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Dec 2011
My window has no seat, why would it? I wish it did.
There is just a glossy magnolia ledge, barely wide enough to
cater a slender bottom. Upon the ledge books and candles
rest, illuminating the murk outside. Directly opposite orchard
trees recede as I welcome autumn with a zealous smirk.
For now faintly visible between their visceral arms are the
all-seeing hillocks that in winter will dominate my view.

An impartial observer once stated they were mere freckles
on the landscapes recumbent spine, but to me their sight alone
is vertiginous. On balmy April days I would surmount them,
a personal expedition, up there where I’m the valleys curator, wearing
pristine white gloves I meticulously unravel the terrain: an ancient
manuscript, the vellum inked with meandering streams, occasional farms,
cursive hamlets and little else - a land of sobriety and dearth.

In November though there is a permanent mist and its source
inexplicable. Does it simply effervesce from the precipitous tors about?
Is it the villager’s enshrined collective sigh? No it is something
more. Sitting atop the villages head it’s the beloved satin bonnet you
wore religiously as a child. Wholly impractical for this season
its gossamer fabric offers little solace or insulation to those below
as its pleated extremities elope with the moss-brown hinterland.

Fervently stoking their hearths the villagers broaden the
ethereal cloth with a smoke not acrid but satisfying and nourishing:
with a terrifically edible, hardwood flavour. From my hillock
vantage, the sanguine stone of the manorial chimneys is all that
penetrates the film; casually they release torrents of smoke like
ivory doves that weft patterns instinctively into the sky’s pallid damask.

©*Thomas Gabriel
thomas gabriel
Written by
thomas gabriel
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