Coldness in Love



And you remember, in the afternoon
The sea and the sky went grey, as if there had sunk
A flocculent dust on the floor of the world: the festoon
Of the sky sagged dusty as spider cloth,
And coldness clogged the sea, till it ceased to croon.

A dank, sickening scent came up from the grime
Of weed that blackened the shore, so that I recoiled
Feeling the raw cold dun me: and all the time
You leapt about on the slippery rocks, and threw
Me words that rang with a brassy, shallow chime.

And all day long, that raw and ancient cold
Deadened me through, till the grey downs dulled to sleep.
Then I longed for you with your mantle of love to fold
Me over, and drive from out of my body the deep
Cold that had sunk to my soul, and there kept hold.

But still to me all evening long you were cold,
And I was numb with a bitter, deathly ache;
Till old days drew me back into their fold,
And dim hopes crowded me warm with companionship,
And memories clustered me close, and sleep was cajoled.

And I slept till dawn at the window blew in like dust,
Like a linty, raw-cold dust disturbed from the floor
Of the unswept sea; a grey pale light like must
That settled upon my face and hands till it seemed
To flourish there, as pale mould blooms on a crust.

And I rose in fear, needing you fearfully.
For I thought you were warm as a sudden jet of blood.
I thought I could plunge in your living hotness, and be
Clean of the cold and the must. With my hand on the latch
I heard you in your sleep speak strangely to me.

And I dared not enter, feeling suddenly dismayed.
So I went and washed my deadened flesh in the sea
And came back tingling clean, but worn and frayed
With cold, like the shell of the moon; and strange it seems
That my love can dawn in warmth again, unafraid.


 I have such admiration for D.H.Lawrence generally but the abject brilliance, in describing the sky sagging as “dusty spider cloth” is beyond perfect.
Honestly. What a man. To me, this entire poem personifies the best of grey: the light, the emotion; and the moon, its opalescence like pearl mother.
This poem fits everything about my frame of mind (and our own sky today) and if I had a tweed cape, I would fasten it tightly with
a massive silver pin and wander moodily out across the moors till my cheeks were numb (and attractively flushed) and my heart full.
As it is?
I’m just off to work.

ps  Oh, in case like me you were a little unsure about “flocculent?” The Oxford dictionary says: having or resembling tufts of wool, as in ‘the first snows of winter lay thick and flocculent.’

Winged Messengers




The last few days I have been noticing that I have a few tiny, tiny holes all in a row on some of my clothes; the pure cotton ones that I really like.

This has not pleased me.

At first, I thought the material might just have caught on a zipper or torn without me realizing, (yes, this is the kind of ridiculous self-talk that can happen when one really, really wants to keep watching The Durrells in Corfu snuggled up with The General, rather than skivvying out a clearly infested closet;) but finally, yesterday when, alas, I noticed that my prized Ann Taylor white shirt had been damaged, (rather like a tiny skater had been in winter training) I knew that I had to do the google search to see which particular plague was now upon me.

Sadly, I have since learned that this is most likely the handiwork of the common clothes-moth (not to be confused with his much uglier, foodie counterpart with whom I am very familiar with (I’m looking at you, bulk-store walnuts!) nor the dreaded carpet beetle fellows (who masquerade as fat grains of rice till the gig is up) that I did battle with a few years ago, after losing several corners of my pure wool area rugs to their gluttony. These tiny villains were eating carpet rows like corn on the cob, the wee bastards, and I had to freeze the rugs outside over the winter to get rid of them …

And, afore ye judge, let it be known that I am a devotee to the Dyson vacuum, and vacuum regularly so all this seems most unfair, puzzling and not a little unsettling. Continue reading

Club Django and More



Last week a friend (actually, two separate friends, who both know me well)  invited me to come along and hear Club Django. I do love hearing bands play live and I particularly like this kind of music but sometimes it seems like too much trouble after a  long day at work and the concept of coming home and going out again seems unbearable.

Still, as noted here before, I find Klezmer (or so-called ‘Gypsy Jazz’) especially cheering and these past few weeks, I have been feeling super down and questioning almost everything I usually find enjoyable. That sounds bad and it hasn’t been as bad as all that, but I’ve been embroiled in my past and I feel so stirred up, I have not been sleeping and I’m overwhelmed a lot of the time.

So, on impulse, and despite the fact that The General was just as happy not to attend, I decided to accept after all and headed out at the especially odd time of 2pm, out of the glinty sunshine and into a darker venue to catch Club Django in concert.

And from the opening notes, I was so, so happy that I did.

The high-octane, soaring guitars matched the swinging violin beat for beat ( I couldn’t take my eyes off the technicolour hatted Rodion Boshoer, who was playing like he had been recently set on fire) and I felt absolutely transported; I was also amused to note that there were several extra, extra large coffee cups by the band’s amps.  Abbey Sholzberg’s energetic skill with the double bass was both lively and impressive, his faux-leopard vest charming and suitably quirky; basically, it was impossible not to be happy in that room and the crowd was loving it. I was so glad that I was there and that I had forced myself to come out.

Django himself,  would be well pleased. Continue reading