Been Away II

Lifted gently and efficiently by Lufthansa’s local jets from Birmingham to Linz via Frankfurt. “Ja zu Fra”: the busy hub where I just have enough time to make the twisting up and down journey between gates; hoping my luggage made it too (it actually didn’t last time and caught up with me later).

To a place where the sky and heaven are called the same thing, so that every time I think or talk about the sky I am also reminded of Heaven. It’s not a bad thing, when I think about it. Maybe we have too many words in English. Or not enough.

This is a return trip for me. I have seen this region in different seasons – and every one suits it. The dark skies (Heavens), clearly visible constellations and amounts of snow in one overnight fall that would (and does) bring my country to a chaotic standstill are routine here and decorate the rolling countryside magnificently.

DSC_0297 Continue reading


Excerpt … The Martian.

Here is one excerpt (and it is hard to pick just one, only one!) from a book I picked, pretty much at random from the W.H. Smith bookshop airside at Birmingham Airport. I was at the start of a journey to Austria, going to be busy but you never know … maybe time for a little reading.

Written by Andy Weir, the book is called The Martian (strap line “he’s the most famous man on Earth. Problem is he’s not on Earth”).

martianHere goes :

“It’s a strange feeling. Everywhere I go, I’m the first. Step outside the rover? First guy ever to be there! Climb a hill? First guy ever to climb that hill …

I’m the first guy to drive long-distance on Mars. the first guy to spend more than thirty one sols on mars. the first guy to grow crops on Mars. First, first, first.

I wasn’t expecting to be first at anything …

Now I miss those guys (the crew) … I’m the first person to be alone on an entire planet.

Okay, enough moping. I am having a conversation with someone: whoever reads this log. It’s a bit one-sided but it’ll have to do. I might die but damn it, someone will know what I had to say ….”

I was enjoying the book; I can say now that having finished it. A superb piece of work (though not certain of the science bits I just took them as correct) and the flow of the story is splendid, so is the style.

But, come on, that last paragraph-bit, that “conversation with somebody”.  That’s me, that’s each of us – perhaps – with our blogs eh?



The Possibilities Songs

I am truly cast down low,

The numbers prove it:

A friend is leaving: skies,

Though blue, are weeping.

But please …

Be still a while;

Listen, listen, listen …

Maybe I’m a little crazy, on

The outside of too much wine… Continue reading

…or None At All

Found, lost and waiting in

The midnight-lounge,

Where the coffee jugglers

Seek entertainment, recreation

Playing games with the hobbled

Midnight’s lame-wheeled trolleys. Continue reading

The Crocus Road

The small, out-of-history,

Far away lights in these

Big, darkening skies make

Reassuring noises; the shadows

Do not clash and threaten.

The horizon is a pale-line queen

Swooning beneath a ripped-tissue

Curl of early-spring-promise  moon.

The crocus road is longer, much longer

Than I could have expected and I start

To fall towards a gentle, butterfly death.