We walk in winterbare sunbright woods a winding path that skirts fallen trees sprawling bramble thickets and forms its own linear ponds where frogs protest our passage
I hear a clinking high pitched, sharp, intermittent and somewhere behind
Nothing in our gear is metallic and loose I hear the noise, but he doesn’t when I stop to listen, he is confused stumbles into me our path follows a millennium-old ditch and I begin to suspect the noise comes from there but the ditch contains only brown beech leaves
When we stop, the clinks stop When we walk once more clink clink clink after a small wait
Sun shafts through clawing branches strange rustles lurk under leafdrifts our pleasant walk reforms mutates into else and other
The clinks are always there as long as we are beside the ditch always something follows
I’m delighted to tell you that the first ever issue of Sciencefictionery Magazine is published today, and my poem ‘Falling’ is part of this great issue. My poem tells a story about troubles on a voyage to Mars.
In old Malay, draped in forest lies heat swamped George Town along tree lined avenues abandoned colonial mansions forsaken, cracked, diminished irrelevant to today they rot in new technological haze yet from shattered empty windows evening jazz drifts across warm night air inside, lights flicker shadows dance over damp walls slim couples flirt and smoke your exploratory visit brings silence reveals vacant rooms missing floors instead of lively dancers they were the old tenants hantu partying on the graveyard shift
Old hotel, four square and white now with modern pool and spa and the original private beach golden, secluded, sunlit it’s a long walk but a short drive a bus plies the mountain road past green country and decaying tombs behind collapsing walls the last ride of the day is often full today extra guests board quiet individuals some tall and lanky a woman in a green qipao halfway back, the bus empties although the feverish driver can’t remember stopping his new passengers have truly started their graveyard shift
The ancient one, birthed in another age beak mouthed, strangely skeletal peels away from her verdant slope stutters stonily on tiny hooves shakes dust from ethereal flanks nuzzles her impalpable foal
She who once pulled the chariot of the Sun wakes on this eve of dreams gallops over hill and vale bone stone cold creature looming, outsized, lumpy she sails over hedgerows scatters cattle and chickens sets farm dogs barking pet dogs to cower
She will break over you like an ocean wave roll you over and under in your midsummer dreaming refreshing or drowning, you make your choice, take your chance
Rosy fingered dawn will return her stiffening to the high slopes she settles creaking into green back to the land
If you stand in the valley near the village of Uffington in Oxfordshire and look up at the high curve of chalk grassland above, you can see an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut into the grass. She has a sweeping body, a round eye set in a square head, a beak. and an invisible foal (you’ll have to trust me on that last one).
This is the Uffington White Horse, a 3,000-year-old pictogram visible from 20 miles away.
Once every hundred years the Uffington horse gallops across the sky to be reshod by Wayland in his smithy, just along the Ridgeway track. This is said to have last happened in around 1920. Maybe Wayland waits for her tonight……