The rim of the moon has been unevenly peeled away like a burl beneath a wood-workers plane. The clouds drift in front of it like something out of a film, dark and slow, with just enough space between them to signify a silent story being told.
A small witch hangs against my window, looking out. She is a kitchen witch but I know she prefers her current place, where she can see the buses and the people below and judge the tides based on the flights of the gulls.
I know that Halloween is coming. I can feel it expand inside me like the scent of bread when it is rising, the warm aroma of long dead grains coming back to life. Today I filled two old whisky bottles with coloured water and placed them in the windowsill. I peeled off the labels but on one I left the face and antlers of a deer. I wanted to see them glow golden when the sun was strongest.
The days are still too long to warrant lighting the candles. I will wait until I know it is time. There will be a smell in the air of dying leaves, or the earth underfoot will take on a softness that precedes winter’s stubborn hold. I will place the candles behind the bottles and lower another behind the beady eyes of the green man. Still more will sit surrounded by coloured glass, two red holders and another multi-coloured. Two hanging lanterns -one small and green and another black and hollow like a bucket, with intricate designs carved through it that cast flickering shadows on the walls.
The blackberries are coming into season, those phantom cousins of the jolly raspberry. All over Britain the apple harvest is being celebrated, and people are looking with greater longing at the heavy cheeses in their pantries.
Summer is a fleeting time, weeks when life juggles madly to do it all, to ram youth and lust in a bag together and let friction do the work. Autumn is the wry, matronly smile, that “I told you so” that judges and forgives in one instant before turning back to the stove.
The clouds have abandoned their webbed drifting before the moon and have collapsed into a single, fat line that crawls low along the horizon like a snake. The moon is an unblinking eye, part of a face so vast I will never see it, its features a collection of moving memories, of all those we have lost.
The hill at Snurrom
10 hours ago