Fruit cage

Fieldfares flutter its fine netting maddened by the scented air, their hard eyes looking for holes to squeeze through into this open-air larder where currants and berries lie plump, bright as jewels under the green leaves.

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Swimming for England (complete)

“And time passes, it is only life itself that never changes – when we are all gone the clouds, the gone the clouds, the stars, the cities will still bustle and hum with no thoughts at all for who lived for a bit and then disappeared.” John Hickman, 1960 Chapters The Bosphorus Page 3 Alcatraz […]

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Working party iii

A lane pulling away between fields laid low with winter wear. The village men and women out in January weather, their boots clocking hours against the road, raking hay and plastic out of the verge their spades cutting places for thorn and hazel.   The wind coming in and the lines of rain on the wind, everyone bends to digging […]

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West Country architecture ii

The Milking Parlour, Sharcott They built the parlour in ’35, with new machines for evacuating udders. Whatever would they think of next? Four farm workers stood there on that first morning, wincing at the hospital tiles, remarking on how the floor lent bounce to the lowing, the inside streams of yellow piss so unseemly. It […]

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Suzerain

All March practising marksmanship, the plink of lead pellets against the upturned wheel barrow: plink. The target’s bruised centre, the barrow dimpled by spent pellets – shining catastrophes flat against its steel. Seen though cross hairs April is precision greens and browns, all the wind blow and flagging skies reduced to one intersection, a thin black centre. Plink. I […]

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Notes on overnight walk around Salisbury Plain

On the night of September 26/27 my friend John Clark and I walked 30 miles to raise money for two refugee charities. More information on the walk, including a radio interview I did with BBC Wiltshire radio, can be found here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/212hR4/ab/b59ZP4 These are my notes of the experience: John and I leave by the garden […]

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Easter iv

After communion, the little congregation scattered to roasting tins and claret we climb the church tower, one father and his two sons, stone steps screwing us heavenwards, the tower stinking of winter, its four bells hanging in a bat chamber like green bombs, their detonators fouled with bad years. Upwards! The screw tightens us up […]

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