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Words: Mark Erickson

Photograph: Jordan Baylon


"Like all real things, poetry is content before form."


JJ baylon


Standing in reverie of Nature


A Creative look at the nature of Creativity.

It is divided into eight sections: The Edifice, Fooling Around, The Process, Judgement, A Parable, Digression, The Search, and The Mark.


Daily ritual @ Earthlink

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A Neighbourhood Block party

Dippa Kunda.  We arrive, and of course we are early.  So we wait in the living room of a student’s relatives house.  Which relative you ask? who’s to say.  After an hour of watching BBC, we hear drumming. Thinking it has started without us, I ask my student if we should go out.  He says no, it’s still too early, they are drumming to tell the neighbourhood that the event is about to begin.  We wait a little longer, then make our way to the street.

It’s a dance off.  Before the show officially begins, the children seize the moment to practice their moves unashamedly on the open dance floor, and have their hand at the drums.  This was equally as entertaining as the main event… these kids can move.

The drums pound out a seemingly improvised yet cohesive rhythm, and the crowd starts to bounce.  The show has begun.  

Individuals shoot out of their seats, one by one, to steal their moment in the circle.  Others give praise by shoving money in the dancers mouth and clothes. This is how they gain street cred, no doubt.  Half way through we are given a cup of Baobab juice with banana and coconut, yummers.

So this is a Gambian style block party.  What a privilege it was to be there.


Basse:  Rural - Urban Shift


Rurality : The Hut

Thatched mud huts are beautiful things.  They will be built and can last for ages, but in the blink of an eye they can disappear with no trace.  

When it is decided that a hut shall be no more, the mud brick walls are torn down, pounded in to rubble, then the monsoon rains return the rubble to the soil from whence it came.  The thatching from the roof is simply thrown back to the fields, burnt, or finda second life as a fence.  


A new roof after the millet harvest when there is fresh stalks, making mud brick during or just after the wet season when there is plenty of water available. There is a simple elegance in its lifecycle, in tune with the seasons and the harvest.  

(photo and drawing done in Basse, The Gambia)


Alliance Francaise

A sketch of my favourite spot for lunch, Alliance Francaise.  for 40D you can get a delicious plate of Benechin (Tuesdays) or Domoda (Fridays).  It’s a great place to people watch and to find some quiet time between me and my sketchbook.