On a still fall day, I walk through the woods near the river. The sun is out and this makes the birch bark shine in white vertical swipes on a background of dun and green. The river is every shade of blue, capped with white horses beneath a sky of mare’s tails.Continue reading “Piece of My Heart by Mitchell Toews”
Clutching my holdall, I slipped into the chantry of an early fifteenth-century chapel. It was late at night, and the only light in the chapel was provided by half a dozen flickering candles that created disturbing shadows on the walls. I was interested in the tomb of a medieval knight and his lady and although I had never felt comfortable in the presence of death, even in the daylight hours, if I had come during the day, I would have been spotted by the sacristan and asked to leave.Continue reading “The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place by Tony Dawson”
Here we are at week 259. This is seemingly a momentous and historic week for Britain as we’re now out of The European Union.
I thought this would be a good topic for today’s posting. I could explore cause, economics, identities, the effect for future story writers and much more. But here’s the thing. I don’t give a cats cock!
I had a look to see if there was anything interesting that happened 259 years ago.
I’m a packrat from the word go, have been since I was a kid, even these days people see me in my daily walks, stop, retrieve some object from street or gutter, and stick it in my pocket.
For history and legend sakes, certain attributes, character traits if you will, have to be appointed here at the beginning of This old house (B. 1742), home for more than half a century of my life, and This old room, dressed with computer by me for the last 28 years. Yet I swear thick-cut Edgeworth pipe tobacco bears its welcome as strong as my grandfather’s creaking chair, diminutive Johnny Igoe’s chair. This most memorable compartment was also his room for 20 years of literate cheer, storied good will, the pleasantries of expansive noun and excitable verb, and his ever-lingering poems, each one a repeated resonance, a victory of sound and meaning and the magic of words. Yet be of stout spirit, for the chair mocks time only in the clutch of darkness thick as the eternal void, and the tobacco’s no longer threatening in its gulp.
Day closed in around me, and the night that followed, reverie and recompense fighting for equal space, or so it seemed, for hours on end. I had come down the road for about 30 miles, my car loaded with a good assemblage of scrap wood from packing crates, the heft and feel of each piece hanging on my fingertips, like echoes on the rebound; you know, the kind that refuse to let you sleep, wondering what tree in what forest a man with a purring chain saw in his hand had figured to be good enough for cutting. Their images were locked up tight for me: I had cut wood in the state forest for six years at that point and tree selection had never bothered me, winter warmth with odds had grabbed me from slumber, working with my saw, the split logs in stacks growing each day in measureable cords.
“All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful
The Lord God…”
“I was told I should report here. What do you need me to do?”
“Shovels are over there, buckets are behind you. Dig or help carry it away.”
“Each little flower that opens
Each little bird that sings…”
“I’m sorry Mrs Jones but you’ll have to move back. They’re going as fast as they can.”
“I just need to know if Tommy is OK. He is OK isn’t he? He said he was feeling sick this morning but you know what they are like on last day of school…”