All posts tagged: prose

the gods and the grasses (may diary)

we are such forest-trees, and our fair boughs have bred forth, not pale solitary doves but eagles golden-feathered, who do tower above us in their beauty, and must reign in right thereof; for ’tis the eternal law that first in beauty should be first in might somewhere between the gods and the grasses, the horse-chestnuts are flowering. the trees are all in candle, lemon curd and blush, and each inflorescence illuminates in the storm scattered light that rushes above us. brilliance brushes branches. eventually, each bloom will transform into their own conker, in the autumn, when the countryside once again grows cold, mist-covered. but, for now, it is May! and a showy clematis is climbing up the trellises of the thatched roof cottage, with the stained glass roses, to whom this garden belongs. and, at the bottom of the hill, if you will, you can scramble over a fence, hop over a stream, and then, you’ve found your way to the edge of the woods. dandelion wishes, ginger beer in glass bottles, i’ve a picnic, …

silver bells and drooping stars

the fading constellations are far away freckles, the dawn stretches the night’s skin thin, draws the curtains on the last of the cascading lyrids. and then, a circling chariot. the light turns to amber, dripping gold, it’s a honey-speckled morning. the clouds are silver lined, a revolving speedwell rising. i’ll bundle blackthorn, hang hawthorn at the door, light and dark brought together and then tethered, perhaps they’ll bless the coming year. their petals are as delicate as mulberry silk, they’ll tear between my fingertips. i’ve silver bells, and drooping stars, and the wind is carrying along with it May, which is now weaving its whispering way through the wavering wisteria that has draped itself all over my neighbours house. sunshine, showers. an oak leaf umbrella offers supposed shivering shelter from the rain. i spot bluebells like lanterns strewn about in the shade. do you see how springtime sings life into colour, pulls at the seams of things, stirs skeletons from slumber? puddles and gutters become silvery streams and tributaries, or else tiny swirling storming seas, …

under starry vaults and sails

under a cupola and a willow tree i watch whispering couples holding hands and walking quietly around cloister gardens. all i can hear is the sound of the wind, and from time to time, sunday service cathedral choirs singing latin hymns, or else chanting their sacred devotions, under starry vaults and sails. for a moment, i’m crying, it’s surprising. in the courtyard, the cherry plums are small, and crooked, sharp branches sparkling with sap, like frosted sugar crystals, petals as snow.

where the willow meets the water

a walk in the park, a picnic on the hill, there are bluebells growing in the shade, birds building nests where the willow meets the water. the wind still has a touch of winter to it, i think, pale white cherry plum petals falling like snow. i lie down on the grass, daisies and dandelions dotted about, they’re drinking up the sun. the touch of now-not-quite-as-cold earth against crinkled coat against chiffon the colour of april rain clouds against bare skin. i drink the last of my karak tea, pull the hat over my eyes, see speckled light through woven straw sparkling, and once more, allow my thoughts their drifting, as they might decide. to love and loss and longing, and then to language and what might lie beyond all that, key to the cage or else divine diaphanous veil or maybe it’s all just easy enchantment. i’m so very uncertain about a lot, these days, but one thing i do know is that if i don’t have faith in there being some sort of …

lemon drop daffodils

enchanted, frightened, in equal measure. eloi, eloi. edges of the wild, evergreens, powerlines. a little too old-fashioned, english girl impractically nostalgic. abalone shells as altar of eros, ink stained fingers planting tomatoes and irises. foxgloves, forget-me-nots, pressed into the pages of heavy books and forgotten forever. feed the hummingbirds before breakfast, they’ll hover about the kitchen window, sing the songs that appear as they wish. mint tea in a mason jar, mountain on my chest. eloi, eloi. march 2019: saturday evening. lemon drop daffodils, saint julian’s day, heavenly protector of wanderers far from home and looking to find safe lodging. old man’s beard, traveller’s joy. english pear scented candles crackle. shadow and glow. earlier this afternoon*, probably the last of this winter’s snow, although it was eleven degrees and i don’t entirely understand how. tonight, though, now, raindrops race one another from the top to the bottom of my apartment windows. lavender’s burning, lilac perfume. a spoonful of elderberry syrup, a two cup teapot, i fall asleep under stars on the ceiling. the next morning, and …

winter bells

diary, last week of february, 2019.   catch alsophila aescularia in a mason jar. cirrocumulus clouds above you, baby’s breath in your hair. the sky is almost the same colour now as the persian speedwell that’s scattered about everywhere, and a bumblebee is hovering sleepily about bethlehem sage. it’s the first you’ve seen this year. set out a teaspoon of sugar water. an unusually mild february. everything is waking up early. * the sun is on your shoulders. you’ve jasmine petals in your pockets, and winter bells helleborus, too. watch as a blackbird plucks red berries from a holly bush, one, after another, after another. ** “there are snowdrop valleys and swiss mountain trains and by-the-wind sailors and sweet peas sprouting second leaves, there are children with clattering cans chasing bad spirits back into the ocean, the blackthorns are blossoming and they’re guarded by…” – what are you going to do? *** the sea is not a surface. you have called the gods by their names, and now they form within us.

cormorant, celestia.

diary 10/02/19: 1- cormorant. celestia. a neighbour’s budding magnolia. fuzz, tepal, whorl. waiting for april, all of them. or early may. well. i am too. petals falling to the pavement on a springtime day. i close the rusty garden gate. it swings shut behind me. 2- the steps to the beach are steep and mossy. approach cautiously. solsbro. seaway. 3- i’m the sort of person that sees signs everywhere. spirit, salt, sailor. a compass on the pavement. sacred, sacred, sacred, and why shouldn’t i believe in magic? 4- the Grand Hotel is grey and ghostly with its tearooms and towers and spiral staircases. disused, mostly. i’ve a fondness for near-forgotten, or faded places. there’s a rainbow over the railway bridge. stories untold. 5- i make it to the beach, and the wind is sweeping seaweed like it’s tumbling russian thistle and i’m watching waves crashing and exploring little rock-pools, i’m looking for crabs, sea glass, oyster shells too (a pearl or a chest or a leviathan or two) but there are three men, better prepared …

superluminal

01/27/19 the magazine i’ve been reading suggests that i choose between: option 1. cyclical chiral accretion, contraction, cohesion. option 2. entanglement, error-correcting code. option 3. i don’t suppose i could ever really know.   if my mother hadn’t had four children, she’s always said that she would’ve liked to have become an astronomer. my father’s guitars, my mother’s love of the stars, telescopes and cups of tea. and then, somewhere in the middle, there’s me.  kansas city’s auyon mukharji is singing silk and sticky spun sugar, clay and cast iron. a gale blows over, and then breaks, the birdfeeder, slams heavy wooden doors shut, lessens for a little while and then strengthens again. somewhat similarly, my thoughts go speeding. sunday morning superluminality, but i did have birthday cake for breakfast. victoria sponge, two iced and caffeinated coffees, clementine juice.

hyacinthine

approaching daybreak, and once again the snow that was falling has turned to rain and my hyacinth heart bursts from flower to flame, petals as blood, it is always the same.       i’ve been reading about cladonia cristatella, and white-striped parasol scilla. in less than a month, i am going to be 28. i’ll either take myself to paris on a train, or else i’ll drive to see hopefully thousands of snowdrops, again, there’s a special walk you can do around the gardens of a grand old house near to where my father’s studio used to be, they’ve dozens and dozens of different breeds. things that don’t help me fall asleep: the silmarillion, valerian tea, worrying.

preston sands

it’s rather a windy mid-january day, and i am in torbay, wandering about the rolling cliffside gardens of a fading 19th century mansion. celandine, winter heliotrope, snowdrops, snapdragon, there are several wooden benches too, for sitting down and admiring the view, and there’s a particularly ornate, but switched off, water fountain, weather-worn ancient sea gods and sirens, still proud, but paint peeling. there’s even a crocus or two, though they’re not yet in full bloom. all about me, dew drops are clinging to every blade, and over the ocean, clouds and sunbeams alternate, shadows stretching and contracting. the sunlight fades, illuminates, and fades again, and on the horizon, there’s the distant, but eventual, promise of rain. i find my way to paignton’s preston sands, where stephanie tells me that each seventh wave is the strongest. there are strandline seashells of every sort, washed up onto shore. whelk, whorled, silver striped and slipper limpets, all caught in the rippling ribbons and ridges of shale and shingle saltation, sea-polished cobble and perfectly spherical pebbles aplenty.  a black …