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My thanks David Mitchell for editing ‘She’, to Michael McAloran for accepting the book for Oneiros, and to Anastasia Kashian for the cover painting which you can see here.

she paintingCover image by Anastasia Kashian

First Edition

Oneiros Books

82 Pages

Perfect-bound Paperback


Two poems from The Island Sequence of ‘She’

sea is a womb

sea is a womb
dip and flow the small boat

rock and rock,
rock the black black

gold lace a-glitter
and rocks – the
rocks scrape her timbers

beneath the carved wave
lie monsters clawing at her base


black the inky waves lap to

black the inky waves lap to
and black they suck the shale

and if birds swoop
they are the mere shadows of birds

there are hands there to disembark you
to hold you over the rocky black

those hands that will arc you onto the comfort of stone

this is the sea/
      this inky black

it does not smell of sea

the gap between the boat and the shore is awesome
the wood laps the water dragging it out /
and

bobbing it back again
the chasm at the heel
and one step forward
to land to stone comfort.

Poems from The Island Sequence of ‘She’ are © C. Murray

black the inky waves lap to was published in The Burning Bush VI

Contents Page

(i) A letter found in the box that contained this narrative, being addressed to the cousin of former patient, Miss Constance Byrne.

(ii) A note attached to the file of Miss Constance Byrne (now deceased).

Part I

Standing Stones
Grove
Lake
Serpentine The Alleyway
A Ruined Church at the Precipice
Burnt Hill
Descent

Part II

The Island
She


Cousin – ,

The narrative that follows here is a faithful rendering of my wanderings from the time of my retirement to the dawn. It is always the same. I do not expect anyone will believe me, but I know that my dreaming life is as real as my waking life.

Indeed, I have learnt not to call these sleeping narratives anything other than a different part of my reality.When I first encountered the entity that appears on the towpath I was afraid for She seemed hardly human to me. I had gone little by little into this dreaming place over the course of twenty years, and I had explored it wholly in her company. I do not know what my encounter with this lady means, I intend to find out.

In my exploratory times there I have never yet met another person. Although there were signs of life (or of creaturely habitation).This landscape seemed to me to be ruined by war and by heat. What else could make marble of glass shards?

It is bleak there. At every dawn there occurs a throb of colour and I know that somehow I am back here in this world. I do not believe that my nightly explorations are a dream, for I have found tears upon my slippers, and a rend in the lace of my dress.She wants to show me something. She has indicated for me a bridge. I intend to cross over it, and thereby to continue to explore the geography of its unknown terrain.

I travel now alone. I am unencumbered by family, nor by tradition. I leave to you this letter and some small tokens of my esteem. Know that I am safe, and although I undertake this journey with trepidation, I remain always your,

Constance.

product_thumbnailCover image by Anastasia Kashian
Cover design by David Mitchell
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