P-O Life Arts Anthology

In times of crisis, we turn to the arts.

Picasso’s Guernica, McCrae’s In Flanders’ Fields, even Newton’s discovery of gravity… times of hardship give rise to great creativity and we’re sure that our current situation is no different!

Each week we publish YOUR artistic offerings based on a chosen theme.

For our first edition, the theme is FREEDOM and boy have you set the bar high! Enjoy…!

Ann Bone

Anne says:

I wanted to produce something fresh .. and spring like …bees are topical … in many ways .. it was fun to do.

Drive Time, by Eleanor Martindale

It is that moment, just between sleep and consciousness, when anything is possible. Time is still, and you are too. Breathe deeply; don’t feel, not just yet. You could be anywhere, anyplace. Where shall it be, today?

Your past unwinds like a videotape in your semi-conscious brain; glimpses of a past life that time has not yet erased. Your university campus flashes past and then your high school too; you stop for a moment in a bright kitchen – your parents’, you know it so well – but you don’t stay there long, neither do you dwell in your bedroom, messy as ever, no matter what the cleaner tried. Today you settle on the image of a car.

Today you will drive.


Think. Remember. Take yourself back. You will grab the keys from the hook by the door, get in the car and… breathe deeply. Inhale the fusty smell of plastic and old leather. Don’t wake, not just yet. It is not time, yet. So. You have the keys, your hands are on the wheel – you remember how it was, holding the wheel for the first time with nobody beside you? The whole world was yours and you held it in your hands.

Not was.


The whole world still is yours, though it’s in your mind, now. Here, you can go anywhere. Here, you still have that choice. So, where will it be? To Jimi’s, maybe, now that you can get there on your own. Pretend to your parents that you’re going to revise with Maz then head to Jimi’s and spend the night. No, that won’t do. No people, right? We had a deal. Keep the people tucked away in the deepest folds of your brain. Keep them safe; away from here.

Your throat tightens and you feel the daylight pricking your eyes. No, not just yet. You’re not ready yet. Force the daylight back; think, think. Where are you going today?

The beach, maybe. Yes, the beach. Early morning, and Jimi’s still asleep across town – no need to wake him. He’ll ring you later on and you’ll tease him for being so lazy. But – no people, remember? Why is that so hard to remember? Just an early morning drive to the beach.


Carefully reverse out of the driveway – you never liked doing that much but it’s OK now there’s no-one about to watch you. The battered leather seats are hot and sticky; the sun already bright in the sky.

Summer, then.

Yes, a summer drive to the beach.

You can feel the world stirring around you and you know it won’t be long now. Concentrate. Block out the clatters and the shrieks and listen, listen carefully – underneath them you can hear the faint hum of sprinklers watering smart green squares; there are no cries of the cold and the hungry here where the world is still behind white plastered walls. Drive past the shuttered windows towards the old town where the market never sleeps. Drive past the baker piling freshly baked loaves on his rickety stand and even though it smells of heaven don’t stop, not this time. Leave the dusty town behind you, open the windows wide and drive.

Drive until you reach the sea.

Wake now. You are ready.

Today you will survive.

Today, as you stumble through the place you now live, you will remember every bump and every turn in that road. You will remember the hot plastic of the wheel in your hands and the cool wind tangling your hair. You will remember the early morning sky, limpid white, and the silver mass of sea that stretches on forever and forever. You will remember a time when the whole world was yours and you will not be here at all.

Today, you are driving to the beach.

Irena Gapkovska : gapkovskaart@yahoo.com

Irena says:

Looking for Peace” is a symbolic painting in mixed media, representing fate, making the ambience in the painting more turbulent and dynamic.  The central figure, lying in a meditative position, is finding a sanctuary after all the struggles of daily life ~ she is looking for peace, not for companionship.  An “independent individual” in the world, surrounded by many other elements showing a decorative role, “Looking for Peace” attempts to show the “sweet darkness” of solitude. Peace is freedom, of course…  And freedom is peace…

Dreams of Tomorrow (anonymous)

As the inky sky makes memories
of Today, the wind whispers promises of
This tricky, fickle temptress dances
over the rooftops of the sleeping city:
Spinning dreams among the stars.

The moonlight illuminates the mischief
in her eyes,
As she reaches out, takes your hand. Abandon
yourself as She
steals your heart and
steers your feet out
into the Night.

Lynn Hall

Lynn says:

I often paint coastal scenes. This one’s acrylic, 80 cm x 100cm. It represents a beach on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast when we were visiting friends.

Freedom, by Norman Longworth

We’re influenced from birth as we come on this earth
Until the last day that we leave
Our parents and friends will all in the end
Affect what we want to believe

Then come imams and priests, concerned we should feast
On the gospel they say serves us well
But there isn’t any way to prove what they say
We believe or we go down to hell

Next teachers and schools provide all the fuel
That impacts the whole of our lives
If we do as we’re told and don’t get too bold
We’ll learn enough sense to survive

Not forgetting the press, puts our brain into stress
The stories they tell aren’t all true
They’ll try to control our whole body and soul
To the press owners own point of view

Because it’s a picture we believe that it’s richer
To receive our opinions from telly
Before it has finished our brains are diminished
Into a subservient jelly

The world’s advertisers will try to advise us
On products we can’t do without
And if we don’t buy they’ll want to know why
We could possibly have any doubt

And now social media, the encyclopaedia
Of life in the trivial lane
This deluge of news to divert and confuse
It’s a wonder we keep ourselves sane

With so much distraction to dissuade mental action
What is it can keep our minds turning
The answer is clear, get your brain into gear
And learn and never stop learning

The best we can do for a sound point of view
Is critical reasoning insight
It should be a key rule that the task of all schools
Is to teach pupils this basic birthright

Theme 2 : Water

All readers, whatever your medium or ability, are invited to send us your musings by email to laura@anglophone-direct.com, and they will be published in the following week’s newsletter.

We’re looking for poetry, drawings, paintings, short stories, sculptures, embroidery, music recordings or even face painting!!

The only rule is that the work must be YOUR OWN (if you prefer to remain anonymous, just let us know!)

Extra marks if your creation is P-O related, of course!

Let’s keep the creative juices flowing, share a little beauty with our fellow readers and who knows, perhaps launch a budding career or two?!

So if you’ve been inspired by this week’s collection, pick up you your paint brush, get out the guitar and send over your work before 12pm Tuesday 7th April.

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