Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Friday, 27 July 2018


On heatwave days, we tend to gravitate to the beach.
Guernsey's beaches are many and each is distinctly different in character. 
The bay at Bordeaux, where I live, is  particularly pleasing with its views of the islands, Herm, Jethou and Brecqhou, and the many small boats that grace these waters.
I've always been drawn to the sea-shore and, in my younger days in Northern Ireland, spent many a happy hour watching sail-boats gliding towards their destination powered only by the natural force of the wind.  


A small blue boat with neat red sail
is moving slowly as we sit,
two figures, huddled, pasty-pale,
together on a sandy spit.

We watch its progress, tall sail, bright,
so reminiscent of a kite ...
a childhood thing, my pride and joy.

I went, on windy days, for sport,
eager, like any other boy,
to fly it near the ruined fort.
It sailed breathtakingly above,
free, yet restrained: somehow like love.

Saturday, 21 July 2018


Our recent trip to the UK was a delight and the vast tracts of open countryside were a refreshing change from the spatial limitations of our small island. 
We enjoyed visiting historic buildings, old churches and characterful villages and relished the chance to encounter wildlife not native to Guernsey. 
Whilst we saw less than we had hoped for, we did experience one close encounter with deer and the daily presence of spectacular Red Kites, in both Monmouthshire and the Cotswolds.
We twice encountered a fox. Within minutes of our disembarking the ferry at Poole and again, two months later, as we drove to the port for our return journey.  
Could it have been the same fellow?
Lean, watchful but largely unconcerned, he glanced at us and hurried on. He had the look of a fallen prince about him and we wished him well.



Fox, on the grass, swept before his brush
as though his threadbare shape were rubbish,
hurries then pauses, 

scenting what?

Man, of course,
whose heavy boots 

tramped that way this afternoon,
bearing his entitlement
like a weapon.

Sunday, 15 July 2018


I'm no photographer: such talent as I have is solely with the written word. Nevertheless I click away and later wonder how all those clever, arty shots that I planned have evolved into such bland and lifeless images when viewed on screen. 
The joy of digital photography is that it allows people like me to delete naff pictures in much the same way as doctors are able to bury their mistakes. 
Back in the old pre-digital era, we waited days for our snaps to be developed then marvelled that we'd managed to capture any likenessess at all.
My family photos rarely ended up in albums. Instead, they were consigned to a series of biscuit-tins and stored under the bed or in the attic, not to be revisited unless I was prepared for the sad recognition that the past really is a different country.



The tin is packed full to the brim,
with photographs in musty layers
like autumn leaves and, on a whim,
I pick it up and go downstairs,
begin to sift through and unearth
my other selves, six decades worth. 

Child, adult, parent, here am I,
alarming hair, bell-bottom jeans,
wide suit-lapels, a kipper tie:
the faux pas of my middle-teens,
while, further back, in monochrome,
an infant with a hairless dome.

How sad these vanished, other selves:
the awkward kids, the dapper chaps,
that lie exposed when someone delves
into this box of fading snaps.
In every photograph I see
my unimportant history.

Monday, 9 July 2018


The village of Ramsden is located in Oxfordshire, mid-way between Woodstock and Burford, and lies in a picturesque valley on the south-eastern edge of the Cotswolds, one of the most 'quintessentially' English parts of the country.
Ramsden comprises a collection of lovingly-maintained old stone houses, a village school, sadly no longer operational, and a parish church and churchyard with yew trees and ancient stones.
In the centre of all this stands an impressive War Memorial.
Turquoise Sky, from my Stone Witness collection, is a tribute to the brave men who sacrificed their lives in 'the war to end all wars'. 


The child's eyes are full of fear. He sees
light subtly altered, fields pulsating red.
Be a brave soldier, his mother soothes
and tucks him back in bed.

His father's eyes are full of fear. He yells,
Get ready, Men! Men tremble in the pit
then go over the top, following his shout:
soldiers in dirty khaki kit.

No time for words or thoughts of home.
Only a moment to glance upwards and spy
something silver falling towards him
out of a turquoise sky.