Her fingers press the keys With skilful muscle memory Of adolescent compositions.
But now, her fingers are clothed In the jewels of promise And the band of union. Her fingers press the keys With skilful memory. A would be forgotten melody Is slowly remembered, Quickly played. But her fingers have changed. They have reassembled the shards of me, They have studied my skin, They are now clothed With the jewels of our promises, And the engraved band Of our union.
I wrote this poem in 2014 for my wife Silje soon after we were married as she played something she’d written years before. I was watching her, and struck by the simple image of her playing a piece she’d written with fingers that are now clothed with our wedding and engagement rings.
When it snowed in Montpellier in February 2018 she was playing Prelude in C Major by J.S Bach. I thought the image of her playing with the snow outside would go well with this poem, so I recorded her without telling her. She can be very shy about her music. But don’t w…
Photograph of a vineyard in Les Cévennes, by Silje Lilly. Taken in July 2017.
John 15:1-8 Gleaning grapes before October storms, the vines are ancient fingers, deathly-dry and knotted
digits. bark-scarred with the wisdom of growing. They are crowned with a branchy vibrancy, of greenery, naivety and fertility. The miracle of the vine and the branches is the fruit. The credulous branches, are trusted to bear the weight
of the yield, their green luminescence is continually fed by the vine that looks like deadwood. A Lamb looking as though it had been slain.
I wrote this poem in the Autumn of 2016 while I was in a vineyard on the outskirts of Montpellier, where Silje and I live, in the south of France. We were picking grapes after the harvest and enjoying time reading and writing in the autumn sun. Silje took the photo in July 2017 while in another vineyard in Les Cévennes, a short drive north. Time and again, since moving to Mediterranean France in 2015, I have read biblical imagery of nature while…
As the morning sun starts to bake the red earth of these hills, we set out.
Clasping rock and rope, we embed our digits into this land as the mud embeds beneath our finger-nails. I am shoeless and bare chested, to let the clay paint my skin with the story of this journey. This climb is not about a summit, but an isolated depth, an interior sea-level inside this peninsula's ribcage. So we re-descend the steep trachea walls, and listen to the breathing path whistle and giggle in playful respiration. If you are fascinated with the echo of this palaeolithic chamber, that vocal selfie-stick, the waters of the lagoon will freeze in interrupted stillness, shy of the volume of trespassing tourists. But, if you listen in silence, long enough for your feet to sink beneath the surface the heart beneath the water begins to beat, and the lagoon will rouse unto its pious dance, with darting fish, red-breasted birds and unseen monkeys, whilst a gargantuan web soundly glistens as the sun pierces through from the world of th…