Sunday, February 02, 2014


The thing about a loose end is that you can't pull too hard.       

In the little house garden today there was the vaguest sniff of spring coming from somewhere, sparrows fizzing with late-afternoon sunshine. The collared doves are used to having the cold to themselves and scattered at the sight of me and my rake this morning. But now they have concluded that death is not upon them and watch interestedly from the second floor of the maple. On the third floor sits the blackbird, watching east and west, beak angled King-of-the-Hill, seeing off other cock blackbirds who come to investigate the lush arrangement of eminently nestworthy ivy in the corner. Black-feathery right upper cut and a beakbutt.   

Bulb shoots needling up through the crinkly-edged slug-holes in the pelargoniums, British racing green and neon, striped and plain.

Wee new shoots on the japanese maple, only an armful of tree, tiny cloven doubletons furled up tight-tight to points like miniature deer toes resting against the sky. Buds on next-door's camellia, fat jade-green droplets under high-gloss raincover. Burnt last year by late frost, all the flowers edge-bruised like a perfectly turned-out footman with a black eye.      

Apples dissolving slowly in the corner. I smell of dirt and pelargonium leaves. 

Sometimes all there is to do with your wiry, fritzing, matted, messy tangle-pile of yourself is wind it into a skein around something else.  Around and around and around.

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