Track rises between small fields where grass grows splashed with colour
Hot and dull the fields, full of origano and dense with trees in the folds where streams run. A patchwork of cultivation and places never worked at all. Birds pipe and the silvery sound of running water, deep and green despite the drought. There was a storm in the night, brief and noisy, half-filled the water butts and freshened up the frogs
greenfinch pipes a complaint for the lost year the empty nest
a lament for the cooling nights, the days shortening, this year’s young raised, and who knows if there will be a next year? At the end of this lane there are only a cart tracks crossing country, meandering along the edges of fields, following the contours of the hills. Winding and empty, and I wonder how long it can last.
Vent d’autan in the maïs—parchment rattling wordless songs.
Raymond, you wandered in one day off the street, jumped through an open window, curled into the arms of the chair and went to sleep. From that moment, you ordered the lives of seven people, turning the house into a maze of cat-proof doors, furniture armoured against claws or pushed against the walls, out of the way of your wild rampages. You reduced children’s toys to shreds, raided the fridge, stole a whole chicken once. Then, exactly one year to the day you sauntered in and took possession, you took your stripy, confident cat-self to pastures new. C’était un vagabond, said the neighbour. C’était un sacré bagarreur, said the carpenter, who would watch, from his workshop, your one-cat defence of the vacant lot against all comers. You were vagabond and street-fighter, our beautiful stripy cat, and we still miss you. City sky grey as pigeons and empty as your chair.