these songs were begun one winter

After following some intriguing big arrows from Broadway Market in London Fields I randomly came across an awesome art exhibition back in December called ‘These Songs Were Begun One Winter’ which featured the work of a very talented lady called Caitlin Hinshelwood and some of her equally talented friends.

The exhibition was inspired by a poem of the same name by Brian Patten and has in turn inspired a song which I have just recorded also of the same name.

The poem can be found in Brian Patten’s Collected Love Poems (published by Harper Perennial). Here is the link to buy it from Amazon –

Caitlin will hopefully be doing some illustrations for modifythevan’s website and perhaps even some artwork for me in the future. Happy days. You can see more of her work at and


This song was begun underneath the thumb
Of one who’s thickened by the cold
Listless, longer, bolder than perhaps he ought to be
Forgive quiet and then lie down here lengthways on the floor
Hoping that the blood with flow again

Easily forgot, what was lifted first felt
An anchor to the blood
Howling at the moon as the stars are falling fast
Leaves Wind Earth and Rain
We look forward to look back

These songs were begun one winter
On a window thick with frost her finger drew
A map of all possibilities