Thursday, September 06, 2007

An invisible client and the inspiration of birds

It must be my forties (oh Lord, what then will the fifties be like?...) but I do seem to be finding nature rather more interesting than I found it in my twenties, or even my thirties, though I had softened towards the concept of flowers by then. Anyway, yesterday, I was much amused by a moorhen (should I get out more?) and here is the result:

Protection remembered

A moorhen
plucks its cautious way
across grass,

red beak
carving a slow path
through air,

claws, larger
than its head,
strutting a surprised

and elegant dance
towards denuded bushes.
Yes, my friend,

sometimes I too wonder
where my cover
has gone.

Which somehow brings me nicely into today's counselling appointment, which was all very jolly and we talked a lot about the University, the bliss of people-free days over the weekend and the desirability of enjoyment. However, it must indeed be my week of being invisible - after yesterday's lunch date cancellation, I was running late to my appointment due to Guildford's appalling car park system and a machine that kept spitting my change back at me (so much so that I gave up entirely in the end and drove off to find another car park instead ...) so dashed to the loo when I got to the clinic, whilst giving my name to the receptionist. Anyway, by the time I came back and sat in reception, I think she must have forgotten I was there (I always sit where no-one can see me - which must in itself be revealing), so after ten minutes, I did this soft sheep-cough sort of thing, which is English Women speak for "I'm here and you've forgotten me, haven't you? but I'm too polite to actually say anything so I'm coughing like a sheep to let you know I'm still here." The next moment, there's a slight gasp and she's on the phone to Kunu telling her I've arrived. Hurrah!

But even then, all wasn't plain sailing, as once in the counselling room, I noticed my usual glass of water wasn't on my side-table, but Kunu had no less than four (four! are we expecting a drought?...) glasses of water lined up on hers. I thought she might remember, but after fifteen minutes she hadn't, so I had to be bold and ask for it. We then spent the next few minutes collapsed in uncounsellingy laughter as we agreed that this must be the third occasion I've been forgotten so perhaps Kunu has broken the "where's Anne? I can't see her" run. Here's hoping, eh. Mind you, as long as Lord H remembers I'm here and who I am, I'll be happy.

Post-Kunu, I sat in Waterstone's for a while (what bliss! I do love it there) and wrote a couple of pages to The Bones of Summer, which I shall type up later and two poems. One of which is below (goodness, yesterday's night creatures walk was sooo great!):

The Moth Trap

The warden smoothes his hand
across the blue tarpaulin,

catches a September Thorn
drawn by the piercing glow

of the moth lamp. Other insects
hover near the trap: midges;
smaller moths; three hornets

more confused than angry. ‘Look,’
he says. ‘Look at the wings,
the angle they make against my hand.’

And I do look, though for years,
before the beginnings
of my memory, I have been afraid.

I look and see the grey-brown
body, smaller than half my thumb,
the cornered wings, raised

a little, as if ready at any moment
to launch into the woods’
consuming darkness,

the small dark eyes
almost fearless. And I think

I have never seen anything
more beautiful,

the Thorn not the only creature
caught by the moth trap


Talking of last night, we saw deer, bats, moths (as you can see!), and heard a tawny owl and a barn owl. Might have been nice to see a fox or two as well, but hell you can't have everything. And the sight of the geese flying into the lake to roost was utterly fantastic. Wouldn't have missed that for the world.

This afternoon, I've also had my regular Clarins facial with the oh-so-relaxing Sarah. She's so incredibly soothing that I keep falling asleep. It's great. And I look all glowy and chilled right now. A state of being which I suspect won't last long, but hell it's good while it does.

Tonight, Lord H & I are off to see "Whipping it Up" in Woking (or should that be "Whipping it Up in Woking"?) - never say we don't do culture, missus. And it should be a laugh - a farce about the government with Richard Wilson. You can't really go wrong. One hopes.

Oh, and I've just finished Henry Shukman's poetry collection, In Doctor No's Garden. There are two or three stunningly good poems in it, but I'm not convinced by the rest. Too many words, my dear Mozart (or some such phrase) ... but what do they mean? Really, if you want the energy, electricity and literary style I think Shukman was going for, you're best off with the incredibly good Neil Rollinson. Every time. Hush my mouth.

Today's nice things:

1. Counselling
2. Writing
3. The theatre.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website


Anonymous said...

On balance, it sounds like a pretty good day and night. You got back to nature last night, had a relaxing facial today and a bit of a laugh, all good things.

I had to knock on someones window in a carpark once and ask for some money! I had no change. Nice man.

Great poems too.

Sue xx

Anne Brooke said...

Ooh yes, you're right, Sue - sometimes even I can do balanced, tee hee!

Glad you liked the poems too!