I dreamt I woke to the sound of cathedral bells amongst the rain and wind. Wild storms and echoing clatter, grey memories of music on the white noise radio. Our new neighbour, Mrs. Jackdaw, took a spiral walk in the empty field neigbouring the village where we seemed to live. Which way now? I wished I knew, woke up to a winter storm and no electric power, the half-light of early morning reality, a car alarm in the distance.
Oh, what happened to melancholy and silence? What happened to being out of touch, to listening to the curlews in the distance, to quiet conversations and the wind in the trees? Whirled music and aeolian harps sing their song; you improvise over edited improvisations and do not seem aware of the contradictions.
I shut my eyes and consider all the white finds here in the personal dark. Sooner or later a voice interrupts.
I am a devout believer in antisocial media. I am not here.
Twin spires stand trial again, outrageous as it may sound. Spires not spies, painted with blistered tongues. Didn’t hear about the fainting eyes or yawning ears? It’s all in the hands of a rickety conspiracy theorist worried about purity. There is only one spire and no one here has ever heard of Nietzsche.
Why are they being tried? Because solitude is unholy, besides there is only one. All this ruckus over a piece of architecture? That’s why it’s abandoned.
Is that a sigh or a hiccup? There’s no diagnosis. There’s only stalling.
THE SMELL OF AUTUMN
Impossible to write about: too familiar and too unknown. Impossible to remember although we know it so well.
Each year the leaves finally fall from the oak and bury the lawn. Each year twigs and branches descend before we pile them up to burn.
Wood smoke. Wet grass. Grey light. Short evenings. Bonfires. Damp.
I shut my eyes and breathe in.
It is easy enough to conjure palaces or public houses from the ruins of place, but harder to populate them with anything other than ill-defined ghosts. The phantoms who may or may not have once lived here, leave little trace: a single photograph pinned to the wall, a newspaper cutting yellowed beyond readability, a rusting tin of food, packets that turn to dust if touched. Perhaps a ring or body in a bog, the worn language of a gravestone. At the most.
Lost in overcast cartography of the imagination I succumb to the grey mood of low cloud. Let me introduce you to Jessup Tyre, Phillip Jackdaw, Malcolm Moll, Dr. Nitisho-Sanchez, Bill from the pub, and others I may or may not recall or know. Each day, mail from those I have never met, arrives in my inbox: I have ongoing conversations with so many friends.
Low cloud, low pressure, arriving storms, hurt my head. I am susceptible to weather, to whether or not you are here. Messrs Evans, Harris, Robinson and West, be my imaginary friends. Learn to live in the world I have created, the places that once were or might have been.
High tide brings wind and rain. Wind and rain push the river higher, back the tide up the creek, over the harbour wall, onto the local news. A tourist and his family run into the sea across the flickering television screen, ready to swim, to drown. The waters never totally subside; light in the northern territories never truly fades. I have a ringing in my ears.
© Daniel Y. Harris & Rupert M. Loydell