A Little Bit of Light Verse

Another lovely tea today. This one is called Roasted Chestnut and it made us laugh because the first thing it cautions you about is that it may contain hazelnuts. David…we think you may have buried the lead, there.

It’s a black tea, and the blend of sweet and nutty was the perfect start to a freezing morning. We drank it intermittently throughout the day, which was a rare treat but regrettably also means that our supply has run out. Not to worry; This is a new flavour and it’s very definitely going top of our list of Teas to Stock Up On.

It doesn’t seem to be a universal favourite. It’s not as long in the mouth as other teas. But we like it. The smell is divine, and the nuts keep it from getting sweeter than we’d like. Yes, there could probably be more nuttiness too it, but like a lot of our favourite David’s Tea flavoured black tea, this one is light rather than bold. That’s okay. Sometimes lightness works.

Not convinced? Here’s a bit of light verse to prove it to you. We adore Wendy Cope, and when we lived in Britain lots of people seemed to know her, but she never gets a mention this side of the pond. A shame, because high school students across Canada are missing out. No one sends up the great, ponderous poets of age like Cope. We’ll prove it to you.

We’ve given you The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock before, yeah? Well, here’s what she has to say about that.

Poem composed in Santa Barbara
Wendy Cope
The poets talk. They talk a lot.
They talk of T. S. Eliot.
One is anti. One is pro.
How hard they think! How much they know!
They’re happy. A cicada sings.
We women talk of other things.

So much for Michelangelo.

Sencha and Semicolons

Today’s tea was Japanese Sencha. It’s an elegant green tea that we associate with our Gran because her default teabag green was a sencha. Aromatic and crisp, it’s a tea-like tea. Brew it hot and it tastes lovely. Let it steep too long and it goes bitter. We always pour sencha a bit early to dodge that particular problem.

Otherwise it was a slow day, and in the course of skiving off work we stumbled onto an article about the dying art of the semicolon; Apparently no one uses them any more. It felt a tad overegged; As per the article Virginia Wolfe was the last person of note to use a semicolon. We grant that no one else wants to wrap sentences around whole classrooms these days, but we can think of writers that still have a use for them.

They’re definitely few and far between, though. We happen to quite like them as a piece of punctuation because you can add a lot of what our dance teacher calls light and shade to a sentence. Not so anyone else. Ah well, we always were old fashioned. Of course, this article goes on to say that we’re all using Em-dashes right and left and we’re not sure we agree with that, either. Or maybe we read the wrong books. But the last time we saw anyone commit to the Em-Dash with zest it was L. M. Montgomery and she was being accused of purple prose.

We love her, too, we hasten to add.

Green tea and musings on punctuation. You can see the kind of exciting life we lead. Here’s a poem to go with all this nonsense by a Poetry and Cake favourite, no less.

Twould Be Nice To Be An Apostrophe
Roger McGough

twould be nice to be
an apostrophe
floating above an s
hovering like a paper kite
in between the its
eavesdropping, tiptoeing
high above the thats
an inky comet
spiralling
the highest tossed
of hats

We first discovered this gem listening to a podcast on grammar, and thereafter supposed we’d misremembered it because Googling the first line availed us nothing. We got a bit of a shock when we saw the author, we can tell you! For someone that well-known the internet played properly coy with the composition.

North Star

If it hadn’t been for in-person church yesterday we’d be doing that thing where we miscalculate the days of the week on the basis they all end n Y. Working on Sunday is tricksy like that. No wonder our Presbyterian ancestors had a thing against it.

Today was otherwise unremarkable. In the morning it was miserable, cold and rainy. As of writing, it is clear, cold and has recently snowed. We tell you, if this keeps up the Dawlish Dachshunds will decamp for sunnier climes.

Somewhere with hot weather and cool mint tea. Speaking of, we had warm mint tea this evening. David’s Tea North Star, specifically. It’s a curious blend of mint, orange and some kind of candied star.

Hot mint tea can be tricky, a bit like working on Sundays, because it really does taste better cold. On the other hand, see above about the weather. And this isn’t your standard mint tea. The orange in it works much better hot. It also works here in that it stops the mint becoming overwhelming.

It’s a funny thing, but we like mint in just about everything except hot tea. On it’s own its overpowering and can taste a bit too much of the smell of Vick’s Vapo Rub. In North Star the orange offers a nice counterpoint, and the longer you let it steep, the more potent the orange becomes. That’s one of our favourite things about teas with orange. They never get too strong.

We do think David’s Tea could dial back the candied baubles, though. They vacillate between being murder to scrub out of the infuser and making the tea too sweet. But here again it complements the mint, making for a well-balanced tea.

Inspired by the name of tonight’s tea we went looking for poems about the North Star. We can still pick it out on clear summer nights, along with half a dozen other constellations. We’re not sure this is exactly what we set out to find, but it left an impression. So, pour a cup of tea and enjoy

The North Star Whispers to the Blacksmith’s Son
Vachal Lindsay

The North Star whispers: “You are one
Of those whose course no chance can change.
You blunder, but are not undone,
Your spirit-task is fixed and strange.

“When here you walk, a bloodless shade,
A singer all men else forget.
Your chants of hammer, forge and spade
Will move the prarie-village yet.

“That young, stiff-necked, reviling town
Beholds your fancies on her walls,
And paints them out or tears them down,
Or bars them from her feasting halls.

“Yet shall the fragments still remain;
Yet shall remain some watch-tower strong
That ivy-vines will not disdain,
Haunted and trembling with your song.

“Your flambeau in the dusk shall burn,
Flame high in storms, flame white and clear;
Your ghost in gleaming robes return
And burn a deathless incense here.”

Music for Advent II

Advent II and for the first time in over a year we were back in church. The last time we tried that it was Christ the King of 2020, singing wasn’t allowed, and the venture was purely exploratory to see how safe the return felt.

The answer was not all that much and turned out to be moot because the Monday following restrictions came back and it was back to online worship. We reopened around Lent but only the choir could sing, and if the blog title didn’t tip our hand, singing is a big part of our worship experience. So, we stayed home until they opened up the music to the congregation.

And it was nice. We have no idea if we’re supposed to sing the psalms, but our pointing is good, so until we get a memo saying otherwise, we’re joining in. But we were a model of good manners and did not join in This is the Record of John. We could have. It is our favourite Advent anthem ever and we sing it on a loop, especially this time of year.

Then we came home and spent the afternoon working, so apologies about that whirring noise you’re hearing, because that’s Great Grandmother Grace revolving in her grave at the thought of descendants who work on Sunday. Mind you, poor Great Grandmother Grace has probably been spinning eversince we went all High Church Anglican on her, so really…

That took all afternoon and left us to snatch our Advent tea around sixish. Today it’s called Blueberry Fields Forever, and courtesy of organising a tribute concert that probably took years off our life, we can tell you that’s a Beatles reference.

We can also tell you that as per the ingredients, this one is a veritable cocktail of more than blueberries. Apparently elderflower is in there, and violets. But we have to tell you, all we tasted was blueberry.

It’s a nice tea, but it clearly takes ages to steep, because ten minutes in it still didn’t have much colour, and as we say, we mostly tasted blueberry. We add that David’s Tea recommends this one as an iced tea, and we can see that. To brew good ice tea you steep it at double strength, and that would bring out more of the flavours.

On the other hand, it was freezing when we first made tea and then it snowed. Now, as we write, it’s raining torrentially so that tomorrow our Dachshunds will have to skate across the yard. Forgive us if iced tea isn’t exactly on the docket.

Maybe we’ll loop back to it in the summer when This is the Record of John makes an unseasonable appearance as an earworm. Until then, have this excellent poem by Thomas Hardy. No, it’s not hte one you think it is. This one is about music and so perfectly relevant to this Sunday.

The Choirmaster’s Burial
Thomas Hardy

He often would ask us
That, when he died,
After playing so many
To their last rest,
If out of us any
Should here abide,
And it would not task us,
We would with our lutes
Play over him
By his grave-brim
The psalm he liked best—
The one whose sense suits
“Mount Ephraim”—
And perhaps we should seem
To him, in Death’s dream,
Like the seraphim.

As soon as I knew
That his spirit was gone
I thought this his due,
And spoke thereupon.
“I think”, said the vicar,
“A read service quicker
Than viols out-of-doors
In these frosts and hoars.
That old-fashioned way
Requires a fine day,
And it seems to me
It had better not be.”
Hence, that afternoon,
Though never knew he
That his wish could not be,
To get through it faster
They buried the master
Without any tune.

But ’twas said that, when
At the dead of next night
The vicar looked out,
There struck on his ken
Thronged roundabout,
Where the frost was graying
The headstoned grass,
A band all in white
Like the saints in church-glass,
Singing and playing
The ancient stave
By the choirmaster’s grave.

Such the tenor man told
When he had grown old.

There’s lots we’d like to go into here on Hardy and music. We once wrote a paper on this, and talked about everything from devillish fiddlers to skimmity-rides. But we’ve kept you here long enough for one evening.

Suffice to say that while all choirs fantasize occasionally about killing the conductor, we’re really quite loyal and would probably kill instead anyone who didn’t give them the burial they asked for, as above.

Oh, and Hardy has a musical ear. So you hear that a lot in his use of metre. Some poems are set to specific tunes, most notably one to Schubert’s Lark and another to the German folk tune Bruderchen Komm Tanz Mit Mir. Try reading either aloud and they’re impossibly awkward. Sing them and they dance off the tongue.

This isn’t either of those. But one of this Advent’s delightful discoveries is that Benjamin Britten set all kinds of Hardy to music. Two of our favourites and no one said. And one of the poems he set was this one. So, pour your tea, read your Hardy and then have a listen to Britten. Unless, of course, you can think of a better combination of things to occupy you.

We can’t.

And Light Was Over All?

Lots to fit in today. We thought we’d tell you a bit about today’s opera excursion and then move on to the tea, and end with a poem about music.

But then we got home and the power had gone out, so of course palaver ensued. Briefly we wondered if we were off the blogging hook, because no power meant no internet, and the little map spouting details over mobile data was pessimistically reinstating light sometime after blogging hour.

But light is currently over all. Or at least over our kitchen. We had the tv cuddle. Dachshunds slept through the whole thing, naturally. Including the classic movie channel’s offering of Leave Her To Heaven. It’s the fireside host’s favourite apparently.

We can see why. The boy with disabilities drowns, there’s murder, intrigue and a court case that bears no relation to reality. We shouldn’t mock. It’s not worlds away from an opera. The more shocking thing is that no one ever tried to turn this story – it’s based on s book, it turns out – into opera.

As for today’s tea, it was another hit. This one is called Dark Chocolate Orange. It’s a black tea, and we on,y tasted the orange. We also suspect we understeeped it though, because the black tea only came through in that we woke up while drinking it.

We were Aldo drinking it without milk, which may gave been a factor. Teas with chocolate usually need a bit if milk to bring out the chocolate flavour. We were going to make a second pot with milk but then the power outage happened.

Turns out our gas job has electric ignition. Not even for you lovely lot am I exploding the house using matches.

Instead, have a poem about light, or the lack of it.

Lights Out

Edward Thomas

I have come to the borders of sleep,
The unfathomable deep
Forest where all must lose
Their way, however straight,
Or winding, soon or late;
They cannot choose.

Many a road and track
That, since the dawn’s first crack,
Up to the forest brink,
Deceived the travellers,
Suddenly now blurs,
And in they sink.

Here love ends,
Despair, ambition ends;
All pleasure and all trouble,
Although most sweet or bitter,
Here ends in sleep that is sweeter
Than tasks most noble.

There is not any book
Or face of dearest look
That I would not turn from now
To go into the unknown
I must enter, and leave, alone,
I know not how.

The tall forest towers;
Its cloudy foliage lowers
Ahead, shelf above shelf;
Its silence I hear and obey
That I may lose my way
And myself.

Silver Apples of the Moon

Something about counting the days always makes them go faster. It’s incredible we’re three days into this project. (The Dawlish Dachshunds add it’s incredible we still haven’t dedicated a poem to them but hold that thought.)

Today’s tea is Apple Cider, continuing the run of good tea selections. More like this please! And can we put in a request now for none of these coffee-tea hybrids? If we wanted coffee we’d drink it!

Apple Cider is a herbal tea. We made our first pot after the statutory afternoon Dachshund walk. (Cue much protesting. Dachshunds only fight for their right to a walk in warm, sunny weather.) It’s made with lots of apple, some blackberry leaves for contrast and a hint of vanilla.

It really does taste of apple cider, which is something else we have nostalgic memories of. We used to get cups of it after sleigh rides out west. There were horse-drawn sleighs and bridal paths, and it wasn’t too cold, because this was around March. We used to roast marshmallows over candles while drinking real apple cider.

Or, as we called it, Kid’s Tea. Ki’ds Coffee being hot chocolate. Obviously.

Our only gripe with this tea is that it’s herbal. It’s a lovely tea, but it’s incredibly sweet, and a white or a green tea base would round it out beautifully. Especially because it sweetens as it steeps.

But if you want a drink that gives you an afternoon hug and tastes like sleigh rides, it’s perfect.

Here’s a poem to go with it. We promised this one to the purveyor of the still-pending Advent Calendar because everyone should read it at least once. Appropriately, it even mentions apples.

Song of the Wandering Aegnus
By William Butler Yeats

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Birches and Bergamot

We were going to follow up yesterday’s cat homage with something for the dachshunds today in the spirit of fairness.

But then the Advent Calendar landed us with Cream of Earl Grey. This is an old favourite. We discovered it months ago, and in a fit of whimsy, bought some to try. We should probably add: We don’t like Earl Grey. Never have. It tastes of soap.

This isn’t the fault of the Earl Grey people. We don’t think. We have fond memories of having tea with a former kindergarten teacher years after the fact and she used to rinse the mugs out for use before adding the teabags. She was a fantastic teacher and no kindergarten since has had anyone half as good, but we’re pretty sure there was always trace amounts of soap in those mugs. We still love her.

Anyway, we bought the Cream of Earl Grey whimsically and were converted. It’s not normal Earl Grey. It’s lighter on bergamot, has added corn flowers, and there’s a wonderful, creamy richness to it. A bit of milk brings this out beautifully and the result is a full-blooded tea that gives you the kick you need to wake up. So, it’s been our default breakfast tea since we discovered it.

And serendipitously, we had just finished the last of our supply yesterday. What we should have done is rationed today’s little gold tin but instead we made three separate pots and enjoyed every last one. It was fantastic.

So, when we were thinking about poems to go with today, we stopped looking for dog-themed ones, though we stuck a pin in that idea. Instead, have an old favourite to go with an old favourite tea.

The Birches
Robert Frost

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

In addition to what was probably faintly soapy tea, we also have fond memories of hearing this poem read on cassette by Robert Frost. Remember cassettes? We can still hear the tape crackling when we think about it.

Perfect accompaniment for nostalgic snaps of ice-laden branches, isn’t i?

As the Cat

We’re back! The Marschallin Cat, the Dawlish Dachshunds and your favourite chorister at home. It’s been a while, and we have plans – lots of book reviews and blog ideas coming in the new year.

Or that’s the theory. But first, it’s Advent, and Advent means tea and poetry. This year we should have two calendars going again, and two teas, but there’s been a slight hiccough with our favourite postal service, so today we’re just opening David’s Tea’s 24 Days of Tea.

So far, it’s off to an excellent start, with Merry Mistletoe. It’s a white tea with cranberry, raisins, a bit of apple and some mistletoe. We were nervous, because the smell from the tin is sort of the way you expect mistletoe to smell – outdoorsy and a bit like one of grandmother’s scented candles meant to keep moths away.

But it’s an excellent tea. It tastes like mulled wine without the wine. Warm, heavy on the cranberry, but balanced nicely by cinnamon undertones.

Of course, it might have helped that we drank it while watching what is easily one of our favourite episodes of television ever. But that’s a different essay. Maybe for the new year.

Instead, we’ll leave you with a poem. Here’s a nice, easy one to start the year off. We led our greetings iwth the cat, because that’s her right as resident household lares. We’ll end with a hymn for her, too.

As the Cat
William Carlos Williams

As the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset—
first the right
forefoot

carefully
then the hind
stepped down

into the round
of the empty
flowerpot.

Of course, the Marschallin Cat has never climbed into a flowerpot in her life. But she is best friends with our Benjamina tree, and frequently leaps into it. The dogs are beside themselves. Three years on and she still hasn’t taught them to leap.

See you tomorrow for more tea and poetry. It’s good to be back.

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas! Season’s Greetings!

Goodness this Advent by fast. We thought it mightn’t, what with the world coming to a standstill and all that lot. But it went faster than ever, and we didn’t have the usual scrabble for poems. Maybe we’ve recycled more than in previous years, or maybe after 4 years we’ve finally got the hang of the whole daily blogging thing. We like to think it’s the latter, but it could just as easily be the former.

Anyway, today began with another Ti Ora blend from our friend over in Germany. It just calls it Breakfast Tea on the packet and we added milk force of habit…with interesting results! Don’t get us wrong; we liked it very much but we did wonder if maybe there was fruit in there fighting the milk. After the third or fourth si[ we knew there was a flavour in there that was strong so we trotted back to the packet to find…manuka honey.

In one of those funny alignments of the cosmos we had just been hearing about manuka honey as the central tenet of a murder mystery over on The Brownwood Murders. We remembered it at once because the name is just so distinctive. The whole plot point of this murder had been that manuka honey had such a potent tate you couldn’t taste anything – not even poison – over the stuff. No wonder it was coming through the milk!

There were other things too; Manuka honey for instance comes specifically from the manuka plant, and is thicker than standard honey, and much harder to spread. We want to say it’s an Aussie-Kiwi specialty but since we were watching Brownwood for the mystery we could actually be wrong on that one.

Once we saw that we had the second cup without milk, and liked it much better. To be clear, it’s lovely both ways but the honey harmonises much better with the black tea when you leave out the dairy. If you like a strong honey taste though, by all means add milk. It’s quite the interesting, nuanced flavour. Even better, no one got murdered over this stuff.

We wrapped up work early so had our second tea a little after half eleven. This was another black tea, DavidsTea classic Secret Santa. It’s black tea with candy cane mixed in called Secret Santa. To our mind it’s the perfect blend of peppermint and black tea; a bit sweet, a bit sharp in just the combination that makes the odd candy cane a nice treat. Whereas unchecked maple quickly cloys in black tea the zing of the peppermint keeps the flavours in check and it’s got a hint of that cool, refreshing minty flavour we love.

So we have the old knocking shoulders with the new here as we conclude this Advent Tea and Poetry run, and to that end we considered giving you a new Christmas Eve poem. We’ve done it before. But in the end our Anglican sense of tradition won out, and you’re getting our tried-and-tested Christmas Eve poem. Look, we really, unapologetically love Thomas Hardy, okay? Only giving you two of his this year is some serious restraint. And frankly, no one else captures the magic of Christmas so beautifully and with minimum sentimentality. So here, as ever, for your Christmas treat is Thomas Hardy’s The Oxen.

The Oxen
Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
 
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
 
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,
 
“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.
 
Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings from all here at Chorister at Home. Dawlish Dachshunds and Miss Marschallin join me wishing you a lovely holiday and happy New Year. And who knows, maybe the oxen will kneel and the New Year will be better than this one flying by on bands of gold. After all, we’re getting some eleventh-hour snow for a white Christmas, so anything goes. Until then, we join Hardy hoping for kneeling oxen and everything else optimistic.
 

Happy Christmas!

Traditions in Tea and Other Things

We’ve just had DavidsTea’s offering – late because it’s been a long day. There was the usual mundane stuff to get on with. Afterwards we put the final touches on the Dachshund Socks for tomorrow. After that we wrapped gifts, which was a task and a half because you really need about four hands to be any good at it. We do not have four hands. Suffice to say we are not particularly good at gift wrapping. Our one really good florist is ribbon curls. We do those expertly. The rest is more or less ordinary.

Then we got watching tv after dinner as per the law of the Dachshund Cuddle. And that led us down interesting theological rabbit-holes, and other less ponderous, Christmassy ones. The other night it was The Holly and the Ivy, and after that it was Christmas in Connecticut. We have now reached the part of the holiday run where we watch The Blue Carbuncle. This is one of the great Christmas traditions. Tomorrow we will listen to the radio version as put on by the BBC; that is another tradition.

So anyway, somewhere between the theological rambling and the giftware, we realised we hadn’t actually had today’s DavidsTea. It’s called Sleigh Ride and it’s a perennial favourite with this calendar, but we first bought it before that, January of the year it came out. It was reduced, because we guess they’d manufactured it for Christmas and were doing some kind of post-holiday sale. It had a seasonal tin and everything. So we’re quite familiar with this one. It’s an apple-based herbal blend, and it’s really quite lovely. It’s tangy because of the fruit, tart because of the cinnamon, and tastes of Christmas. Less of Christmas than the peel-based black teas we favour, but it’s still a good tea, and we still go back to it often.

Earlier we had had an absolutely gorgeous Sencha from Germany. It’s called Sencha Clause and we knew we’d like it as soon as we smelled it. It too has a range of ingredients but the predominant taste is of almonds. Almonds and sencha go beautifully together. It’s smooth, creamy, and sort of like drinking marzipan but without the sweetness. It’s supposed to emulate almond pastry and it hits the mark perfectly.

We had plans for another feline hymn this evening. It was going to save us all kinds of time choosing something tonight. But then we got on to The Blue Carbuncle, so naturally we had to go track down something to do with geese, just to see if there was anything. (Anything not the exasperating closing sentence to Orlando, we should probably clarify.)

We found this. No stolen jewellery, and no wild goose chases. Success!

The Geese
Jane Mead

slicing this frozen sky know
where they are going—
and want to get there.
 
Their call, both strange
and familiar, calls
to the strange and familiar
 
heart, and the landscape
becomes the landscape
of being, which becomes
 
the bright silos and snowy
fields over which the nuanced
and muscular geese
 
are calling—while time
and the heart take measure.