Friday, February 8, 2008


Rooted out in autumn
livid again in spring
the weed in the chimney stack

In the mail it is the elegant grey envelope that stands out. Expensive textured paper. I feel the weight of it and hold it up to the desk lamp. First class English stamp, still with a fresh faced queen. Home Counties post mark. Suddenly it all floods back. That bold extravagant scrawl. I place the envelope in the middle of the blotter, get up, and fix a drink; throw another log on the fire. The samurai paper knife is drawn fro its little wooden scabbard.

A hint of scent
this one
delicately slit

Two sheets of the same grey paper. That writing ! The long ascenders still sweep up through two lines. And those grand flourishes !

The swivel chair squeaks awkwardly. The Age of Art Nouveau, still in its slipcase. Plate 509 was a favourite of hers. “We can well imagine this dark green velvet gown in the setting of a Van de Velde drawing room”, says the caption. We can, my dear, we can. La Belle Époque. Lying on the facing page is the only remaining photo. So full of ourselves then; now only a shiny card. Yes, I remember that couple.

I place the photo inside the unread letter and look about my well lived study.

Field glasses case
in battered leather
its lid hangs open

I get up from my desk and go over to the fire. Suddenly the room feels chill… The smiles, the flourishes – now curling and crinkling in the flames. And then it’s all over.

Out of the darkness
wind chimes
made of bones

by Ken Jones
Aberystwyth, Wales

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