Christopher ENGLISH

I intend to show the symbolic images in my paintings as a complement to the imagery evoked in my poems. Ideas for the symbolism in my art derive from my poetry. Content of artwork is allegorical, full of metaphor, connotation and ambiguity. Suggestion and discovery from my imagination emerge during the painting process and are supplement to the poetry, yet has the intrinsic value of both poem and painting. Indeed, I show where the ideas in the paintings came from, hence this publication of my poems and paintings together.

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They are the anchor that tugs my kite. In all the clever tricks to play They are the ones that pull from beginning to end. Those who had nothing gave me so much. Having lived amongst the less fortunate, Losing even life itself without dignity. Knowing that at least there was the chance To climb up and leave behind the forgotten That could not. Little did I know.

Only, of course, you don't forget them. Those who had nothing gave The gleaming jewel to carry on Behind an iron mask.

In the ability to fortify himself With the dignity, ego, vanity and pride, A persona totally cloaked in an image In all its absurdities, The make-up man put on his armour-plated helmet, Masking inadequacies, living out fantasy in confidence tricks. The fragile talent only granted by the grace of ability, Expectancy only by its means.

The kite as mask, masked by life, Pampered by normality, moaned like a pet. He remembered those from his past, people who knew Depression was a luxury they could not afford. And in the present, noticed those who complained the most Had the least wrong with them, and those who complained the least had the most

. So my strength was drawn from the forsaken, and from those forgotten. Not from those whose life was so full of expectancy.

In comparison what did I want? The life of a floating clown, adrift without anchor, had no meaning. Having the mask of agility, a life granted by the grace of ability. So dreams become true. 'Yes'. Was the answer instinctively, As nature is only designed to survive.

Though only the anchor within my heart behind the mask Really means anything.

C. English

'The Anchor and Kite'

Oil colour on canvas 48 inches by 36 inches


This stable, three dimensional World Is in between us As we hide and lie Behind the doors and shields Of ourselves.

Although we meet eye to eye In the literal construct of reality, Do we ever see what is really there?

My mind is not on a planet Speeding around a sun. There is no clock. It is you that draws me close In the here and now. You are the gravity that pulls me in. There is no time. Just here and now.

Thinking of you Inside this tub of flesh and bones My consciousness smoulders In a warmth of euphoria. Actually, Side effects of anti-inflammatory medicine. All the same, embers of a past fire Is enough to sustain and fortify the sanity Of this wreaked ship, sinking on crumbling joints. Emotional lava that lies within The crevices of my mind Is still there.

Sometimes, the mellow flame of memory Flickers from that furnace of my heart. A potent force spills Over into a volcanic froth, And I am aglow within, Turning myself inside out into the realm of dreams, where you always were; And there you are always.

My fantasy swan, a graceful beauty That is indeed a reality In make believe; so, like a fool, I pine inside, for a memory. Myself, a two faced clown Not showing how I feel. Instead, in dreams and in so called "reality" I hide behind doors and shields.

C. English


Oil colour on canvas 48 inches by 36 inches

The Fisherman, the Judge and the Dragon

So naive in the range of the dragon's clawsThat the innocent was scarredIn the twists and turns of time.What was thought to be clear in innocenceBecame a confusion in the waves of illusion.So taken in by appearanceThat it became the JudgeAnd entangled in the net of the shallow Fisherman.The boat searched for answersMoved by the tide.

C. English

'The Fisherman, the Judge and the Dragon'

Oil colour on canvas 36 inches by 36 inches

'Swan in a Flame'

Oil colour on canvas 24 inches by 24 inches