Friday, March 17, 2006

outside information

"A paper in a wineglass - one each for your son, your husband and yourself. Esther. Before retiring - a prophylactic dose. It's the miasma, you know. You mustn't neglect it, even in port, though it's rather dear. Keep on an eye on your stockist; that will be a sub-Post Office, I expect; and mind you don't run short."

Inside the ebon Ijaw night, if you awoke, and sometimes you would only wander in sleep, you felt tinned in oils, and the rainbows seeped into your eyelids. Dawlish Warren, old Dr Harmison, Dolly with the morning milk.... and she sang hymns with Henry, or:

And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

After trimming the wick she arranged the treasures of her basket; the twists of thread, (the colours alas that were not useful for mending), needles, thimbles, and those insidious hooks and eyes made a camarilla of islands in her surrounds - this close, enormous lampblack. It was a rare thing for her to work in the night hours. Her head was clear but it was "beastly hot" indeed. She gazed at the threads and ribbons until, with patience, a throstle sang in the lilac.

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