Friday, 30 December 2016

Дървета в Портисхед/Trees in Portishead

                                            Fog swags over the estuary make it hard to tell
                                            if we’re looking at mud banks, islets or the far coast.
                                            If you hadn’t told me, I would never have guessed
                                            these flat-topped bunkers below us on our shore
                                            had once been used for storing natural gas.
                                            Old industries litter the littoral while behind us,
                                            in the field beside the main road, there’s a mast
                                            whose warning siren they still routinely test
                                            in case of chemical leaks, aerial toxic events.
                                            Such dangers in the air if we but knew it.

                                            And so here in the aftermath of Christmas
                                            we’re doing what we can to make sense
                                            of all that’s changed and changing.
                                            The edge has come off the temperature.
                                            Walking back up the hill, beside fences,
                                            dustbins, smoothed asphalt parking spaces,
                                            you ask if these trees are silver birch.
                                           “Yes,” I say. “They are.” And the past
                                           makes friends with itself and for a moment
                                           consents to our leaving it utterly silent.

Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips

Friday, 23 December 2016

Честит Коледа/Happy Christmas

As has become traditional, we take a short break from art and poetry over Christmas and New Year and take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who's visited, liked or shared Colourful Star.

2016 has been quite a year. On the one hand, there was a Colourful Star reunion in Sofia in the summer; on the other ... Well, if you're reading this post and are interested in cross-cultural collaboration and international dialogue, you'll certainly know what 'the other hand' delivered in June and November.

We've also seen a giant leap in terms of the number of people reading Colourful Star - so please do keep spreading the word.

There is no agenda here. Just a delight in conversation.

Much love and best wishes for the festive season and beyond,

Tom, Marina and Vasilena X

Many thanks to John Fru Jones for the photograph from the CS summer reunion in Sofia.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Музика довечера/Music tonight

Music across the water,
that's how it is – a sound
which skirts the smooth docks.

The way home attended
by arpeggios, vamped chords.

 That’s how it is:
the old bloke on the fiddle,
the others on flute and drum.

 There’s music tonight
across the water.

And that sense of playing,
a sense of playing out …

The spittle wiped
from the mouthpiece.

Everything might be otherwise
without the need for translation.

Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips

Friday, 9 December 2016

Изкуството на естествени структури/The art of natural structures

You talk of a stasis, a calm.
You walk with lighter steps.
Coming at the city from here,
we’re following trails
and I’m collecting clues
to using language like a compass
and letting it turn my thoughts
in its own directions –
much like these trees,
whose natural structures
can’t help but seem
to be offering options:
continue in this direction,
turn back or stand here,
branch out and look up.

Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips

Friday, 2 December 2016

В Шкодра/In Shkodra

What drew me
            was the timbre
                        of the timber

when we walked
            along the hall.
                        That was no place
you’d want to leave
            in a hurry –
                        the smell of it,

that resinous smell.
            Or was it
                        our breakfast ritual?

Coffee, fruit
            and a smoke
                        on the terrace.

So much to learn.
            And how everything
                        can just wait.

Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips