The next morning Sophie woke the 'travellers' and ate breakfast with them in the big hall. Lilly had been awake for two hours cleaning and searching the room from top to bottom, and end to end, convinced that it was possible a listening device might be hidden somewhere. She had turned all the tables over and scrutinised every chair. And though she had found nothing was still convinced the effort was worth it
My first act of the day had been to hunt down James. I found him sitting under his favourite tree. (the one he used to hide in as a child.)
He smiled at me, "I know what you want." He said.
I sat down next to him saying, "Normally I think I'd be scolding you, 18 or not I don't really approve of eavesdropping, but I think these are special circumstances."
"I learned my lesson a long time ago: like you told me eavesdroppers never hear good of themselves, it took me a year to firgive Leanne. But like you say these are special circumstances.&qu…
I kind of expected an 'adventure' to begin almost immediately, but despite his alien appearance Snixat, was for all practical purposes, a stoned hippy. And one fond of music. The Internet and YouTube particularly, proved to be a revelation for him. Especially the availability of sixties music, and he was working his way through almost every acts available catalogue. I was glad he had found YouTube before my album collection. I didn't have any confidence the CD's would survive the experience, let alone the vinyl.
9 days after I first knocked myself out, I entered the UFO through the disconcerting door in empty air. The garden is overlooked but there was line of sight of the doorway from only one window, three doors up. Every other window was blocked by a tree, a fence, or my garden shed. I had hung our a sheet on the washing line to block the last remaining opportunity of seeing me dissappear into thin air.
Other people stopped and chatted to, 'the old one' through the evening, and I found mysef fascinated by how his benign smile seemed to become more and more strained, as the evening progressed. I heard at least two people ask him what the mountains were like, and his answer was beginning to sound increasingly rehearsed.
One large room in the old part of the farm, had been made up for the travellers, and as the evening ended, I saw Sophie show them where the bathroom and their room was. Just for a moment I thought I saw James behind the farm house. Part of me thought I should go and find him, eavesdropping is after all a little rude. But another part of me wanted to know what he managed to hear.
Lilly was busy whispering to people pointing them up the hill to the cove, where we would sometimes have the gathering in the summer. Some people were reluctant, it was October after all, and night to hoot. But Lilly is a very persuasive person when she wants to be. I dutifully followed.
It landed in my garden. Although I didn't realize it was there at first. I just noticed from my window, that the beans I was growing and we're nearly ready to pick had been completely flattened. I had put my boots and gardening jacket on, gone out, picked up my spade and grumpily started to walk down and see if there was anything I could salvage. Cursing 11 year old Jamie from 3 doors up, because he was usually the one responsible for any trouble in our neighborhood.
Then I walked into it. And knocked myself clean out.
When I woke up, it was a scene from a genuine alien abduction. Which I didn't believe in, so the next 10 minutes involved a good deal of conflict in, and reassessment of, my world view. I was on a bed, a tube up my nose, something strapped to my arm. And a strange tall, grey skinned figure with a somewhat bulbous head, teardrop shaped, Jet Black shiny eyes, tiny upturned nose, narrow chin, and disconcertingly tiny mouth, was st…
John stood quietly and I could tell he was reorganising his thoughts. "Which Ism, do you think they are?" He asked.
"I'm, not certain," I paused, "I think whoever they are, they planned to survive 'the day'. In a deliberately constructed and provisioned bunker. They undoubtedly think of themselves as 'the government', and no doubt want to take back what they think is theirs."
"What do you think we should do about them?
"I'm not sure. I think Lilly would talk about alliances and information gathering. It would certainly be a bad idea to antagonise them at this stage." I turned to John as a thought occurred to me, "Have you asked them about the smokers?"
"No, it seemed to me that the more ignorant they thought I was, the more I might learn about them."
"I think it would be good to ask them, I imagine they might be the source of the carts that come down from the North. Even their reaction to the…
In the Valley, almost everything new was named by the children, no one planned it, it just happened that way: by the time we reached the community, the three new arrivals were 'the travellers.' John was chatting with the 'old one', whilst the children were monopolising the 'others'.
The 'others' seemed a bit uncomfortable with this, but 8 year old Shelly seemed to be on a mission to wear them down, showing them doll after hand made wooden doll, she kept in her permanently attached bag, with detailed descriptions, of who they were, their names, what they did, what clothes they had, what clothes they were having made, what furniture they had in the big dolls house at home, and hundreds of other details.
The adults were all engaged in conversations, some quiet and discreet others quite loud and raucous. There was something of a party atmosphere, but with an odd undertone. Lilly in particular seemed to be standing back trying to appear disinterested in the…
Silent moonlight dusts leaves of hawthorns in darkness.
little nocturnal feet scuttle before light ends busyness,
Work now, for fear of the dangerous eyes of the light.
seeking morsels and soft goods for nests snug and tight.
Small busy creature, what eyes or ears keep you unseen,
When daytime comes do you sleep perchance to dream
Do you watch the sky's nervously for an owls silent flight,
Do you listen out for the soft paws of foxes in the night.
At home in your nest are there little hungry ones, unfed,
Does your nocturnal spouse await your return in dread
For without you can they raise your young without harm
What risks do you take in darkness, as you do, are you calm.
I listen to you, in the night, nocturnal feet I wish you well,
I hope you make it home, and labours see your larder full.
And you raise more little feet, to beckon future human ears.
As silent moonlight dusts leaves of hawthorn in darkness.
The travellers changed everything, the dispute if anything got worse, and they gave us all sorts of new excuses to argue. But I get ahead of myself. I should tell first, how the travellers came to our valley. One day, whilst John, Michael and Sally were busy looking west, watching Bossman and the smokers, three figures had walked up the valley from the south east. Mark and Chang, who were helping Terry build the wall had seen them first, following the rout of the old overgrown road, through what had always been known as 'the big village'. Mark had run up to the community with the news. And whilst everyone had walked, or in the case of the children run full pelt down to the nearly complete wall, Mark had continued up to Luke's View to find John. And it was everyone, myself included. These were the first people from outside the Valley any of us had ever seen, without the aid of binoculars and a high vantage point. The new visitors acted in a friendly way, waving to us lined alo…
My version of Black Mountain Side by Jimy Page: Page's arrangement was inspired by a traditional Irish folk song called "Down by Blackwaterside" and Bert Jansch's version of that song, on the album Jack Orion
A flash almost too bright,
A gods hammer fractures the night.
And Fathers eyes alive,
As echos resound.
Outside we go,
Into rain like stair rods,
And Myolnir falls again,
Others run for cover
Whilst we stand laughing
In the heart of a tempest.
Faces upturned into the rain.
My arms outstretched
Welcoming forces into my heart.
That might squash me like an ant.
While the downpoor soaks our clothes,
To some unfathomed place.
Where mere words,
Cannot hope to reach.
I feel raised up,
Up into the storm,
The sorcerer and his apprentice,
Weilding and welded by nature's might.
By forces beyond the ken,
behind fragile beds.
Belonged to me.
When father left
This Earth for other lands.
He left no great estates,
No boundless fortune,
No vast empire,
Flourished in his…
He stood looking out over the debris, of the city, not one building was untouched. In the distance there was the strange other worldly sound of the alien weapons. Slowly they were drawing closer.
Systematically the aliens were working through the wreckage looking for survivors, and destroying any possible resistance.
It was like fighting machines. The aliens looked organic, they had hands, heads, eyes, ears: even strange patchy fur, but they thought and acted in utterly incomprehensible ways. They had strong armour and deadly weaponry.
At first they had seemed friendly, giving and accepting gifts, but then they simply took things they wanted, and took offence when the owner would not give it up willingly. Another incident had followed, and another until before anyone realised it a full scale war was in progress. And then once they had won, the war had not stopped but proceeded to slavery, and genocide.
"They do not see us as sentient beings," he thought, " just animals…
There is something about poetry
that lends itself to melancholy.
That leads the mind to be morose,
To draw misery and sorrow close.
But apply a little thought around,
Something brighter can be found.
Every rhyme can be a quip,
every verse becomes a hit,
Of something just to lift one up,
More sure than wine in a cup.
So I wrote this as an aide memoire.
Serious poems are not all there are.
The poem isn't mine I understand it to be 'anon' but have also seen it attributed to a 'Gary Larson' with some artwork attached (not the above) though he may have been the artist.
The above artwork is my own.
My baby’s left my lilypad.
My legs have been deep fried.
I munch on flies. And when I die,
they’ll stick me in formaldehyde.
Oh, I’ve got the greens baby.
Oh, I’ve got the greens,
I got the greens real bad.