"This was what I had prayed for: a small piece of land with a garden, a fresh-flowing spring of water at hand near the house, and, above and behind, a small forest stand… It's perfect. I ask nothing more."
– Horace, Satires and Epistles, II.6.
Begin at the motorway. Between gravel and green
find, in place of kerb, cleared dirt. Tall poplar rows,
scaling birds. Song hedged against sound. Near a
half-mile on, signs into town save one: To Haffield.
Climb the wrought gate with the factory stacks. On
the far side the circling path turns to give you time
alone in uncut grass. Daffodils in clumps. Chestnut
furl. Step forward, then sit. Watch as clouds curl.
Imagine you have enough time here for a meal. An
afternoon. The sun does not set. Your phone does
not ring. Either side, the valley is a somnolent sea,
two pairs of cresting sails, the walls of your street,
back home. Woods along both ridges peer into the
centrefold. The silence is warm, unfenced; a parcel
at the foot of the stairs. Today is none of the days
of the week, so tuck your legs in. Listen for a creek.
Write nothing down. This is a day to need and keep
in the heart's hollow, one to allow for all the others,
otherwise spent: between two cities, or discontent
in one you have always known. Perusing books in
known languages, a safe distance from the moving
crowd, where airports and platforms become one.
Look how each branch above makes space for one
more. See how they say, this is higher, this is not all.
By Theophilus KwekQLRS Vol. 14 No. 1 Jan 2015