He would consider the rain as it approached,
watch the storm clouds gather, the searchlights
of sun piercing purple clouds and turning the fields
to strobe-light, elf-light emerald.
He sat waiting for the rain to reach him and wet him,
the wind to knock him about. Until it did,
he sat untroubled, like a beast.
Then he got up and opened the meeting house door
with the seven-inch iron key that lived under a stone,
and plodded about inside maybe sweeping around a bit
with the broom that lay under the benches.
He looked out for cobwebs, trapped butterflies, signs of damp.
Accumulated silence breathed from the building,
wafted out on to the fell, swam in again in tides.
Silence was at the root of Charlie's life.
---Jane Gardam, The Meeting House, 1994. The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories
Monday, February 23, 2009
P & P