the Soviets took over and then they fell and then there is now, a return to Buddhism. So which is more powerful? A conqueror like Ghengis Khan or Russia or Buddha? Now Gurdjeff what you may not have been familiar with before I mentioned hoim was also a searcher after knowledge. And apparently he strode acrosst the Gobi desert on stilts with some mates who were looking for remnants of the very culture that gave rise to Buddhism in the Gobi desert. I know that beggars belief, but that’s what am here for.

Now I am not pushing Gurdzhiev’s work and ideas, I am not an acolyte, but he had this notion that there are forces at work in our lives which we don’t fully understand, call it Fate if you like. A ‘something’ pulling the strings, making things occur, like amazing connects. Jung called it ‘synchronicity. I talk about it a bit, just a bit, in my new book, ‘G Batch’. I read many books to glean the information which underpins G Batch and it encapsulates a lot of knowledge in a simple compressed form, that is except the prose poem about the six mystics, of which Gurdjeff is one, where the prose is extremely densely writ.


That’s enough for today.

(*er I know I mist the er out and I missed the issed out of myst, it’s a real Mr.Ree! me)