Writing ~ Cornwall

The lane joins a lane and becomes a road with a central white line instead of a spine of grass. The road becomes a road without space for people walking. The walk becomes car-van-car rush and whoosh past of canal air mud geese pheasant clack and kill. The train trundles by, oblivious, empty.

This is a B road that goes properly from A to B, that carries us to our business, about our business, to B&Bs and Airbnbs and down to the beaches. I stand at the bus stop layby under banks of wispy seed heads and the die-back of Himalayan balsam, beautiful, invasive.

Please notify the authorities of alien species. They will clog our waterways.

The tractor doesn’t slow down. I push myself into the hedge, leaning hard into bramble, blackthorn, mud. I smile up in the direction of the cab and try not to breathe pig shit as soiled straw is flung out from the back of the trailer.

Free of trees, into the open, cars heading for the open sea as if they are carrying cargoes of import; ore, granite, the wealth of past-times, and then sand back to the fields, to Sandplace, and the lime kilns for its burning.


A tracing.

I take a photo of myself in one of those round mirrors that help drivers pull out safely when they can’t see. I capture my blurry refection, and imagine light bouncing, focusing, bouncing, back and forth, leaving traces like bullet trajectories, like a straight-lined diagram explaining sight and light and focal points. Reflection, refraction, diffraction. I am a hall of mirrors. A pony sticks its head over a fence to watch me.

The valley sides draw back, and there is much, much more sky. Much more air. Like a new world.