Le Petit Cluny, 26 juin vers 16h

Watching concrete slabs rain into our atmospheric cesspit. Feeling the burning sun clenching us in its suffocating embrace. The People singing or swimming their way down the streets, whetting their eyesight in the refracted light of cobblestones and coffee cups. Waterfalls of artisanal beer and anxious metal families beladen with cameras and maps crawl their way through the urban necropolis, over the remains of dead kings and gypsy paupers. Acid drips onto street vendors from Haussmannien buildings. Far above the clamour of the road, there is a trembling expression of meaninglessness that no-one is addressing. Dismayed, the People drown themselves in caffeine and cocktails before they lay themselves down to unsteady sleep.

The train to Skopje 5/7/18

It starts off slowly, as the dusk magic of the wagon drifts lazily onward. Small villages pass by, as do unknown stations where old Macedonian farmers sat watching our locomotive conquer their land, slowly, like smoke dissipating in a room. The train gradually gathers pace, and a moving fresco of deep, verdant green bewitches the eyes. From the window of the wagon, one can see how in the distance the mountains form a progressively deeper blue, leading into a rose-tinted sunset sky. The train drives on faster and faster as you watch the sunset from the window and this mad pace and communist cacophony of creaking goes on and there is only you and the train and the train and you and you forget yourself as you fly into the sunset ambrosia of the unknown.

St Andrews, 24th September 2018

Flowers fall from clockfaces on the stones of sundry students and martyrs. The rest set aside, Essence concentrates on the All Flow, to and fro, the come and go. It is dancing motions that take us through cobbled streets – not the idea that we need to go somewhere, or that there is even a place to be. Essence is much less and much more – its incense is coffee beans, and its icons are portraits of those that we come to love. Redolent jazz infused herbs or cairn-strewn whiskey pierce the brisk air. Heart far from scree stones, closer to old bones, and rocks, and sand. Terra firma for our feet in a telltale moment, where each penny for our thoughts makes us richer. The quietest moment of a soul in reflection on a bench as the elongated thread passes by. To capture colour, to capture her longing for sanguinity, to walk beside her and raise myself upon a wall for an apple. Soon blackberries will be out of season; so my hands are stained and sticky, my soul is thick with ache, and I am watching from rooftops, from ivory towers, from libraries and cafés, bars, from inside music, from outside words, from bramble and thicket, from seaweed, from sand, from water from land, from chimney, ashen winter smiles for well-warmed and well-warned thoughts, heart-hills for the rise and falls of the beats, the quiet of the lone bed at night.

The hard song of the morning, the song of dancing around others in a busy kitchen, the unwatched waltz of a man and a mop in a closed café, and all the things we never see of the people we see, the final summation of a naked man dressed in clothes, the approaching of some final, unspoken word with its hard inviting semantics glistening, rushing larger, larger, beckoning, speaking, pronouncing the final note of its nirvanic natural speech, on and on with no rest and finally reaching this word: water.