pulling your leg (15/July/18)

strange and disturbing dreams, should I be surprised?… nope, when are they not one or the other… or both?…… it’s quiet… too quiet… not really, just pulling your leg, trying to inject an air of mystery, drama, whatever into this piece of prosery… ‘suppose I’ve blown that now…… “pulling your leg”, now there’s a curious idiom, its origins are still a mystery though theories abound none of which are proven and even some utterly implausible, though it may come from something to do with distraction… and anyway, I like quiet, though when I really put my ear to it it’s not actually over-quiet at all… a goldfinch is trickling away from a treetop somewhere, a car further back in the soundscape motors past, the collared dove as well coo-cooing and most likely flying his usual circle around and over the garden from one perch at one end to another, a telephone pole, at the other, keeping a watchful eye, watchful dark eyes which have a tendency to give it an expression of friendly, benign but are in fact fiercely territorial against others of their ilk protecting its patch whose edges only it can discern…… of course there’s the usual noise in my ear/ head/ somewhere inside there anyway, my internal variations on their own incessant theme… the odd jackdaw ca(w)lls too, inevitable as there are so many and even more since mass fledging…. I think I hear the sea, or might be the leaves lolling in the breeze and bothering branches or it could just be the air, the sound of air wilful and free teasing the trees, ruffling feathers, seeping through open windows… of course it’s the sound of air you dolt, how else do you think sound makes sound… and tick-tock, the subtle harangue of the clock, time vanishing, dissolving, sloughing, shedding, or even shredding….

© 2018 robert greig

ever am or ever can (1/June/18)

listen
it took it’s time but got here in the end
was it worth the wait?
we’ll see
will it cool the air?
we’ll see
the plants will be pleased but maybe not so much the birds, feathers fluffed and sheltering beneath a tiny leaf, huddled over newly-laid or newly-hatched eggs… I’m pleased, or as pleased as I ever am or ever can be as the rain rinses the molecules thickened by the heat that had congealed into a mass of unmoving parts and hung, or slumped, so still…
so still…
earlier in the day it was as though the wind had been arrested, consigned to solitude and forbidden to propagate its talents ever again, it’s absence hung like decades-old, musty drapes… or had it been quietly shattered into a million whispers swallowed up by gravity… echoes of remembering lingering
stranded…
the air was stranded, washed-up, bleached, baked, seasoned beyond reason, become cloying, vacant, wanting, itself running out of… air…
listen
and now the rain
washing down the light to puddle and to leach away down into the soil bringing worms and slugs and snails and all their ilk to the surface in a topsy-turvy revelry.. drips become a meditation…
a mantra…
one continuous unrepeated phrase recited newly-born as though by heart, by rote, habit, routine… it got here in the end and I for one am pleased, or as pleased as I ever am or ever can be…

© 2018 robert greig

across the bridge and back (7/May/18)

you never really know a bridge until you’ve walked across it… and back… both sides of its personality, above the below, bridging the gap, nothing spiritual, just A to B, B to A, and perhaps the occasional “wow”…… I have my favourite packhorse bridge in Cumbria where I used to live, one which I crossed almost every day, there and back, over its little hump, slowing down for the bend on the approach and the bend out, while underneath the river almost a mirror, of the road… a crossing that from above might look almost like a ‘X’… sometimes crossing it more than once in a day as there was only one road into the valley and one road out… usually by car but on my day-off often on foot when I’d make a point of aiming for the bridge which was like crossing it was when I’d left the valley proper even though I was still in the valley though heading down and down alongside the rough and tumble of an almost strangulated river so narrow it was, not quite a single leaps-worth narrow, maybe two or three, or fours at its widest…… the bridge forced you to slow down in any vehicle being a squirmy shape, bending on, bending off, making damn sure you knew you were crossing a bridge and don’t take it for granted…… but walking is the best way, to experience it as it’s meant to be, underfoot… raised above the hubbub below in winter and in high summer, akin to a whisper, telling its stories over and over like a record on repeat and if you listen hard enough, stop and listen like you’ve never listened before, you might, just might, maybe, perhaps, but not likely hear what they’re saying…. or you might but… it’s not for your ears, my ears, we aren’t so organically-tuned to its finery of words but… but… you may just about get the sense of what might be being mumbled and muttered in far-a-gone tones…… I live near a new bridge now, not new exactly, it’s been here for years, so have I though not as long as the bridge as that would make me older than older, nor is the bridge older than the packhorse one which is so old it came to look like it had grown there and not been built, but a new one nevertheless that I regularly walk across and back… and its much huger than the other, hugely so and not quite as modest…. it also talks, has lots of voices, things to say, but that’s enough for now and a story for another time……… …

© 2018 robert greig