Wednesday, December 07, 2005

No Cure For Nature

I was dreaming in a strange land. I was west of the fields and cutting paths through to the bigger fields somewhere up top. Farmers, on four pounds an hour, doffed their caps as they spilt their last few drops of petrol. Or free red diesel. Or whatever it was.

I was in the fields and feeling decidedly agrarian. Behind me were the neat stacked rows of cow bells that somehow whistled. As the birdies also somehow whistled. I had to be careful in front of the finches and deathly quiet for the parakeets.

This was my weekend with real shit on my shoes. I walked the fields, trod the mud and got real shit on my shoes. The wind and the rain flattened my face but refused to wash the shit from my shoes. I was lost in a sea of countryside shit.

I stood next to a combine harvester and hummed. I pressed myself against the oddly rusting engine of a gleaming red tractor. I spiked stones from my shoe with an industrial-sized rake. When the machinery rolled the fields, I stood up and cheered.

Rabbit hutches offered refuge from the rain. I packed myself in with a row of English Spots. And a bed full of London Tugs. Big-eared, buck-toothed motherfuckers. A crate load of carrot-crunching cunts. We fought over the lettuce.

I was dressed in boots and green. A green shirt and one of those stupid wax jackets with pockets as deep as the sea. Inside I carried sheets of newspaper wrapped within my spiky type jumper. A hat, also of green, topped off my protected head.

I chose the path with the golden turns. At each end a five bar gate. At each five bar gate, a milk maid. And a cow. I took it in turns at each gate, with each milk maid, with each cow. They were frothy white and with a daisy chain to boot.

I galloped a horse and played wellingtons with a red-headed girl. She had smoke in her eyes and fire in her gristle. She was a barnpot and a fair wee lass. We trod bales together and made ready for the winter. A storm came and the storm went.

There was dancing in the village, so I danced. Fiddles. Corn pipes. Fallopian flutes. Bass bassoons. Drumlets. Crashing cymbals. Authority dodgers. Nestling leaves. Wonder kinds. Half loads. A dance beneath the maypole. A grab at the trees.

I was an open wound on the countryside. Me, my house and my six fat kids. My two fat wives. My three fat cars. I was a nappy in the hedgerow, a burn of circle on the dried summer grass. Yes, we said to the people at the village shop, yes we’ll come again.

6 Comments:

Blogger Molly Bloom said...

Again, lovely use of natural imagery here. Cutting your way through the paths made by oxen, hares (scary) and fowl. The kind of paths where you have to walk one foot in front of each other (amongst the flops) on a very narrow strip of mud and nearly fall sideways into the meandering verbs.

Some absolutely magical phrases: the musical 'fallopian flutes' and the anatomical 'fire in her gristle' - simply wonderful!

You almost expect D H Lawrence to grab hold of your skirt in this place and drag you under the nearest hedge for a bit of how's yer father! Full of wicked wiles and punchy trails that take you onto pastures new.

How you think of the autumnal consonants of 'trod' and 'mud' against the softer 'pockets as deep as the sea' I don't know...

I also like the way that there is a glimpse into a heaven-like state of the 'golden turns' where you can see and touch whatever you wish. The milk-maids are almost a kind of wistful sheepskin memory. A ramble through countryside contemplation that sticks to your feet like...well...you know what.

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