1st january 2007

A Batrachian's Calendar

Wum. Mubb. Dream - the spiral stair, descending through the head. Stay, still.

Faw. Faws. Try move a fing. See.

Noo me. This, here. Am up, going out and up.

A vast improvement. Warm sun and greens. All is of interest.

Now ladies and gentlemen are wooing. A time of abandon.

Click, beetle. Grass and merryandrew, whatnot. Take not the St John's Fly, tis Bitter.

Pools clogged and pollywogged. Time of largesse, of frogness moltissimo.

Moon and month of Antares, the red month. Also a month of danger: the mowing of lawns.

Again a full and rolling month. Redcaps fly flackering from the housetops.

Bonefires. There is now a difference. Time to think inside. But worms at their finest.

All is retreat and withdrawal. Goodness is no longer a thing. Go down dimming.

Stopt, flummd in nuffim. A dun munf

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12th january 2007

This collection of Soviet bus stops is nothing short of amazing - and the landscapes are just as riveting as the architecture. (via Boing Boing)

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15th january 2007

Excursion to the Planet Mercury

certain evenings a little before the golden
foam of the horizon has properly hardened
you can see a tiny iron island
very close indeed to the sun.

all craters and mirrors, the uncanny country
of the planet Mercury - a mystery
without I without air,
without you without sound.

in that violently magic little place
the sky is racing along
like a blue wrapper flapped and let go
from a car window.

now hot now cold
the ground moves fast,
a few stones frisk about
looking for a foothold

but it shales it slides
the whole concept is only
loosely fastened
to a few weak tweaks of gravity.

o the weather is dreadful there:
thousand-year showers of dust
all dandruff and discarded shells
of creatures too weak to exist:

paupers beggars toughs
boys in dresses
who come alive and crumble
at the mercy of metamorphosis.

no nothing accumulates there
not even mist
nothing but glimmering beginnings
making ready to manifest.

as for the catastrophe
of nights on Mercury,
hiding in a rock-smashed hollow
at about two hundred degrees below zero

the feather-footed winds
take off their guises there,
they go in gym shoes
thieving and lifting

and their amazed expressions
have been soundproofed, nevertheless
they go on howling
for gladness, sheer gladness

- Alice Oswald

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17th january 2007

Henry loses it

One day two young women - a Sunday - stopped at the door of my hut and asked for some water. I answered that I had no cold water but I would lend them a dipper. They never returned the dipper, and I had a right to suppose they came to steal. They were a disgrace to their sex and to humanity. Pariahs of the moral world. Evil spirits that thirsted not for water but threw the dipper into the lake. Such as Dante saw. What was the lake to them but liquid fire and brimstone? They will never know peace till they have returned the dipper. In all the worlds this is decreed.

- Thoreau, Journal 17th January 1852 (via The Blog of Henry David Thoreau)

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19th january 2007

spitting the pips

This from geegaw:

In this morning's news, the story of an old woman "toppled by winds." I woke up feeling unexpectedly hopeless, then looked out the window to see a light fall of snow in the branches: a present from the world's whimsy. It made me feel so good that I mis-remembered Housman:

A-riding I will go
To see the cherry crowned with snow.

And I thought:

Now the lilacs are in bloom
All before my little room

Well, it was the rhythm that brought that one on, but the Housman is about new flowers too; then I thought of Macneice's Snow and Roses, very different rhythm but plants and snow; and then on to Nabokov's

Uncurtaining the night, I'd let dark glass
Hang all the furniture above the grass

from Canto One of Pale Fire, all about snow too; with a rhythm a step along from the Housman. And that was just the first ten seconds. Not that I went on much.

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21st january 2007

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A tree is a book waiting to happen.

- Iain Sinclair

Anno 1670, not far from Cyrencester, was an Apparition: Being demanded, whether a good Spirit, or a bad? returned no answer, but disappeared with a curious Perfume and most melodious Twang. Mr W. Lilly believes it was a Farie.

- John Aubrey