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  • Writer's picturePhil Dobson

Sunday Afternoon


Watching the rain steadily streaming down the window runnels straight in the breathless air ineloquent in the face of attempts to describe this scene with only the ineloquent word strange coming to mind lacking a descriptive quality in its ineloquence. If something is not strange, is it too familiar to need description. Is not something strange indescribable, are there words, are there words their words? Is it not alien, not previously encountered. As I sit here looking through the window, through not out, the rain passes, the sun comes out and I turn to watch the bright patches appear on the floor as if sublimated from the atmosphere looking like the torn pieces of paper surrounding them. Apart from the idea of the connection between the sight of rain on the window, the appearing sunlight and the paper fragments on the floor, there is one thing on my mind, or rather it passes through my mind like a siren demonstrating the Doppler effect, passing backwards and forwards, entering my mind and leaving it (as if the mind is a room), insistently, with gathering and waining strength, until it does not leave, like sirens of myth seducing me into their orbit.


On my right, my phone is umbilically attached to the laptop, data storage fixed, safe - or as meat rotting there, as leaves on the information forest floor. The sun lowers, the air cools, the Sunday afternoon stillness punctuated by voices muted by the heavy air and scents of cooking, the gold androecium of the anemone looks at me like a cyclopean eye. The gold, the iris, the pupil, soft green darkening to the circumference, the white petals, the calyx lids folding them as the wings of a swan, but a swan just emerged from a chrysalis, petals animated by the wind force from unknown source, on this still afternoon, like a passing ghost, towards their perfect form, from wrinkled petals to arched wings, dancing on the sinuous stem.


Yet the thing still on my mind fragments as if on sirens’ rocks, like yesterday’s blues on the sound, sand lying outlying sunglint from the silicon. A hierarchy of detail testing my eyes, nature’s optometrist. Are there words? Are their words enough? Words to catch the run of paint, its layers catching the hierarchy of detail? It"s on my mind but amplified only briefly before drifting again before I can catch it. It will be gone in a moment and tomorrow forgotten. So we have words and images as vessels of our memory, their accuracy reliant on too much complex contextualising matter, synaptic or haptic through the medium of air or pigment, history, culture, even political orientation until their lengthening shadow, their increasing noise, darkens this room and drowns the sirens’ voice.

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