The sheep ran huddling together against the hurdles, blowing out thin nostrils and stamping with delicate fore-feet, their heads thrown back and a light steam rising from the crowded sheep-pen into the frosty air, as the two animals hastened by in high spirits, with much chatter and laughter. They were returning across country after a long day’s outing with Otter, hunting and exploring on the wide uplands, where certain streams tributary to their own River had their first small beginnings; and the shades of the short winter day were closing in on them, and they had still some distance to go. Plodding at random across the plough, they had heard the sheep and had made for them; and now, leading from the sheep-pen, they found a beaten track that made walking a lighter business, and responded, moreover, to that small inquiring something which all animals carry inside them, saying unmistakably, “Yes, quite right; this leads home!”Continue reading “Dulce Domum … it was good to think he had this to come back to, this place which was all his own”
A rip in the fabric of Time, unnerving but fascinating
It appeared as the third and last clock stopped its ticking. Steel saw it first, then Rob. Sapphire was also aware of its presence. It was a moving, flickering shape that appeared high up, near the apex of the end wall. It seemed, as first, to be a part of the wall texture itself. As if the plaster of the wall was shifting. Then it appeared to take on a series of quick, broken images. Robe felt that it looked like pieces of old and faded moving-film, except that these images were three-dimensional. Rob also thought that he heard, under the rumbling of the skin-like fabric, the sound of voices that seemed to squeal with laughter of pain, or both.
Sapphire nodded. ‘Time.’ She put her arm about Helen’s shoulders and drew the child close to her as she continued to address Rob. ‘You can’t see it. Only now and again. Perhaps a glimpse, that’s all. But even that is dangerous. Also, you cannot enter into Time.’ The smile left her face. In its place was the calm, cool look. It was a look that somehow helped to illustrate her theme. The look itself seemed ageless, as if the blueness, that she radiated, was somehow both the colour and the secret of time.
There were no large cupboards in the room, not even a wardrobe. Helen’s clothes were hung in a built-in unit on the landing outside. The door through which Rob had entered was the only door. The room also had only one window. This was fitted with half-length curtains which were drawn to. Rob moved across the room and snatched the curtains open. The small window was shut tight. There was also a child-guard screwed to about two thirds of the window height. Rob tested the guard. It was still fixed firmly in place.
Steel passed the picture. ‘I doubt it,’ he said as he began to descend the first flight of stairs. Rob followed him. He still felt tired, but he did not fancy sleeping in his own bedroom. Not at the moment. He passed the picture, thinking that there was another couch in the sitting room. Maybe if he fell asleep on that, or even pretended to sleep on it, Sapphire might make him a bed there and tuck him up for the night. He was even wondering, though he would never admit it, what a kiss goodnight from Sapphire would be like.
Rob waited, feeling like someone who was fixed to a spot. Fixed there forever. His mind was filled with a jumble of thoughts. Perhaps this was the time-corridor thing. This place. A nowhere place. Perhaps he was to be left here now. Perhaps it would never be morning, and never be night again. Perhaps it would always stay like this, the very same time. So therefore he would never feel hungry, never feel tired, never feel anything but this strange sense of isolation, of not belonging. Perhaps it would be like that for him forever.
Rob and Helen were back in the kitchen again with Sapphire. Constable Daly had driven back to Scars Edge. He looked slightly puzzled, in the way that people do when they feel that they have been somewhere, or done something before, perhaps in a dream. But he had left feeling satisfied. Rob had watched, without being able to say a word, as Steel moved into action. He had literally stepped into Daly’s arrival at the door, like a fair-owner stepping on to a moving roundabout. Therefore it became Steel, not Rob, who had opened the door, Steel who had asked Daly what he wanted, who told the policeman that everything was alright at that house, and that he, Steel, was a friend of the family who was visiting, in the hope of some peace and quiet in the country.Continue reading “A rip in the fabric of Time, unnerving but fascinating”
Remembrance of things past, sigh the lack of many a thing sought, wail my dear time’s waste sessions of sweet silent thought in two hundred forty one minutes
OE Ælfric Catholic Homilies: 2nd Ser. (Cambr. Gg.3.28) xx. 194 Hit is awriten be ðam yfelum timan. OE Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) (Peterborough interpolation) anno 654 On his time þa comon togadere heo & Oswiu Oswaldes broðor cyningas. OE Laws of Edgar (Nero E.i) iv. ii. 208 Mine þegnas hæbben heora scipe on minum timan, swa hy hæfdon on mines fæder. OE tr. Defensor Liber Scintillarum (1969) ix. 96 Multi enim se credebant longo tempore uiuere : soðlice hi gelyfdon lange timan lybban. OE Wulfstan Last Days (Hatton) 134 Wa ðam wifum þe þonne tymað & on þam earmlican timan heora cild fedað. 1160 Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) (Peterborough contin.) anno 1137 Nu we willen sægen sumdel wat belamp on Stephnes kinges time.
To describe it, À la recherche du temps perdu is an album I released in two thousand twenty one. Six lp records, twelve sides each about twenty minutes.
Total run time two hundred forty one minutes. The album is based around the novels by Proust, Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust, and is predicated on a few threads … The music of the novels, the music Proust (an avid music collector) had in his head and in his collection, the anthems of the Faubourg Saint-Germain. What music one might hear getting lost in Paris of the Belle Époque? The content includes twenty six composers and a Dixieland jazz band: Bartók, Bellini, Berg, Brahms, Caccini, Chausson, Chopin, Debussy, Delibes, Donizetti, Franck, Hahn, Jungmann, Louisiana Five, Lully, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Satie, Schoenberg, Schubert, Schumann, Scriabin, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Wagner and Weber.
The primary impetus for the album came from my truck.Continue reading “Remembrance of things past, sigh the lack of many a thing sought, wail my dear time’s waste sessions of sweet silent thought in two hundred forty one minutes”
我们两人沉入的火山口湖底，一切阒无声息。火山的活动已是很早以前的故事了。孤独如柔软的泥堆积在那里。穿过水层的隐约光亮，犹如远古记忆的残片白荧荧地洒向四周。深深的水底觅不到生命的迹象。她究竟看了我——或我所在的位置——多长时间呢？我发觉时间的规律已然失去。在那里，时间会按照心的需要而延长或沉积。但不一会儿，少女毫无征兆地从椅子上欠身立起，蹑手蹑脚地朝门口走去。门没开。然而她无声无息地消失在了门外。Continue reading “図書館”
The Street of Crocodiles
MY FATHER kept in the lower drawer of his large desk an old and beautiful map of our city. It was a whole folio sheaf of parchment pages which, originally fastened with strips of linen, formed an enormous wall map, a bird’s eye panorama.
Będziemy wiecznie żałowali, żeśmy wtedy wyszli na chwilę z magazynu konfekcji podejrzanej konduity. Nigdy nie trafimy już doń z powrotem. Będziemy błądzili od szyldu do szyldu i mylili się setki razy. Zwiedzimy dziesiątki magazynów, trafimy do całkiem podobnych, będziemy wędrowali przez szpalery książek, wertowali czasopisma i druki, konferowali długo i zawile z panienkami o nadmiernym pigmencie i skażonej piękności, które nie potrafią zrozumieć naszych życzeń.
Będziemy się wikłali w nieporozumienia, aż cała nasza gorączka i podniecenie ulotni się w niepotrzebnym wysiłku, w straconej na próżno gonitwie.
Nasze nadzieje były nieporozumieniem, dwuznaczny wygląd lokalu i służby — pozorem, konfekcja była prawdziwą konfekcją, a subiekt nie miał żadnych ukrytych intencji. Świat kobiecy ulicy Krokodylej odznacza się całkiem miernym zepsuciem, zagłuszonym grubymi warstwami przesądów moralnych i banalnych pospolitości. W tym mieście taniego materiału ludzkiego brak także wybujałości instynktu, brak niezwykłych i ciemnych namiętności.
Ulica Krokodyli była koncesją naszego miasta na rzecz nowoczesności i zepsucia wielkomiejskiego. Widocznie nie stać nas było na nic innego, jak na papierową imitację, jak na fotomontaż złożony z wycinków zleżałych, zeszłorocznych gazet.
Hung on the wall, the map covered it almost entirely and opened a wide view on the valley of the River Tysmienica which wound itself like a wavy ribbon of pale gold, on the maze of widely spreading ponds and marshes, on the high ground rising towards the south, gently at first, then in ever tighter ranges, in a chessboard of rounded hills, smaller and paler as they receded towards the misty yellow fog of the horizon. From that faded distance of the periphery, the city rose and grew towards the centre of the map, an undifferentiated mass at first, a dense complex of blocks and houses, cut by deep canyons of streets, to become on the first plan a group of single houses, etched with the sharp clarity of a landscape seen through binoculars. In that section of the map, the engraver concentrated on the complicated and manifold profusion of streets and alleyways, the sharp lines of cornices, architraves, archivolts and pilasters, lit by the dark gold of a late and cloudy afternoon which steeped all corners and recesses in the deep sepia of shade. The solids and prisms of that shade darkly honeycombed the ravines of streets, drowning in a warm colour here half a street, there a gap between houses. They dramatized and orchestrated in a bleak romantic chiaroscuro the complex architectural polyphony.Continue reading “The Street of Crocodiles”
Little Sleep’s-Head, the permanence of smoke or stars
SPROUTING HAIR IN THE MOONLIGHT
You scream, waking from a nightmare.
When I sleepwalk
into your room, and pick you up,
and hold you up in the moonlight, you cling to me
as if clinging could save us. I think
I will never die, I think I exude
to you the permanence of smoke or stars,
my broken arms heal themselves around you.
The Ghost’s Leavetaking
Enter the chilly no-man’s land of about
Five o’clock in the morning, the no-color void
Where the waking head rubbishes out the draggled lot
Of sulfurous dreamscapes and obscure lunar conundrums
Which seemed, when dreamed, to mean so profoundly much,
Gets ready to face the ready-made creation
Of chairs and bureaus and sleep-twisted sheets.
This is the kingdom of the fading apparition,
The oracular ghost who dwindles on pin-legs
To a knot of laundry, with a classic bunch of sheets
Upraised, as a hand, emblematic of farewell.
At this joint between two worlds and two entirely
Incompatible modes of time, the raw material
Of our meat-and-potato thoughts assumes the nimbus
Of ambrosial revelation. And so departs.