Thursday, 20 August 2009


The land is straining out of itself and before it even arises, there are those who anticipaqte it. They have learnt it by heart and they know that now is the time to take a stroll. With me on the mainland I can see them sinking through the mud, shimmering on the horizen, stepping through the water that parts to leave the muddy mirror that meets them with their double with such precision. The boy with the double jointed limbs is lying like a swivelled cross-bow on the land or is enfolded into the belly of his mother, peering out so clearly over her shoulder at the figures scooping out wet sand by the fist-fulls. But when they stop what they are doing and look over he rolls backwards and tumbles down the shingle until he meets the mud that he grows out of all over again. His mother goes down with a bucket and spade and I can no longer differentiate them from the others. I lie in the hot stones and wait for the heat from below to work its way into my dislocated shoulder. On the tube, going from tunnel to tunnel I walked behind a woman with a straggling arm that she no longer bothered to protect against the knocks and brushes along the way- it was no longer held intact as part of a body but blew loosely to and fro subject to a thousand unrelated breezes. I have never seen such playfulness before. Then I go down to the mud flat which is seeping into the sea gradually invading it. A girl who suddenly looses two metres of natural growth exclaims, "It's quick sand. It is unbelievably soft seducing the foot into its depths. But on the shingle limb, now quite visible as one long extensoin into the midst of sea, children are pricking bare soft feet, edged on into this walk of pain by exuberant parents so that they can glance back at the mainland from somewhere else.

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