A Pale Airman.

Perched on a bough in a black alder tree, trench rot soaking his booted feet, armpits and groin and tunic unkempt, teeming, a pale airman watched two strangers beneath. They were stood in shirt and tie, pinstripe beneath mackintosh and tucked into black rubber boots, ankle-deep in the river he knew to be the Quaggy, … Continue reading A Pale Airman.

They tame tigers down that way.

It is my habit to keep your letters, on arrival, unopened on the mantelpiece, among the mementos and dusty treasure, for sometimes up to a week. Anticipation being one of life's sweeter pleasures. Your bold black hand, the seal of tape (security), the amusing doodles of hairy noses, the way you address the envelope Doctor … Continue reading They tame tigers down that way.

Highway To Health.

Haltwhistle.    OS grid ref: NY 7083 6412 Haltwhistle is a small town and parish in northwest Northumberland. It lies 10 miles east of Brampton and has a population of 3,800. Early forms of the name are Hautwesel (1240), Hautwysel (1254), Hawtewysill (1279), Hautwysell (1381), Haltwesell (1610). The second part '-twistle' relates to two streams … Continue reading Highway To Health.

Notes From a Fragile Island. 17

March 5th 2013 (Llandudno) Jonathan X, the organiser of the Save Our Funicular festival, has assured us that we can crash at his house. He has appalling body odour and a tiny, plastic dragon perches on the top of his bald head. His pate is painted green. He wafts around the venue with one hand … Continue reading Notes From a Fragile Island. 17

the bitter taste of almost breathing

i rested on the handle of my spade and smoked. i witnessed a congregation of privet, solemn hemmed and so cuffed with berries  that even the herring birds, oddly black against the cloud, eschewed with cackles and coughs and with caution; such is tumbling rubbish on a breeze.   i worked a thread of wet tobacco from my tongue to … Continue reading the bitter taste of almost breathing