I’m Pleased…. Turning The Tables…. From ‘Emergence’ Magazine…

by Bernie Bell - 08:54 on 13 May 2023


I’m Pleased….

Mike’s photo of The Cairns Bowl is due to feature in the Orkney Archaeology Society calendar for 2024.

This first appeared in a piece I wrote about The Cairns exhibition in the Stromness Museum last year….


The dig at The Cairns is A GOOD THING, and is due to resume next month – if The Fates allow!



Turning The Tables…

Bartholomew Barker posted a poem about the Can-Can.  Somewhat strangely - considering the fact that I went to a Convent school - our ballet teacher (who wasn’t a nun!) also taught us the Charleston, the Black Bottom, and….the Can-Can!

Can’t do it now – old bones.

Here’s Bartholomew’s poem…

Jane Avril at the Moulin Rouge 1893

I let men believe
The rhythm of the bass
Makes me lose control
Of my feet
My legs
My hips
That I must yield to
The frantic beat
That I don't mean to
Reveal these petticoats
But of course
It's all a show
And men are simple
To control


And my response was…

That I don’t mean to reveal these petticoats”

Teasing – strip-tease – ‘What the Butler saw’ – look, but don’t touch.

You catch it – whatever it is.

At one time this poster was on thousands of walls….


And this got me thinking – I believe partial concealment to be much more enticing than what’s referred to as ‘full frontal’. 

I’m remembering a girl I knew at Uni who used to buy ‘Cosmopolitan’…..  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmopolitan_(magazine) when one of the attractions of the magazine was nude male centre-folds.  She used to pin them up on the wall of her room and – I didn’t see the appeal.

They were pictures of good-looking – often strangely hairless – young men, naked - but I seem to remember that, at the time, it was illegal to publish a picture of an erect penis.  So …the images in ‘Cosmo’ were of men lounging provocatively, looking a bit self-conscious, with a limp member laid carefully against an inner thigh.  Really, really not appealing.

However, at the same time - early/mid 1970’s – Robert Plant in tight jeans and a girls blouse  – a peacock in a peacock chair.  That was a centre-fold in ‘Jackie’…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_(magazine) and I had it pinned up above my bed.  Sigh.

And then….further exchanges and ideas…


Bingo! That was the poster that my mother was converting into fabric art with the B-Code and she wanted a little poem to help blind people understand better what we’re seeing…



“I did wonder why you thanked your Mum for inspiring a poem about teasing/voyeurism – it makes sense now.

I’m going to weave that idea into my blog – making images whereby what the fingers feel can be transformed into ‘seeing’ what is there – a very strong, and helpful process.”

And then I followed the link to Bartholomew’s Mum’s website where she explains  the B-code system more fully.  My oh my – that really is something – do take a look.

Maybe have a go at producing one of these works yourself?


From ‘Emergence’ Magazine…

Pulitzer Prize Honorees

“How do we connect to one another as humans? Through spoken language, through music. How do we learn about the rest of the world? Through being embodied creatures.” 
— David G. Haskell


“We are delighted to share that Emergence contributors Carl Phillips and David G. Haskell have been recognized for their distinguished contributions to the literary sphere. Carl, who explores the power of tenderness, faith, and connection as forces for change, has won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and David, whose vibrant works engage us with the beauty and animism of the living world, was named a finalist for General Nonfiction. 

This acknowledgment of these two remarkable writers is a testimony to the resonance of voices that speak love to the Earth during this time. Congratulations to Carl and David for such a momentous achievement. In celebration we’re sharing a selection of stories and adaptations from their prize-winning works.“

Among the Trees

by Carl Phillips 

Carl’s Pulitzer Prize–winning collection, Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020, includes his prose poem “Among the Trees”––an extended meditation on his experience of the woods. Weaving memory, story, and dream, Carl steps into the interplay between reality and imagination to find his own queerness, his own silences, his own lonelinesses in the shade, bloom, and camouflage of trees. Examining the relationship between place and intimacy, the body and the word, he wonders what can and cannot be known.”


When the Earth Started to Sing

by David G. Haskell

“This sonic journey—adapted from David’s Pulitzer Prize–nominated book Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution’s Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction—brings us to the beginning of sound and song on planet Earth, an immersive audio story made entirely of tiny trembling waves in air, the fugitive, ephemeral energy that we call sound. Spoken words combined with terrestrial sounds invite our senses and imaginations to go outward into an experience of the living Earth and its history. We invite you on a journey into deep time and deep sound that will open your ears and your imagination. “


Listening and the Crisis of Inattention

An Interview with David G. Haskell

“In this conversation, Emergence Executive Editor Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee talks with David about Sounds Wild and Broken: a journey through deep time that traces the evolution of sound. Acknowledging the legacies of kinship that are present when we listen, and how deep experiences of beauty can serve as a moral guide for the future, David invites us to reawaken to the cacophony of stories that croak, chirp, and chatter all around us.”



Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/09/07/the-gnarly-old-question-of-souterrains/



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