Actually, this was taken last summer. But I’m including it today, first post, when the neighbours are shouting and someone else’s sound system is booming and the rain just will not arrive to remind myself that this, actually, is a very tranquil part of East London. They come into the gardens from the Forest, I like to think. We have a minor tributary – a wood – but a minute’s walk from our house, nearer to us than the High Street and its nail bars, pubs, cheap clothes stores and pound shops. I like to think of them there, secret and brewing their fox things in their fox ways, even if they are really holed up in the vacant garage along the way.
This one appeared as I was trying to write a poem. Furtively, of course, being a crepuscular, furtive type of person. It made me think of the time at the Aldeburgh Festival, when Christopher Reid was leading an appreciation of Ted Hughes (he’d just published the Letters), talking about Hughes’s mystical animals – and a butterfly came to land on his head, after fluttering downward in ever-decreasing circles from somewhere up by the lights. “He’s here”, said Christopher.
Today, while I’m trying to write and worrying that the guy in the upstairs flat adjacent can see over my shoulder, Michael Jackson has died, 9 people killed in Baghdad, a 15 year old is convicted of murder, Network Rail bosses receive huge bonuses and a butterfly, red-orange-brown and black like the Aldeburgh one, searches the garden for food.