A trip with Caroline Hands’ China paintings

I have known Caroline for many years when visiting Herefordshire. Somehow we  had easy and interesting conversations. I met Caroline at Ledbury Poetry Festival and she told me of her chinese paintings. These Chinese paintings… I just found them wonderful.
I just wanted to write.  For me these paintings are poems. I just loved doing them.  Poems become part of the conversation–
She spoke to me with her paints and I responded with poems.  It’s that way of speaking.


David Hart, poet
July o8

When they say let’s go for a walk
they mean Let’s dance,
only they mean Let’s make up new dance
before we even think about it,
let’s jump through mist and fire
and so proceed there
where this kind of walk takes us


A kite is not a kite,
I’m a kite,
you’re a kite,
the great bouquets where they grow
are kites, the buildings any moment now
will take off into the blue,
you’re a kite,
I’m a kite,
kites are mere cuttlefish.
I’m a hundred and six, how old are you?
I’m two years and three months and six days
and I arrived here flying with ease.
I am you and you are a flying flip-flop,
I am you and you are snowdrops frying in whispers,
doves are laying bright eggs deep
into the floating harvest, no-one knows
or cares
where we’re going, but we do know

Now that we have learned to swim in air,
now that fish are breeding with doves
and giving birth to us all over again
so that we can receive the wink of a whale
and send our secrets off on kites
knowing they’ll be found
in moonlight.


Lamps are the fruit of the snow mountains,
corn stalks are the lamps of the snow mountains,
blue auras are the birds of the snow mountains,
this way to the dark mountains,
the dark angel will accompany us
and the kestrels
pretending to be doves.


Here come I
from the ship in the sky
and here come I
awake in a cloud
and here my friend
says here come I
awake at last
and flying.
Let’s tangle,
for in a tangle
always there is prayer
lighting us here.


Lovely day.
I saw you flying through the mist
and arrive here plonk and whack.


O woo!
And look at you
and woo me too
and who is this
and what is orange and is not a fish?
I tell you, when this hill
and we all fall

Wichita Wichita!

O dove
where sky that is sea
meets earth that is squall.

I know, says the dove,
we all do know.



Go on, mistake us for angels.
But we are, we are!
With our shapes, our clumsy leaps?
O yes, angels, O yes!
Don’t want to be an angel, I’m fine
leaping about being me.
Me too, but I was, do you know,
created two minutes ago out of angel dust.
Well, yes, angel dust, me too.

O whispering gods of sky, well, flight and mound,
grant us a quiet night and a peaceful end.
Not yet, not yet! 

For so we came and will return to earth,
more seeds to sew, more eloquence, more birth.
Not yet!

This our delight of cluster and of swoon
must soon give way to what we do not own,
we are but soul-stuff in this form on loan.
Not yet!









[back to opinions]

A trip with Caroline Hands’ China paintings, by David Hart | 2011 | Opinions | Comments (0)