Cracking Sugar in Heaven


I’ve just discovered the poems of Rumi embarrassingly late in life.

And the line  “The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar as we laugh together, you and I.” reminded me of these beautiful parrots from the great fireplace at Hospitalfield House. I understand there is a family connection to the name Parrott at Hospitalfield so this is probably a little visual joke.

I just like parrots (even when they’re really goblins).



Mowlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (I hope I have this right; there seem to be a number of ways of spelling his name) was a Persian 13th-century  poet. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the “most popular poet” and the “best selling poet” in the United States, among Muslims and indeed, many people. (From Wikipedia)

A Moment Of Happiness

A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

Cracking sugar in heaven sounds like pleionexia to me. I must do a sculpture about it.

And while we’re thinking about birds and Hospitalfield House, here’s another gem.


There is a delicious alabaster carving of a mother hen and her brood.


If you look carefully there is more to this sculpture than the maternal solicitude of the hen to her chicks. I noticed this spectacular act of small scale violence.


A chick tearing into a locust.

By the way, I didn’t come up with that polished little gem about the small scale violence. I stole it from Paul Taylor. In his  Dutch Flower Painting, 1600-1720  Taylor describes the caterpillar’s destruction of the fruit and foliage in these paintings as acts of ‘small scale violence’. The utopia of the harmonious still life, painted in immaculate and beautiful detail is  haunted by an underlying image of ‘danger and uncontrol’.

You just can’t get away from it. Pleionexia is ubiquitous.

I’ll have to do a sculpture about that as well.


Er – I just have.

About pennimania

Artist, entomologist, grumbler.
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