dream diaries…116


Army trucks block the street. A thin man climbs from a black car. He wears green, leather leiderhosen. He is tall and fills the air, from his knotted laces to his felt hunting hat, with bad vibe. He blows a whistle and it begins. Dozens of soldiers pour from the open backs of the trucks. He conducts, quietly, an operation. Units of foot soldiers pass into and through and out of each house. The air shimmers. Leashed alsatians; mouth-froth, taut, and up on two legs, snap at the air. The air is choired, horribly. Cars and cyclists and pedestrians are stopped with a touch to the bonnet or with a finger held aloft. The operation is coordinated. Tin whistles.

I am a gardener. I work the spade into the bed, unearthing folds of rich black soil, but the sparrows quieten in the hedgerow. Perhaps, if I pretend this isn’t happening, then I may pass unnoticed by the thin man, the stormtroopers. I turn worms, they writhe blindly. I turn potsherd, flint and spade tip sparking. A bent, ancient woman and a creased boy, charcoal shorts, shirt; tie, tightly knotted (maroon field, yellow, dexter shafts), are manhandled from a house opposite. The couple are presented to the thin man in the green leather leiderhosen (a deer, embroidered into the bib, stands alone, atop an outcrop of knitted rocks). He laughs. His hair has fallen over his eyes, but as he laughs, he sweeps it aside. One eye is missing. He speaks an angular language, but I read his words on the air. “I lost my eye in Slovenia,” he says. He crouches before the boy, and producing from his trouser pocket, a tuning fork, whispers the word listen


Many stone axe heads, neolithic rejects; handcraft; half-honed, given-up on; arted, but flawed forever in some ancient’s brief imagination, have chanced, over a millennia, into a roughly hewn tumble path from the peak to the valley of Great Langdale. It is a dark, dirty brown, blue-turquoise path. But, as I rise to the foot of the great hill, the sun begins to slide out from behind the curtain and reveals the path now to be a wondrous staircase: silvered, from valley to peak and detailed with gems.


Long before morning, we wake. The curtains, tied back as they are, reveal the top of the drawers to be a stage, empty, but for a sofa in shadow; soft, and shaped (I can see now) from the glasses case that I put there some days ago. The sofa is on a sheet of paper that doubles as a luxurious rug (I can see now); moonlit. It is a modernist production.

5 thoughts on “dream diaries…116

  1. It’s the little details, ‘with a touch to the bonnet,’ ‘flawed forever in some ancient’s brief imagination,’ that make this a mesmerising, and a masterful, production x

    Liked by 1 person

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