New Year Carvery

You know, things go on. The world still turns, the seasons follow their customary order, stretching ahead from those first, unwitnessed moments. It is man’s tendency to carve time up into chunks, allot measures and names and meaning. Apparently this is the year of the monkey. But only until the portion we call January 28th, for then it becomes the year of the rooster.

I’ve even heard that this year we are adding an extra second-a leap second, to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation. That’s going to cock the fireworks up, isn’t it?

I’m not sure if we make it up as we go along, I put my trust in the experts. Maybe we could add an hour-give everyone some extra drinking time?

The days are gone when I spend New Year’s Eve in a pub, congratulating everyone after the countdown with a firm handshake, a kiss, and “Another year closer to death.” But that’s just me-I temper it with a smile. But you guys know that, for you follow City Jackdaw.

But I will join in and welcome (after impatiently waiting that extra second) the carved segment that we will call 2017. And 2016: close the door on the way out.

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Hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve, however you want to mark it.

See you on the flip side. Let the segment begin.

Twilight Time #1

The time-between-time. Still my favourite.

City Jackdaw

I overheard a conversation today between two people. I didn’t intentionally listen, but they were sat behind me on the bus, and so I was a captive eavesdropper. They were talking about what their favourite time of the day was.

By favourite time, I don’t mean 2.34am, or 15.12pm. Rather, the portion of day that they preferred.

One announced that he was a morning person. The other snorted, claiming that he had always been a ‘night owl’.

As we carve up the year into seasons into months into weeks into days into hours, I suppose we cannot help but hold them to comparison and have preferences.

My favourite season is Winter. My favourite half of the year begins with Autumn. Or Fall, as they put it more poetically across the pond.

But what about my favourite time of the day?

I love twilight, that time when the daylight noticeably…

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The Playthings Of Man

Those of you who have read my book will have come across a namecheck in the foreword of a certain Kenneth White. White introduced the term Geopoetics, the meaning of which has informed both my writing and the way that I see the world for a long time-long before I had even heard of Geopoetics or knew what it meant.

Being an admirer of White’s poetry and his waybooks, this afternoon I was sat outside in what is perhaps the final ebb of summer, reading House Of Tides. This quote, of an old Japanese saying, stood out:

In youth a man plays with women, in middle age with the arts, and in old age with a garden.

I put it in context for myself.

Here I am: happily married; playing at being a poet; thinking about peas.

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Fallow Beauty

Fallow Beauty

Fallow beauty,
hungering to be spoiled,

possessing every glance
for a moment,

disobediant eyes
trailing her meandering mile,

a languid sway
into summer's meridian,

barelegged and barefooted,
suffused in bronze.

Wasps are persistent,
seeking out discarded fruit,

a rotten bounty,
stripped and blackening,
putrefying 
half buried in sand

alongside I,
being swallowed whole,
suddenly
breathless and old,

following a shadow
of admirable ruin.


©Andrew James Murray


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Father And Daughter, Summer

Father And Daughter, Summer

The swallows return, skimming the blue.
Hoist up the flag, fluttering in the breeze.
The summer's here, her heralds settled
upon the greening, burgeoning sea.

Full womanhood, now, she draws the eye,
points to the orchard; her hungry womb.
The sun sinks into his scoured face.
The air is sweet, but tinged with myrrh.

Banish the shadows, the star-filled night,
(the clock still ticks the markers down).
The day now reigns, resplendent robes
clothes them both and stakes a claim.

The poet; the painter; the waking muse,
blinks it all in, and turns the page.
Immortalises all, in frozen time,
airbrushing out the parting waves.


©Andrew James Murray