Notes from Nowhere

miðvikudagur, ágúst 31, 2005

London bridge is falling down

Forgive me, but I've got a good feeling about this. I think it might work. Even the danger signs have been taken down. Sure, we will all, always, make mistakes. But for now, I'm happy with a loving hug, the sense of possibility and the knowledge that we both feel it.


We're both tired from traipsing. We've been talking for hours and I feel like we could carry on. She's sweet and clever and she looks fantastic. At Oval station I buy her pink spray carnations. Lost looking for the Clapham Road she kisses my cheek. Somehow now mapreading doesn't seem so important...

All has to end

'You're on the Gravesend, I'm on the platform. Sixteen, sixteen, tell me a coach no. xx'

A change of plan already, no longer Greenwich Park, but, a world away, New Cross Station. The change takes me walking past the new Goldsmith's College Arts building, all glass and burnished chrome,

with a hat like Tapies' cloud. I came to Goldsmith's once before, applying for a place to read Music. That same day I met a girl I liked and we went to the park by the station. Things were going well until I told her I had a girlfriend. Then things went strange. Fair enough s'pose.

'Maybe three or two or four definately with heat and people see moments x'

We're a little giddy with kitchen sink romance, industrial contexts. Maybe its more beautiful in the everyday. Who needs the mystery of a Greenwich park rendez-vous when you've got each other in your raw humanity; who needs well-kept beaux-arts when there's peeling paint or a brutalist housing estate?

Get on the train..

'I'm on the second from the front but there's no way back! Pop yr head out at St John's x'

More anon.

To Greenwich

Gatwick airport, East Croydon, London Bridge, The City - I know these lines like my shoelaces. But today is the hottest until next year, I'm told, and London seems to ache like she's been at sport, and she has. This is the time of cricket and walks by the river and gently shortening days.
Oh, the times of our lives.

It is still strange boarding trains and going about life these days since the bombs, but if I seem nostalgic its because these two atmospheres, the nameless anxiety and the pride stirring are well known mental paths from my youth, like the days of David Gower and the Superpowers.

Is it me, or is this one of the times that all the thousand pretty ones come out before their winter retreat? But these days I'm happy to celebrate with words, for today I meet my sweetheart, after a long year, in the wilderness, in the centre of time. The sea, my maritime love; the wide river, and a picnic for two. I'll let you know how it goes...

þriðjudagur, ágúst 23, 2005

Song for Nick

The bell,
The train,
The bird
The stillness
Maybe England's dream
Died with you

The grief
A memory of a smile
A shadow of a time
A land and quiet
Your attic's long vacated
The flowers still testify

With fingers long and graceful
You reach beyond your short years

This English Garden

dogs and ducks and fox and hurry!
the trees are tall, the water's warmer
you take your time and wait for an opening
it comes and you wish you had taken it

up you climbed to the top of a hill
survey the scene and slip on black ice
the waters warm and you are bleeding
we'll package you, and spring comes round

all bright and gay we sing the seasons
spend all your wishes on a bigger bible
a repertoire of words so magic
they beat the hypertext into the last century

like insects and oil and dust and sandcastles
every songbird does end its sweet song
every raven, every single crow
(was) once a blackbird, was once a songthrush

This English garden I tend towards ignorance
but a pond, and a rat, a pool and a water snake
A water feature and a gentleman
come a-walking down the terraces green

You would not know it, but they're just behind you
they saw you bleeding and ran to your rescue
Now we'll send you home in an ambulance
Bon appetit! Sleep well! Ta ta! God speed!

mánudagur, ágúst 22, 2005

Walking the West

Doolin, the late hills awash with blue clouds moving fast, the atmosphere here silent yet celebratory, stark and homely. A culture whose ancient continuity endures, sentimentalised, even perhaps Americanised, but not yet reanimated, alive still as those sage hills awash.

I walk the mile between the three excellent public houses with my instrument in my hand, happy to tread this ageless way once more. I reach O'Connors on Pier Road, perhaps one of the best venues of this old and yet youthful music, where my friends are whiling away happy time playing misère ouverte and sipping smooth, black and white drinks.

There is already a full circle of world class musicians around this little table, I watch and listen and learn. Eventually, the players go their long separate ways, (one Flautist named Michelle used to live here but is now visiting from Oslo). Two players of fine, stout and strong black wooden flutes laid with played in chrome details discuss tunes and happen upon the ones they know in common. I hold my ears open to the harmony their melody demands, the rhythmic nuances, the possibilities that suggest themselves. My fingers strain to keep up at first, the music new, vital.

Then we start to settle in, a rhythm develops between the three of us, the flutes chasing round each other like vines growing together for the light, the chords fresh and sparkling like sunlight throught this fast flowing wellstream. Sometimes the vines catch the light, and cast their ornate shadow across and along the stream.

It is already late. We say our good nights and I'm off again round the coast road, with my friends in our hired car back to our Burren retreat. Not many more hours left on this Island for now, but I'll come again soon, and drink deep from this timeless spring once more.