Tim Turnbull

Poetry, Stories, Painting

Oligarch in Speedos

Oh no! Sinister forces are at work: the government has suppressed a report into Russian interference in elections; the major parties and political figures are in hock to international spivs and gangsters. If only someone had written a poem about eight years ago predicting all this and read it out in public at every opportunity and, like, everybody had listened. Oh well. Never mind.

Oligarch in Speedos
On a mega-yacht, no less, brandishing
an innuendoed Möet overflow,
bronzed, with trouty-pouting babes-a-go-go.
Oh, copper-bellied kleptocratic king,
pray budgie-smugly flaunt your bling-a-ling
to advertise what everybody knows, 
you crass comb-over Russo-mafioso,
which is, restraint and taste are not your thing
but, grudgingly, we have to give full marks for
the way you reify consumption, greed,
and keep the groveling poor down on their knees.
Yes, you’re the sort of immigrant we need,
so why not help yourself to half of Berkshire 
and annex sodding Knightsbridge, won’t you, please.

from Avanti! (Red Squirrel Press, 2018)

A Whole New World

Arrival in the Promised Land

Here we go, then. I spent four days last week figuring out how to use the WordPress software to completely rebuild my website. For ten or more years, I’ve cobbled together something from the basic, but elegant, site that A.B. Jackson made for me sometime in the lower Paleozoic era, free versions of blogging and mediating tools, and various desktop WYSIWYG editors. Every time I have tried a revamp before, it starts with good intentions, a determination to make the site easier to use, and a New Yearish resolve to update regularly, but that never happens. There has always been something more pressing to do.

Now, though, I’ve a studio to work in, stable remunerative employment and a list of projects, both writing and painting, to be getting on with, (one of which was sorting this site out); and while refurbishing a website might look like a displacement activity, it does offer– aside from the therapeutic value of twiddling with plug-ins and layouts – an opportunity for reflection. I have stability and that’s to be thankful for in these strange times. And it occurs to me that sitting in rooms out in the sticks working is all well and good, but here’s a tool here to communicate with the outside world, to share some art and talk about it, so why not use it. I hope, therefore, to do this a bit more regularly.

For starters, here’s a watercolour I’ve been working on of the view from my window.

Avanti! T.

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