Thoughts & Sketches

Heaven is a Rockpool

This poem was inspired after a fab rock-pooling adventure with the guys at The Rockpool Project and features on their website. . .

Mel Cross Artist

Heaven is a Rockpool . . .

I feel it whirlpool-swirling somewhere deep inside me,

the magic of the rockpool.

Every time it is the same.

It pulls me in and swallows me up into its magic.

This tiny world where all things seem brighter.


Grey thoughts disappear,

pain fades,

worries dissolve,

as if dispersed by the swirling of a watery-wand.


My edges begin to ripple as I slowly dissolve into the waves.


for that time,

I swim with the fish,

sway with the sea anemones,

and scuttle into the quiet solitude of the coal-black cracks with the crabs.


Silent and still in the precious pool of peace;

I am no longer my-self.

I wonder why this place,

this space,

takes all of me,

and wraps me gently in its light-filled beauty.

This transient world teeters on the threshold of its own existence.

Its inhabitants held for a moment,

as it holds me,

hardly daring to breathe for fear of disturbing the preciousness of this,




I wonder why it moves and mesmerises,

transporting me somewhere else,

somewhere I feel I know,

and have always known.

Somewhere fathoms deep inside.


The heartbeat of the ocean pulses and swells green-blue,

seeming somehow to pulse and pump my own heart,

my own blood,

swirling salt-filled memories of ‘before’.

It’s in my veins.

It’s in all of me.

Each cell awakening to its ancestors,

its memory of ‘before’.

The ‘before’ of purity,

of nature,

of belonging.

Of interconnection across worlds,

across species,

across time.

Back and back and back to a Oneness;

a swell where we all swam together.


A memory of the ocean’s womb holding life ‘before’.

Before humankind,

with its infinite wis-dumb,

believed itself to be apart and above,

separated by its own,





Plundering, polluting, depleting and poisoning his own mother;

believing her to be ‘resource’,

rather than the gifting birther of life itself.

The gift she will reclaim,

and fold back into herself,

if we do not listen.

Listen to the cry of every living heart, sap and wave-beat, calling us to remember.

Remember the unity of this beat,

the unity of the Oneness to which we all belong.


We all sit on the edge now.


But, in this moment,

I sit perched on the edge of the magical rockpool,

between time,

between worlds.


dissolved in this perfection,

I remember.

I remember the Oneness ‘before’.

And, as I look into the deep pools of the crab’s eyes,

I see myself looking back.

We are One and the same.


And as our bodies separate to the rhythm of the tides,

our worlds do not.

She sits in the crack of my heart;

of all hearts.

Broken through materialistic dismembering

healed only through sacred remembering.


One heart,

One world,

One home.


Heaven is a rockpool.


Working at The Convent – ‘The Perfect Storm’

As I begin to articulate my thoughts and ideas about creating work from the amazing space that is The Convent I’m finding I have a problem. The same problem I’m finding with my artwork.  It isn’t writer’s, or artist’s block.  It isn’t lack of ideas or inspiration.  It is the question, ‘Where the hell to begin?’!

To be given the opportunity to work within, and be inspired by, such an incredible space and place, brings me to a halt.  It is overwhelming, there is so much there to work with!  To begin with there is the history, the memories and the energy held within such a beautiful space and building – it oozes out of every tiny pore of the place.  The people who lived there, who prayed there, who died there.  The energy of endless prayer and intent and connection to God.  And now comes the music.  The people who visit the place, live there, create there, play there.  The endless energy of creativity.  And now art.  My art.  Waiting to and beginning to be created from connecting to all that was, and all that is, The Convent.  It has created the perfect storm for me.  Spirituality, music and art combined together in the same space.  This is what makes me tick…  All three coming from the same creative space of Infinite Potential.  The space of the Creative Spark.

For music, art and spirituality do not come from the mind, they come from the heart.  From the connection to all that is.  We can read all of the books, we can learn all of the skills, we can practice all we like.  But until what is held within the mind travels down to the heart and combines with creative potential it will not be truly creative.  It will be a projection of what the mind believes to be creative.  It will be a reconstituted repetition of that which has been experienced or produced before.  Until the heart and the empty space of creative potential has been brought into the mix it will lack something.  The vibration of authenticity.  You can’t quantify what this is.  It can’t be vocalised, rationalised, explained or documented.  There is no formula.  The vibration of authenticity comes from the heart, and can only be felt in the heart.  We may be able to describe in part what makes a piece of music or art authentic; but not fully.  We can sense it, we can hear or see it, and we know when it is there.  We also can sense when it is not.

For me the fascination is where this creativity takes place.  The empty space of Creative Potential.  The space in which I believe we also connect to the Divine.  Creative Potential – the place of infinite possibility…..

So this is where I am, pondering some hefty questions about life itself ….  As when you place a perfect storm into the mind of a creative for whom it suits, you can hear the explosion of thought for miles!  But once the dust settles and these thoughts travel to my heart and find the space which holds my creative potential, I know clarity of direction will emerge.  You see, it’s not lack of ideas – it’s too many!!  So until one idea triumphs I shall wrestle with them all!

The Chapel - The Convent - Mel Cross      The Chapel - The Convent - Mel Cross

‘Behind the line’ Exhibition 2015

Exhibition 2  Behind the Line Exhibition - Mel Cross  Behind the line exhibition  

My ‘Behind the Line’ exhibition was one which brought me many things to think about…  When is a work really finished?  Is it okay to exhibit experiments? Is it okay to exhibit extracts of sketchbooks?  Is it okay to exhibit written pieces alongside visual works?  What are the rules?….  I decided all of this was okay and created an exhibition showing processes, sketches, automatic writing and finished works all mixed with each other.  And to my delight it was really well received.  The ‘behind the scenes’ and  ‘inside the mind’ of an artist approach caused a great deal of discussion and debate, and really helped the not so confident or proficient explorers of art.  Everyone seemed to feel so much less intimidated and much more able to engage with and discuss all of the pieces of work… And this made me really happy.  To engage people who would not usually engage with art was a joy and an honour. Surely this is what we should all aim to do?  To encourage ordinary folk to explore and interact with art, rather than keep it as an exclusive ‘members only’ club.  Surely its better to expand ones audience and ones audience’s minds than it is to intimidate and alienate, which is so often the case with so many galleries.  As an artist it can often be intimidating, let alone if you are taking your first tentative steps into the world of Art…. So I say ‘balls’ to the rules, do it your own way and engage, engage, engage!!!