Showing posts from October, 2018

Halloween Tale 2018

A Midnight Mermaid One eye opens. Lines of light drop between each beam’s shadow. That repetitive shoosh becomes sand dragging under waves. This is the beach house. Beyond the conservatory roof is the moon, it has pulled the tide high. Your feet want to be on the sand, it’s all you think of - that beach, that light, how it catches the tilt of the sea. The salt tang. The feel of sand under bare feet. So your feet go to the floor, your arms pull into a gown, your palm presses the door handle. Outside is exactly right. Silvered, doused in magic. Shoosh, shoosh. A warm press from the air. The press of your feet in cooling sand. There- There in the white break something rolls, fluid as the water, shining. Shoosh… A hand spills from the wave, a shining hand. The shock is a thrill. This is night magic, you are sure of it. You crouch; creep closer. Strands of hair flow in, flow out. A figure slender, dense with muscle.


In supermarkets Halloween summons pumpkins to the vegetable aisle. It conjures all kinds of hellish plastic in mass display - the ephemeral becoming eternal and choking our world, accompanied by organ chords and the vocals of Vincent Price.  I have been unthinkingly complicit in the past, short on cash and full of joy.  In the cupboards here still are plastic pots and a scoop for carving. A skull necklace menaces from a door knob.  There have been multiples of cardboard skeletons, paper spiders, vats and vats of pumpkin soup too; recycling into food is (maybe) my favourite kind.  Love the celebration, despair of the waste; this is Halloween, and every day - beyond the eyeless stares and trails of bony fingers there are shelves and shelves, aisles and warehouses, full of packages of things we mostly do not need; things that have travelled more than most of us, that have been churned from leaky factories, things that make 'processed' a dirty word.  Easy to fee

Wildcat Wind

Not a hurricane, not a typhoon, this storm - a tree feller still, a pouncing wave maker. Through it drives my little car, my mouse-white car, half hid in leaf, scuffing wheel trim on twigs; around the clumped earth on fresh underside of oak root, bumping down a wind tunnel of branches. Out and back the little car goes, lost in rain and road spray. I too am lost: busy, distracted. Long hours, long lists. Between frost and hot, lately, the weather has wandered. Tomato plants lost to the usual dose of late blight, the cucumber vine on last days, flower rot blooming. Chillies are popping out, speedy and spicy and filling the dehydrator rack: pods of winter warmth awaiting. Earlier I had lain in the hammock, duvet wrapped, listening to bird song, to leaves quiver. They say that winter will come hard, four months without reprieve. So in the car I sit, parked away from stray roof slates, eyes closed, and the wildcat wind is not cold and I remember to love the heft o