Friday, 10 April 2015


On this day of happiness- you with your beautiful spiky hair, forged paperwork, the taste of spunk in your mouth: me in my cotton dress and crinoline petticoat, looking like something out of the “Sound of Music”. We are ready to catch the moon. You tease me by whistling a tune I know must be significant as you wink at me & then you lose the sound as you cannot smile & whistle at the same time. What is that tune? Suddenly I know- “Raindrops on Roses & whiskers on kittens”. You ask me to lean against the crenulated wall so you can take my photo. You catch me with the sun filtering through my long corkscrew curly red hair- my halo, you say. You love my hair. You say it’s the craziest thing about me- the only crazy thing about me. You do not understand how bendable I am. Some things we cannot see. You cannot see that I want to be spanked like you are spanked. I don’t want “Bella, Bella”. I want something wilder. I want to do the Buddha dance, to shake off the sadness. I don’t care about the spill of birdsong on a summer evening. I look at the bruised tinfoil dish, a fisheye in the sky. Can you equip me with what I need so I can be your equal on this equinox? Show me the way to your dangerous world.

The Journey
Show me the way to your dangerous world. I am ready. You found me as I stood on the edge of the rocks. I was hypnotised by the waves crashing on the umber rocks at sunset, sending spray into crystal sparks. I stood there- my euro railcard ticket & my last £40 gone. All I owned was the clothes I was wearing. You approached me cautiously and gently asked my name. The spell of the sea was broken and what I had been about to do escaped from me. “Esther”, I whispered. I was unaware that you already knew who I was, that the course of my life was about to change. I know now of course what it is to love a thief. The first night you took me through the curtained doorway, unknown secrets within. The very beautiful Juliet Wilderness was sitting at a little table- a kind of makeshift reception. She smiled graciously as you introduced us. “We need to think of another name for you”, she said as she reached under the table and fitted a plastic foot over her stump as if she were doing something very ordinary like putting on boots. She took us through a courtyard to a little salon at the other side of the building. I caught a glimpse of a pale naked body catching the last of the light of day as the sun disappeared in the tree growing tall in this open courtyard. Where had you brought me I wanted to ask, and yet deep down I knew. We entered a dark room and you introduced me to John Good, the son of a preacher man who most certainly did not live up to his name. He would help teach me my craft. He spoke in riddles. “There is treasure hidden in the cave”, he said as he dipped the fingers of one hand into a pot of golden liquid, his other hand expertly undoing my buttons.”Honey can be used for many things”, he said. I heard the clink of metal like the sound of keys clanking together. “A ring is many sized,” he said. I was not to know at that stage that I was there to replace Sally Mustard, the wild hot tardy girl who was trying to banish old age. For me at that moment I was only grateful. He held my face in his hands and said “Thank the Lord God for this day of happiness”. The journey had begun.

Advice from your mother
If I were you I would keep your hand on your ha’penny. You’ll make a good farmers wife one day. You’re always busy and nothing ever tires you. You’ll not be one of those exhausted mothers, children hungry, babies screaming and not able to cope with it all. Now pass me that lantern and stop looking at yourself- you are beautiful but we need to get going- it’s off to work we go. I wouldn’t wear that necklace if I were you, though. When we go out, I don’t want you to listen to any man who says “I am your brother”, or tries to entice you into his shop of aromatic spices, or one who asks, “How is your complexion?” These are sorcerers and tricksters. You must listen for the man who is whispering to himself, “It is the hour to pray,” the man who is always composed. This is a good man. If he has land, this is even better. Do not wait for the moment when the birds fall silent. This is too long. We must match you when you are in your prime. So- as I say- it is off to work we go. We must display you if we are to find a good husband but you do not need expensive creams for your face or fancy necklaces. We must take care with what little we have and use it wisely to our own

The copyright of these three pieces belongs to Jean Durrand

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