Glass Coffin: The Art & Poetry of Erin Sorrey

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ANCESTORS

Amerind around the eyes

Cheekbones which speak of the past,

When I was wild.

My soul still knows

In my heart beats an animal;

A feral beast

And an eagle flying free.

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Erin Sorrey is a Canadian poet and artist. She attended The Ottawa School of Art, and works in a variety of medium.

She is inspired by the ocean, the ethereal shadows, the romance in the depraved, the beauty in the abyss, and her own lunacy.

More of her work can be seen at

Glass Coffin +
Velvet Razors

and in the book  Folk Horror Revival: Corpse Roads

All Images and Poetry © Erin Sorrey and not to be used without explicit permission

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Captive

Captive, by Doris Masters

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It smiles at me with frothy lips
Inviting me to stay;
To watch it as it leaps and drips with sand and stones at play.
The gulls fly screaming overhead
As if their prey to wake;
They dive into the watery mass,
At liberty to take.

Its icy waves they touch my skin
And play around my feet.
Seaweed stops and lingers there, the hazard it will meet.
Who knows what secrets it contains,
On its dark and secret bottom;
With rusting wreckage, and silver bones
Of heroes long forgotten.

What mythical beings are dwelling there?
Mermaids, Monsters, Lorelei;
The tales we heard so long ago, in us will never die.
It’s enticing me to join it
In its never ending quest;
To swallow up the living earth
And leave mortal souls at rest.

The sea goes on forever
As it has since time began;
Guided by a silver moon, never touched by wars or man.
I shiver in its coldness
Wanting not to go,
And leave this green and pleasant land
I have come to know.

I can no longer stay here
A captive on the beach
Two steps back, and they will take me
Forever out of reach.

(August 2016)

Image by Dan Hunt, Seafield Beach MMXVI

Book Review ~ Myth and Masks: Artwork by Paul Watson 2013 -2015

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Myth and Masks: Artwork by Paul Watson 2013 -2015

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Myth and Masks by Paul Watson is an evocative work; described as ‘Shamanic’ in the foreword by David Southwell – a word he does not use lightly but it is a word that accurately describes this book. Myth and Masks is a transformative journey, a gateway into an Otherworld.
Within its pages are mainly photographs but also included are drawings and prints as well as writings by the artist about the inspiration, history and creative process of his work and subject matter. Intriguingly Watson questions whether the masks he creates, which feature so prominently in his work, are part of the art. He states seeing them more perhaps as preperation or costumes for his photography. For me looking inward at his work, the masks are both elements and subject matter of a larger work but I consider them also beautifully strange artworks in themselves.

In creating the masks, Watson was inspired to investigate the role, history and nature of masks more deeply. Gazing upon his masks, his photos and graphics, they tantalise the viewers’ eyes and impregnate their mind with questions – what do these masks represent? What do they reveal and what do they conceal?
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They are not mere costume – they are ritual, mythical, mystical. There is a theatrical narrative suggested in the still images. Stories dying to be told.
Dying … an apt word, for within these book pages we find the Badb Catha, the Death Mask and the Crow. The imagery of the crow goddess as rendered by Watson is reminiscent of the Plague Doctor masks of medieval times; but it is not confined to an isolated historical pestilence but is an eternal archetype. The Crow – devourer of carrion, a memento mori ~ a reflection of death in life.
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By placing the masks upon models, Watson puts life into death; the empty sockets of the mask are given a glint of life in some images but in others they eyes remain hidden, hinting at greater mysteries.

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Life and death are intertwined as revealed in the Ivy Mask. Ivy is an evergreen plant, a reminder that life continues through the greatest adversities but it also reminds us of its presence in tumbledown graveyards or clinging to the crumbling ruins of abandoned weather-beaten buildings. It speaks of life beyond death.
There is perhaps an element of sex that buds beneath the surface in some images also. The nudity is not overtly erotic in the imagery. It is not the bodies perhaps here that draws the carnal aspect of the mind in but the masks. There can be something enthralling, oddly sinister but alluring, something fetishistic too about masks. Sex and Death frequently go hand in hand. In the realm of folk horror, death has been portrayed several times as an act of fertility and therefore rebirth or new or transformed life.
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We look at the masks and they gaze back at us with whispers of life, death, rebirth and of change. The element of change is of course integral to masks; they change the appearance of the wearer and as such change our perceptions of them. Another chapter in Watson’s book deals with that archetypal mythic character – the Shapeshifter.
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Within his writings that accompany the imagery, Watson seamlessly draws in considerations of sources such as ancient myth, fairy tales, witchcraft, folk customs, hauntology and the ‘English Eerie’. Literary luminaries such as Robert Macfarlane, Marina Warner, Warren Ellis, Martin Shaw, Robert Holdstock and others take their place.

Visually and textually, Myth and Masks is an intriguing, evocative work and one that I recommend a place on the bookshelves of Folk Horror Revivalists.

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  • ISBN : 978-0-9934736-0-9
  • Pages: 128
  • Format: Hardback, high-quality litho-printed, sewn binding
  • Price: £24.99 exc. shipping – ONLY AVAILABLE FROM http://www.lazaruscorporation.co.uk/shop/38
  • Size: 252mm × 196mm (approx. 9.9ʺ × 7.7ʺ)
  • 28 colour plates, 3 b&w plates
  • Foreword by David Southwell (of Hookland Guide)
  • Each copy of this initial print-run of Myth and Masks comes with a free, hand-printed linoprint by Paul Watson of the Blindfolded Seeress, exclusive to this book.

    Myth and Masks: Artwork by Paul Watson 2013–2015 is a volume of Paul Watson’s artwork from 2013 to 2015, focusing mainly on photography but also including drawing and printmaking. The stark and dramatic images are complemented by an edited selection of his writings on myths, masks, and the “English Eerie”, previously published on his Artist’s Notebook blog during the course of creating these pieces of artwork.

    These selected pieces of Paul Watson’s artwork show his development of an intertwined host of primal characters, drawn from his imagination, but strongly influenced by the English landscape and the myths and legends that are embedded deeply within that landscape.

    The accompanying written pieces show the artist’s exploration of, and research into, the wider subject matter of what has become known as “the English Eerie” that runs in parallel with the creative process.

    What others have said:

    “The book takes the reader on a journey through the last two years of his work, touching on subjects as eclectic as the English eerie, folk-horror and psychogeography, with every stop in between. In addition to the beautiful colour plates of Paul’s work, the book includes several essays focusing on the inspiration behind his work along with ideas of myth and folklore, creating together an engrossing volume that will lead you to another world.”

    – Willow Winsham, FolkloreThursday website, 2016.

    “Highly recommended: a treat for the eyes and the imagination!”

    – Jane Talbot, author of The Faerie Thorn & Other Stories

 

Tim Turnbull ~ Ghosts of the Corpse Roads

By a strange twist of fate, the words of a poet who tread the Corpse Roads, vanished upon the breeze. An echo of his testimonial remained carved upon milestones.

Here now though through the scrying of technology once undreamed of, we have captured the whispers from the aether and bring you now the poetry of Tim Turnbull

Scarecrow

They have brought him indoors again, Scarecrow,cC5Ah9nJAPuMjYrVODu1a2uhv8JxrloC1ynIrLPR8tPhDfQCnTmt3G1IZBxijVXC3-RAAlF3YYrggvgyVekh99T9F1Js9EEoscxNsfvMdeUQCRrJiOPIGYQZKnL8Htv5aWJFz8-f9CX64RQhqb-wHL6Km8U=s0-d-e1-ft
propped him in the armchair, poured him a nip
of Laphroaig (doubles for themselves) and toast
and laud him, fine splendid fellow that he is:

for did he not bring them glories unbekent
in their lifetimes, class and outright victory
at Scarecrow Festival; did not the beer tent
glow all night, song swell through the district

over misted fields and greening woodland.
Hail to thee, O Flay-crake! O Hodmedod!
O Bogle! they cry, glasses in raised hands,
in honour of their straw-stuffed half-a-god,

and Scarecrow tilts his head as if perplexed:
their panegyric’s tinctured with derision,
and rough-handling, not kindness or respect,
distinguishes their weekly depositions.

Tonight a boot was left among the furrows;
tomorrow they’ll drag him out and nail him
back up again, nursing filthy hangovers,
and leave him to the mercy of the wind.

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An Old Acquaintance

Death comes chapping the door at 2 a.m.,
jiggling an own-brand single malt as bait.
So long and anxiously anticipated,
he – half coy maiden, half best bosom friend –
slurs mitigations, invites himself in,
and from the sofa, roiling bletherskate,
holds forth; confides, inveigles and berates;
oscillates between rapture and maudlin.

Through hours of inebriate remembrance,
discourse descends to fractured anecdote,
to he said/they said/something happened once,
and thence to warm and grainy oblivion
until the morning takes you by the throat
and searing, sickening light reveals him gone.

Cymag

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Surprising how it has seeped into one’s
being, all that land; that boggy patch
behind the Dutch barn, not discernible
from the field edge – perhaps with geophyz
or satellite it might show up – which caught
the ploughshares and pulled the Fordson
back on its heels, so that, with differential
lock and independent brakes, we churned
and worked in tacky clay until the plough
came free; and across the field, the wood,
frightening and dark, which had been just that –
a wood – but now’s Picea abies, Norway spruce,
un-thinned, neglected, spindly, a poor crop,
overlain since with accretions of schooling,
fact, and even – whisper it – the odd opinion;
and beyond the wood the hedgerow where,
one autumn afternoon, we went with tin
and a tarnished dessert spoon lashed
to a bamboo cane, and I filled the bowl
with pink powder, thrust it down the last
unblocked rabbit hole, tipped the poison,
withdrew and sealed it in the earth.

Poetry © Tim Turnbull

Tim grew up in a farming family in North Yorkshire and resides currently in Highland Perthshire. His collection of eerie tales, ‘Silence and Other Stories‘ is published by Postbox Press. His poetry is available from Donut Press.

Wyrd Harvest Press are planning to publish more of Tim’s poetry in the near future. Keep watching these lonely paths …

http://www.timturnbull.co.uk/

Photos © Andy Paciorek

FHR Website Header – Submissions

The Folk Horror genre is teeming with powerful imagery, stark visions that press into the viewer’s mind, and we want the FHR website to present this imagery as clearly as possible. To accomplish this, in part, we use the site’s header function as a gallery of images taken from across the genre…and we want you to help build this gallery by submitting new images.

Continue reading “FHR Website Header – Submissions”

The Constant University

The Constant University is an erratically updated repository for the meta-narratice weird fiction, poetry and photography of FHR admin Dan Hunt.

The Constant University is an erratically updated repository for the weird fiction, poetry and photography of FHR admin Dan Hunt. The stories held within are less about telling a narrative than building a world and, in the same way that the inhabitants of our own world dream their dreams independently of one another, these fragments are of a whole yet separate.

I remember how it started, lined up tightly in the alleys and closes across the road. It was early morning. I was cold. Water trickled down from a leaking gutter, splashing onto my jerkin. The Ballivo made some kind of speech. I didn’t understand much of it apart from ‘charge’ and we pushed forward to storm the gates. The old locks splintered easily under the hammers of the leading men and we tumbled through, onto the boulevard.

And that’s when it all went so horribly, horribly wrong…

This is a place of bustling markets and haunted libraries, of sewers that teem with rustling things, of distant lights in fog, of murder, of sorrow and of half-human howls echoing over endless moors.

https://constantuniversity.wordpress.com/