Sunday, 16 November 2008


Right now the sun is rising, a faint yellow lustre between the parted lips of banks of grey clouds. A pursed mouth that lets through enough glare to turn the bare branches of the trees into silhouettes. Say: I am dark, even in the day.

When I start to write I do not think I write for you. I write because words are like clicks in a combination lock and if I lay them out or spray them or let them fall…just so…with the stresses placed here or there like a balancing the wings of an enormous teeter-totter, then ten thousand mysteries will collapse into alignment and the gate will unlatch, the door will open, the way will be made clear.

So I try to think of ways of describing the entire world. From every angle, using every word from every language. Put down the rudimentary pencil sketch and step away from the hippopotamus. Or, we ran to each other like small children after the last piece of chocolate. But in Romanian. Am fugit pentru fiecare place alte mici copii după ultima ciocolata.

I am in love. This has been said before but somehow this line’s familiar rhythm is worth spreading out again, or caulking into gaps where our spirits may be shaky, in need of substance. It is worth describing the sky over and over. And it is worth telling you that my fingers delight in leaving the latch undone on a Sunday night. It feels like leaving crumbs for hungry birds - this way, this way.

When you give the day to poetry, you have mined the recesses of your experience and extracted diamonds. It does not matter if all you have to do today is to have a shower and make soup, or if instead you have to clamour through noise and dodge the pitfalls that block your path with such regularity you would think life is a game of hopscotch, unfairly constructed. What matters is that at some point, you will become aware of one thing, completely. Perhaps the tips of your fingers will suddenly feel like the nubs of some great instrument, with which you can construct, destruct, create the world in colour. Or your eyes will meet the gaze of a sparrow, who will tilt its head and spy you with such curiosity that you will laugh and frighten it away. The moment will stretch inside you, fullness and longing creating a canyon of vapour and light, a place for the ultimate sensation of buoyancy.

These are the moments that make us, when our natural playfulness is woven with a wordless understanding, the silent nod to the abyss. When we have loosened the knots that bind us inside ourselves, shed the reassuring ropes of our insecurities, and just…loved. For no reason but to rub ourselves against it like sun-warmed animals rolling over earth and rock, against tree bark and fur, lost in the ecstasy of friction.

The world outside is brightening, the clouds are thinning and fanning out as if they were guilty to leave any part of the sky to its brazen blue parade without giving it at least a gentle caress.

I leave to attempt to construct a universe out of fragments of scent. Fresh bread (yeasty and warm), carrot and ginger soup(sweet, with a peppery twist), vegetarian chilli(cumin, oregano and the acidity of tomatoes), corn bread (plugged with extra chillies), a soup of roasted parsnips (spiced with coriander, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds), baked apples (with the juice of an orange and a scoop of apricot jam to add sweetness) topped with crunchy, cinnamon-laced oatmeal. Into all of this I may let seep the aroma of strong coffee.

They have a saying in Scotland, which can be used as a somewhat cheeky, almost “aw, shucks” kind of phrase, or as an audacious bellow of support. Either way you may need to hear it, today I say to you: Gaun yersel.
Gaun yersel.


Jacqui L said...

You have such originality and talent, perceiving that which is commonplace to many and transforming it into something magical.

C.S. Perry said...

"The Brazen Blue Parade" where every seat is a good one and all the floats go by on your street and you can see it all any time you want.
I's the same sky here that hangs above you over there. That's a wealth than can't be insured and is inexhaustible no matter how much we try to spend it.

Anonymous said...

"Put down the rudimentary pencil sketch and step away from the hippopotamus."
This line made me sit up a little straighter.
Gaun yersel Beet.

Marcheline said...

At last, someone who is as in love with doors as I am!

And someone who will appreciate my word verification for this comment:


One of those words that is not part of our vocabulary, but should be.