A tongue from dust

Lost two blog posts, not sure how — carelessness and the irresolute nature of that button so boldly reading SAVE.

Great soft grey-green mounds of sage and origanum in the herb garden, far more than I need. Roses flowering white and a baby-faced pink. Sharp melodic song of the African cuckoo, the piet-my-vrou concealed in a leafy Dombeya or wild pear tree: jug-whit-hoo, jug-whit-whoo. Plum trees scattering confetti.


The housemate has knee pain and a torn ligament. She is waiting to hear back from the orthopedic surgeon and I am waiting to hear from her. Sick with helplessness and anxiety of  course, but  that is  the nature of life, of relationships, the smooth and the rough, the awkwardly rough.


Sat and forged out, eked out, the draft of a longer fiction, good in places but half-formed and inexact too, ugly stiff writing because I am trying something new. It is always like this. My hand cramped as I held the pen over a lined notebook and then fingers hesitant on the keyboard. My mouth dry, saying and unsaying sentences in my head. All the other submissions for the month have gone, winging their way through the ether, flickering into virtual life in someone else’s mind. Now only this remains: entering the text, I can see the oblong white of the window and  if I squint, a corner of the street, but I can’t  get through the doorway or walk around the room. A character has her back to me, dark red peonies are wilting in a grey vase on the  table. Dust thickening on surfaces.


In among the tiresome self-mythologising presentations on Facebook, this post from a young woman whose mother died a month or two ago: You taught me everything I needed except how to live without you.


From Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s poem The Words Collide

She wants to tell her dream to the only one
who will get the drift. How she saw their children lying
every one dressed out in their simplest fears. They glowed,
the shape of their sentence outlined in sea green.
Among those beloved exiles
one sighed happy, as a curtain
lightened and the grammar changed, and the wall
showed pure white in the shape of a bird’s wing.

Getting logged in

Every now and again WordPress goes buggy on me and locks me out. And I have to change passwords and then forget the new password, avoid my blog for a few days, come back and oil the lock, brandish a new key, hey presto!


I had a birthday, all pink-eyed and snuffly with hay fever, lovely peaceful time. I carried out platters and jugs of iced lemonade into the garden and the rain came down out of the mildest of blue skies. Dogs thrilled to  splodge about in mud.


Madly excited to get published and paid for an offbeat scrap of flash fiction, am now scribbling flash fictions everywhere, saying aloud swervy looping sentences to myself in the bath, gradually and happily turning into the Shorter Gertrude Stein of the Subcontinent. I should be back at work on two commissioned stories that somehow have gone deflated and stale on me.


A long improbable dream in which I took my Great Dane to meet the Pope and we sang the Panis Angelicus together, my voice an achingly pure boyish soprano. Some thing murky and bad happened just as we were leaving the Vatican through  tall sliding doors of sandblasted glass and I had to give secret messages to a retired freemason who was keeping a childish red curl of my hair in a silver locket. Curiously egocentric dream, since neither the dog nor the Pope, nor the freemason come to thin of it, got much coverage, it was all about moi.


Enough of that — my new taste sensation of the month is Grey Goose sriracha that I squirt onto  all kinds of  dishes. It is hard to find out here and I squander it like fools gold.


Annie Dillard:

Could tiny birds be sifting through me right now, birds winging through the gaps between my cells, touching nothing, but quickening in my tissues, fleet?