Crows

Crows

A disheartening of crows
gathered in winter fields.

Naked trees 
from disused rail road tracks,

dark stains
on white linen.

In trust we are led
through this stark terrain,

senses soaked
in sparse liquor,

a hungry air tasting our flesh,

a murmuring 
of hardened, thirsting 
soil.

They rise, wheeling,
across the sky,

black flecks of mortality
in widening whites of eyes.





©AndrewJamesMurray
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What Goes Up

Sometimes I walk around blind. Many times I have walked up and down Balloon Street in Manchester, a thoroughfare that connects Shudehill Bus Station and Manchester Victoria Train Station.

I have even cast an absent thought in the direction of this street name, thinking it a little unusual without looking into it.

Just up or down it.



However, it was only this week that I spotted this, and all became clear:


James Sadler, the first English aeronaut, made the first manned balloon ascent near to this spot. I’ve since discovered that he was accompanied by a cat. It seems that this poor feline remains anonymous, whitewashed from history.

All of this took place on the 12th of May, 1785.

I wonder if they’ve come down yet?

. . . I Know Her For The Student Of The Cold Northern Chamber

I’m sat on this rainy day in a cafe, drinking coffee and reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales Of Terror.

The title of this post comes, not from Jekyll, but from the included gothic vampire tale Olalla, which has captivated me on this gloomy morning. It’s to stories such as this that I habitually begin to turn to around this time.

Even just out of a heatwave, and the recent cessation of the hill fires, maybe it’s the sensing of those approaching blue, irregular nights that puts me in this frame of mind.

Alexander Jansson’s illustration for Olalla.