My house is full of deer. Stags in snow, hinds with calves standing anxiously in glittering woods of icicle'd trees. An incongrous mad march hare springs through the moonshine shimmered frost as a single snowflake ices it's way down to the forest floor. Through an open window the fat robin perched on the snow covered handle of a spade sees a small dog with festive hat eyeing an orphaned mince pie In the midst of this midwinter menagerie a little hope remains, as camel'd Magi gather, while shepherds watch. Elite and outcast equal in a lonely place.
Nuthatch on wet bark
Soft mud on the path below
Rain drops shake oak leaf
Kawa ga nagareru
Red umbrella held
Slow river weir thundering
Man stands by torrent
Scent of garlic leaves
Wooden bridge over brown stream
Path curves out of sight
©Malcolm Alexander 2017 Continue reading “Beside the torrent”
I saw her first in Minister square
Her head a mass of dreadlocked hair
A group of five
Sat in a ring
While one of them did presents bring.
The trees bowed down their words to hear
While doves o’er head did stir the air
Two parcels wrapped
In paper green
Held strange tall cats with golden sheen.
I could not tell if she did cry
Or smile a gentle loving sigh
For then they rose
In ragged line
Going from the yard beneath the sign.
Then next I saw her felted head
While rattling over cobbles sped
Her tinging bell sent
To safety from each rusty spoke.
The mudguards clatter trailed behind
As she turned sharp into the Wynd
To see her love
Perhaps her cat
We’ll never know to answer that.
©Malcolm Alexander 2017
The sun touches the uppermost point of the stone cross perched on the apex of the little chapel's roof. Dew crystaled lichen capturing the rays of light and sending them twinkling to the ground. Beneath the cross,the building is held in darkness. Thick fog clinging, valley filling darkness, coating the walls in damp rivulets, running down onto the rotting window cills, breaking them into sodden lumps of wood. All around the graveyard is green with dripping moss, hanging from the stones and flowing into the thick couch grass carpet below. Voices gather. At first indistinguishable from the 'cack' of jackdaws in the brooding, bare branches above. Broken fragments of speech, climbing into the valley. The squelch of boots through the soaking grass, the soft rustle of oilskin, the breathlessness of lifting, as the old pedal organ is hauled into place. Slowly the voices grow distinct, individual, reaching out to each other and forming conversations. The growing crowd silencing for now the cackle of birds. Faces cram into the ruined chapel, lit by the sun now reaching down through the chancel window, while the mist drips from tight drawn hoods. A new gathering of modern monks, bridging the millennium, reaching back to the monks of Blane, holding fast the thread of time. The pedal organ puffs and wheezes into life, notes clinging to the damp air, always a third too high to sing easily. Dawn breaks full through the window's stone arch, flooding the little congregation in pale golden light, as the Easter hymn rises once more through the brooding trees, chasing the jackdaws cackling loudly into the skies. © Malcolm Alexander 2017
Two wisps of smoke rising from the glowing fire Twist and curl in the silent air Spiralling and dancing together Playful Teasing, laughing in the dawn light Intertwined then parting Intimate Then distant as lovers Eternal in their dance © Malcolm Alexander 2017
I brush a hair gently From her white flower girl frock As a tear slowly forms and Runs across time. A small brown stain Has formed on her left wrist, Rusting the silver bracelet, A blemish on her hand. Carefully I polish time. Shining the bangle, While with siblings care Renew her soft young skin. Pixel by pixel I recreate perfection, Worn down by passing, Buried by receeding time. I cannot work on the next time lapsed image: A girl's dark curled head Against a black shadowed door Smiling and shy in Her first blue checked bra. If I could I would Remove, Pixel by pixel Those nascent breasts. For they will never Nurse long the young She will produce. They will merely fulfil The warning For the dark haired girl Caught against the black portal of time. © Malcolm Alexander 2017