What a treat I have for you today! A longer lyrical prose piece by Hull writer Julie Corbett, which just blew me away when I read it. I so hope you enjoy it too.
Yesterday I met a man at the bus stop, exchanged pleasantries,
as we waited. His bus arrived before mine. I resumed thinking
about mud, not soil, although my mud is a mixture of top soil
and boulder clay. The man lived at the coast; a town protected
by sea defences, concrete, Norwegian larvikite and hard wood
groynes. He was taking some new curtains home, in my bag
more library books. He didn’t show me the photos on his phone,
prehistoric forest, black twisted limbs stretched out to salty air.
Today I go out to tea, to meet my friend, who gives me a book.
A poetry collection about sheds. My mind strays backwards,
back to mud and forks and trenches and worms. Amazing worms,
not clagged by stickiness of clay. I guess they have a dubbin-like
layer of special lubricating slime, effective in bone- dry compost
as well. My friend is recovering from serious illness, plans visits
to all the people, she didn’t get to last year. We drink three pots
of tea, talk about choirs, turbans, sarcomas and hair growth rates.
Tomorrow will be its odd, slipping self, arriving as it becomes
today, slipping to the past as breath clears the lips. I worry
about weather, not climate change. I worry about the texture
of the land I dig to plant potatoes and herbaceous borders.
Sometimes I will ask my father for his opinion or for advice.
He is dying from a complex blend of life and love and work,
fused with asbestosis and removed tumours. I enjoy waking
before my alarm to car noises and birdsongs from the street.
By contrast, mine is a ridiculous piece of (strictly-speaking, inaccurate) doggerel about Roman poet Lucretius and his treatise on Epicurean philosophy, called ‘The Nature of Things’. Obviously.