The Last Post

Most things end up in envelopes, from neatly cut hair to ill-fitting shoes. It’s something in the quality of paper – neither colour nor texture, nor even weight, but an aspect akin to the intake of breath one makes after a promise which one both knows to be impossible to fulfil and, at the same time, knows to be the most important undertaking in a brief life full of small things – that will ultimately draw every tangible object and notion to its anonymous comfort. The obvious analogues are numerous – star and satellites, flower and hive, poem and predator, empty sky and burning metal – while implications and interpretations are less certain: bullets, babies, bandages, and professional boxers have all been in the frame but are frequently overlooked on the grounds of postal policies and political expediency. The glue – and I cannot stress this enough – the glue is irrelevant. So, when those familiar shapes whisper onto Edwardian tiles that no one has noticed in years, they could contain anything, from dried blood to burnt blankets, lost wedding rings, or whole families scarred with hope and unimaginable fear. Most, though, will just contain bombs. Take a breath. Be careful.




Oz Hardwick

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