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This report is taken from PN Review 189, Volume 36 Number 1, September - October 2009.

From a Journal R.F. Langley
20 August 1978

The long grass is full of fallen apples. There is no wind at all, even in the tops of the orchard trees. But there are violent pockets of energy up there, which are sparrows, and those clubs of sticky berries are honeysuckle. The glow is lemon and vermilion in them, and waxy. Their leaves are smoother and softer and I can see their long pink stems. The sparrows tug at the berries, their heads and chins twisting. A nut-brown young blackbird is jabbing into a fallen apple. Soft, white beakfuls of it. There are two other, younger blackbirds, uncouth and speckled. Brown and white apples jerk in the grass. Now there are five young blackbirds and much pecked fruit rocks. Fresh white bits of it fly like spit. There is a song thrush. Stuff vanishes in snaps. One bird flies away with a shining red fragment. There is a brief stir of air and the thrush glitters in sudden sunlight as the shadows of the cypress come and go. The neighbour has had a fire in the garden. It has been alight since yesterday evening. A dead white fleck of ash stumbles down the mats of foliage, wobbling. She was sorry, but she needed to get rid of dry rot. Last night twelve spokes of mackerel cloud radiated from behind R. Parker, Boot and Shoe Store, at the end of Eastgate, each spoke milky at its edges and lavender within, against a pale blue evening sky ...


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