The Glass House

October 12, 2019

i.

It’s still warm from the day,
the seedbed, light and moist.
Leafy greens are best
sown during a waxing moon
roots during a wane
even better
seeded
at night,
like tonight,
in a faint
glow.
The fingers know
the shape of seeds,
the necessary depth
of planting
and how to envelop
everything
in readiness.

ii.

At forty-five there is still time.
Systems are functioning
although
there is a rumour
things may not be
all go.

iii.

Frost’s first kiss
lies upon the ground.
Brassicas and spinach may still be planted —
these seedlings already hardened outside
for days and nights to come.
More important, garlic.
Ready the beds
for the longest night
choose the largest
healthiest
cloves
from last year’s harvest
(crush the remainder into virgin olive oil or compost)
gently rub the papery skin
to liberate a bare bulb
hold tip upwards
insert to depth
no more than twice the bulb length
cover with compost then pea straw
for nourishment, water retention, weed suppression
continue:
feed
water
weed
until the shortest night

iv.

Her body has changed shape —
carries weight and water.
Her face has a decoration of unevenness.
These nights, and sometimes days
the bed she sleeps in
presses back
and there are unforgiven aches.
Finally, the mattress
needs to be
replaced.

v.
Cloches ease transition

through these days of early winter.
The glasshouse
brittles with age.
Surfaces are etched.
There is a fungus
that cannot be
washed out
in spite of days
spent scrubbing.

vi.

The heart. The mind.
This ready pair.
Something is always missing.
A matter of the senses.
A matter of connection.
Seductive.
Isolation.
There is the matter of fate.
There is an inability
to convey
se paraten ess.

vii.

The nursery lights
shut off
automatically.
There is nothing to see
at night and light
can only give so much.
Days shorten without notice.
Still the bed lies prepared
and the cup of the moon
holds a smile.

viii.

Through winter’s dark
the plantings grow
in the ground
around her.
Nourished.
Spoken to.

ix.

She bleeds
with the moon.
Meanwhile the quick of her thins,
and what she grows
no longer sustains her.
Soon she will be transparent
and on some unexpected
cold night
in spring
like a glasshouse
of unseeded beds
she will shatter.

Hayden Carruth

30 th April

Busy, busy day. People arriving last night, more this morning. Later there will be queues for the shower. Chaos rules, as always. Then a small convoy of cars to Plymouth where our feast will commence.

Unfortunately the weather forecast is not good for today: rain may be coming in off the coast; so a wet, weary Beltane, perhaps?

After an afternoon of eating and drinking we will all travel to a secret location. There wood has already been prepared for our bonfire, the sawn logs covered to keep them dry. Even in the rain we will have a Beltane bonfire – come what may, we will leap the flames. And heavily cosmetisised women with flowers in their hair will dance round the Maypole in delicious abandonment.

One of my favorite times of year.

Just like Magic…

March 23, 2015

Pearls

So Dee woke-up this morning wearing a neat shade of exhaustion under her lovely eyes. Last night Gabby came to my room and stayed with me an hour or so talking quietly, more like her old self. She wanted to know if there was a way to make a spell of un-attraction; use magic without ceremony. Zapping poor Steph, I suspect was what she had in mind.

‘Magic can be made with everyday objects: a cup can be chalice, a kitchen knife can become athame. Whatever’s to hand. But again, to practice most magic, you don’t need anything. All the bits and pieces, the trappings, are there to help set a “mood”, an atmosphere…a spell can be cast silently, the words spoken over and over in your head like a prayer, an incantation. You can write down what it is you want and burn the paper in the flame of a candle, then scatter the ashes outside in the wind. But you should never use magic to do harm. There’s always a cost. And the price may not be one you’d be willing to pay.’

‘So it’d be no good, you think, me wishing all Steph’s pillows smelled of feet? Or that her teeth became ultra-sensitive to cold? Stuff like that?’

‘No, not a good idea. You’re bigger than that Gabriella, you know you are.’

‘What about a curse that she wants to pee whenever she goes down on someone? Or farts when someone’s licking her out.’

‘What about a glass of wine? I’ll massage your back, chase all your blues away? Yeah?’

‘I s’pose it’ll cost me a hand-job, will it?’

‘No strings attached, sweetheart. But you’ll have to strip-off…Let me see all your maidenly charms.’

‘Piss-taker…’

Later, gently stroking Gabby’s bare shoulders, I said, ‘It’s strange the way things turn. You and Dee and Steph making love…Celebrating Ostara, fertility, the arrival of Spring…Not meaning to, perhaps, but doing so anyway. Like three naked witches.’

‘Is that what we were doing?’

‘Shagging each other’s brains out, yeah, that’s it alright. And you know, don’t you, Dee loves you…Probably more than she loves me. And remember, her philandering with another woman may upset you, but at least she includes you. I spent the evening in solitary exile.’

‘Could you hear us?’

‘I think everyone in the bloody village could hear you. Quite shocking.’

‘Poor Peedeel. Sitting in his room nursing a hard-on. Frustrating…’

‘Damn right!’

‘Never mind. You lay back and I’ll massage it for you. See how kind I am? How considerate?’

‘Ummm. That’s nice sweetheart. Naughty beautiful girl…’

‘Yeah, just like magic.’