Before –

April 3, 2019

The Adams and Eves
continually expelled
and with what tenacity
returning at night!

Before,
when the two of them
did not count
and there were no months
no births and no music
their fingers were unnumbered.

Before,
when the two of them did not count
did they feel
a prickling behind the eyes
a thirst in the throat
for something other than
the perfume of infinite flowers
and the breath of immortal animals?
In their untrembling sleep
did the tips of their tongues
seek the bud of another taste
which was mortal and sweating?

Did they envy the longing
of those to come after the Fall?

Women and men still return
to live through the night
all that uncounted time.

And with the punctuality
of the first firing squad
the expulsion is at dawn”

John Berger
And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos

loathsome shapes

April 3, 2019

The nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh … was built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults.

H.P. Lovecraft
The Call of Cthulhu

deadlines

April 3, 2019

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

Douglas Adams
The Salmon of Doubt

On the moor you will find many winding pathways that shift and fade like wicked children playing hide and seek with you. At certain times of the day nothing is as it seems to be. A trick of the light perhaps. You will sense you are not alone, but this could be because of the formless shadows following behind you –

You can taste the scent of the gorse on the air by now. And, perhaps not for the first time, you will realise there is a shadow realm near at hand – perhaps it overlaps here, on this blasted moor. You must take care. You do not want to step through to the shadow realm –

There are many stories the locals tell about this place. myth-haunted, faerie hysterics generally. Told for the visitors, the tourists, emmets all, late in the evening over a pint. Tales, too, about the Springer house.

Drains is one of my favorite places on the moor. The wild, cascading waterfall, the surrounding woodland all lift my spirits when I’m feeling down. Often I’ve picnicked there. Dozed off on a still summer afternoon after a bottle of wine. Dreamed dreams that become the central core of many of my stories. The Springer house is just north of the falls. It stands in splendid isolation in a deep fold in the land –

By day it looks like a large abandoned cottage. Except there are closed drapes on every window, which always strikes the observer as a little strange. The drapes are all bright red and look new. At dusk, approaching the Springer house, you are instantly aware that all is not as it should be. The house looks ill-formed somehow. The angles of the granite walls meeting the grey slate roof are wrong –

The front garden has long ago gone to weeds and brambles. Forcing a path to the front door you experience raw sensations: unease, yes, but as sinewy as sex. Fear that almost paralyzes. You see yourself as a key of blood, bone and breath to unlock that front door – to unlock the secret gateway to a realm beyond this reality. Do you dare to touch that door?

Within, screams will be muffled by dust. It is so easy to become a teeth-torn sacrifice to older Gods. To open the portal –

No, you turn about. You walk away (if you have any sense you do). And you hear a sigh, almost imperceptible, abruptly broken off, in the darkness behind you. That is when you begin to run –

P