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This report is taken from PN Review 161, Volume 31 Number 3, January - February 2005.

From a Journal R.F. Langley

August 2003
As I came back up the garden, I sat down on the bench, and stayed there a couple of hours. B was in the attic with the computer, the roof window by her open, the electric light in there strengthening during those hours, from invisible, to a suggestion, to gold in a cave. There was continuous cloud crossing, with blue gaps paling between. Metal grey. Lead silver. With darker whiffs. At first there were touches of citrine, not brown, not yellow, not orange,... which chilled and disappeared. There was a small star, which I thought was a satellite because it was moving, but this movement was transferred from the clouds, as I realised when the star reappeared in the same place later. No swifts. No sparrows. No starlings. The raucous bird life has moved away from the garden, to Africa or into the fields and marshes. House martins still, high, in a group, like swifts but slower, gentler, quieter. Thirty or so of them. They vanish as darkness comes.

A bird appears, suddenly, in the dusk, on the clothes line, seated there unrocking, instantly solidly set. Then it hops onto the line post, that branch of yew that we use as such. A robin. It gives a short burst of song in the dark. Another is on the grass, a dim lump which flurries off. I can hear short songs and brief calls from the oak. A dragonfly is passing and re-passing along the ...


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