Saturday, June 6, 2009

rolled purples

There is something about being cold in summer that is much more chilling than being cold in winter. Another day of the claustrophobic and cold white sky weather. Sun seems well and truly blocked out, rain is on the way, I have just switched on the central heating. I grow old, I grow old, I will wear the bottom of my purples rolled – which reminds me, there is more T.S. Eliot on the box tonight. It clashes with a film called Signs, but what do I need to watch a spooky film about crop circles for? The Signs are spooky enough in my own front garden: there is something wrong with our beautiful apple tree. Some of the leaves have shrivelled and look burnt to a crisp. The tree doctor says if it is caused by insect infestation it will survive, if it is our deadly enemy Honey Fungus the tree will most likely have to be cut down. We lost a silver birch last year to that. This comes hard after the loss of our cherry tree,

two weeks it flowered in my kitchen, the scent of it painful,
like losing a sister,
like taking a bride from the altar, husbandless

– a snippet from work in progress. I observe that when I write about beauty it usually comes with pain and I also observe that I don’t write many funny poems, or if they are funny then it’s not obvious to anyone but me (someone did once say I had a kind of sly humour but neither of us were sure if that was a compliment).

And back to the trees: our next neighbour but one has cut down an ash tree. I’m sure there was a good reason for it but it has quite changed the view when one looks out of the window at the back of the house. There is always a tree issue in these parts, the forest is all around us and everything that is not forest wants to be. What with that and keeping the elementals happy one has one’s work cut out.

It has been a difficult week, I’ve been myaligicmusclebound and mainly housebound – without the former the latter would be fine in my little house, albeit with compromised view, but my neighbour (not the hot cross bun one) has had scaffolding put up by the side of his house which is hard by the side of our house. There have been days of banging, scraping and raucous banter, and I am spoiled with so much silence and birdsong, not used to the noise.

Certainly it is time for the rolled purples.


Zhoen said...

Summer cold is a shock, unsettling.

I like your work in progress. Pleasantly baffling.

Sad about trees being lost, they seem like such eternal beings.

Reading the Signs said...

I know, Zhoen, my works in progress have a significant element of the wtf these days, I cross my fingers and hope for the best.

If the tree is lost we must needs plant another. But I have formed a strong attachment to this one.

trousers said...

"..when I write about beauty it usually comes with pain"

Yes. I have my moments (and I happen to be in the middle of one) in which the former wouldn't be even noticed or have meaningful form without the latter.

I would take sly humour as a complement if it were bandied about in my direction.

Word ver = elysahi which sounds to me like an utterance in a celebratory ritual, which doesn't half sound like a bad idea.

trousers said...


Compliment, even.

Anonymous said...

You don't get much cold in the summer here, you long for it sometimes, but it doesn't come.

The cold in winter more than makes up for that though.

Extreme climates - very annoying, but at least you get to wear hats.

willow said...

Love the extract from your poem!

Ah, yes, the Elliot quote has become a mantra in our house..hehe

Trees...last Sunday the municipality came round to further mangle our sidewalk Ash tree. I love that tree and fought to save its life a year ago, this time they caught me unawares as I was still asleep when the chainsaws descended. The tree is still there, but in reduced form. I bond with trees and late at night it feels as if they come alive as the 'eternal beings' Zhoen mentioned... at least, it feels as if they exist in a different dimension at night and I feel privileged to be part of it.

Reading the Signs said...

elysahi sounds positively angelic, Trousers - I will definitely include it in my rituals (what rituals? must attend to this). My word ver, btw, is curbudge.

Looking at it another way, "complement" might also do quite nicely.

Zhisou, I am feeling that perhaps I should come and live where you are. But on the other hand, a lot of heat would have me moaning, which wouldn't be fair on anyone. Hats I like.

Willow, don't tell me you wear purples too!

Ah yes, the trees. Even now as I look out, I can see more burnt crisp leaves. I simply have to stop reading the natural world as metaphor. But it is the tree itself, also. I want it to live.

Mim said...

The worst cold in the northeast comes in March after the first day of spring. Icy winds down from the arctic. I hope things have warmed up!

Kahless said...

Rolled purples?

It is sad when you lose a tree. Though ash trees can be a pain - they only seem to have a certain life span before they shed big branches that can be dangerous. We had some ashes felled the other year.

The word verification is feminize. Somehow I thought that to be a sign. To remove yang energy of the trees promotes more yin - to feminize.

willow said...

Ah yes Signs, I used to wear purples a lot....pants, skirts, jerseys, blouses, etc. Now I mostly wear jeans and long denim skirts, easy to get into and out of bed with :) (Now *this* could be misconstrued...hehe)

Mr Willow could not remember which well known person said "I grow old, I grow old, I will wear the skin on my elbows rolled" :)

Yes, nature as metaphor, a big problem to me too! We have an old peach tree that the gardening service wanted to remove 12 yrs ago. We said 'no'. Each spring we marvel at the small cluster of blossoms it still produces.

I hope your tree survives.

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Reading the Signs said...

Mim, I still needed the central heating on this morning - so things have not warmed up significantly. Saw a patch of blue sky though.

Kahless rolled purples - you know: my purple shell suit trousers. And the line from TS Eliot's J Alfred Prufrock about wearing the bottom of one's trousers rolled.

The WVLs are quite brilliant.

Willow the Signs are looking a bit more auspicious: my neighbour's fruit trees has this very same malaise but they survived, so my apple tree may too.

Sexy, will you please fuck off and leave me alone. I've just had to delete a whole batch of these messages. It must be quite obvious by now that I don't fancy you.

Kahless said...

Unfortunately Sexy fucked off to my blog!

(I have now deleted said comment.)

trousers said...

Ah yes, sexy dropped by at mine too - I did the same as kahless did. Sure has a way with words though.

Reading the Signs said...

Kahless, Trousers - do you think we're just giving off the wrong kind of signals?

A way with words, I'll grant you - too avant garde for my tastes though, and s/he should definitely not give up the day time job.

Sexless said...

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Reading the Signs said...

Sexless, For one glorious moment I thought you were about to give me your bank details. this is just a hunch but, am I right in thinking that you are a pigeon-fancier? I do hope not because I'm not too keen on them myself. Reading between the lines, you seem like a sensitive and cultured sort of entity, unlike the wretched Sexy.

I hope that viagra is not your real name.

Reading the Signs said...

oh, and Sexless dearie? I know who y'are, ye know. Smirk. Just saying. And I also know that you know that I know etc. You are awful! (but I like seeing you around, in whatever guise).

tpe said...

You may very well see through my Chinesey disguise, Senorita, but can you be sure that I didn't, in fact, pass on my bank details to you? Can I be sure that I didn't do so, in fact? Bugger.

Hello. How are you doing today? The poetry thing (in the next post): is it possible to replace the last six lines of the first version with the last four lines of the second? That would be my preferred solution, in any event, to the terrible pickle we (The Nation) seem to find ourselves in. It would be a shame, of course, to lose "the odourless lips of a still-born rose" - a real shame, in fact - but this would be the only real casualty of such a switch and I think it would read very well.

Wait. I know that it would be possible to switch the lines, of course, but that's maybe not the word I was looking for. You know what I mean, anyway. Ah, language is a killer.

因為耶和華在那裡變亂天下人的言語,使眾人分散在全地上,所以那城名叫巴別........(Genesis 11:9) Makes you wonder, doesn't it? No, me neither. Although it probably should.

Only the very best of good things to you, poet.


(I've just watched a cat eating a meal with a fork (and then chopsticks) on YouTube. I need to share this stark fact with someone, and you're closest. Sorry about that.)

tpe said...

Aha. I see that someone called "Willow" is suggesting similar sort of things - only better - in the post above. Well, I said it here first and so feel entirely justified in clinging to my imagined sense of originality. (This is why it always pays to read the comments of other people before commenting. God damn it.)

Watch it, Signs.

tpe said...

Okay. Now I see that Willow is in this thread, too, and here's me talking about him/her as if they're in another room.

This went well, I feel.

I'll go and do some penitential weeding in the garden. Toot-tooti-toot.

Reading the Signs said...

Dearly esteemed TPE, I find myself unsure of anything but the pleasure of your company in this dodgy and uneven terrain we find ourselves in. Life, I mean - virtual or otherwise. You know perfectly well that you didn't give me your bank details, which I'm a bit miffed about because you clearly don't trust me.

I'm considering substituting a few lines of the poem with

but I think it might be difficult to read out with the right kind of expression.

You and Willow are onto something. Watch it yourself, because I might be calling on you both to edit the entire Collected Works of Signs.

I'll see about "odourless lips". Sometimes, as Virginia Woolf says, one has to murder one's darlings for the good of the whole. She didn't say the last six words, just the darlings bit.

Mwahs! etc.