My paws sink deep into the sands when I canter down to the beach. The breeze feels warm and the seagulls are guarding their young in the distance.
Pearl and I nudge each other and we are off for a run.
John appears from the dunes and waves at our companion. He looks so unhappy since his dog passed away and still does the same walk each morning.
“How are you all doing today?” asks John, reaching into his pocket for biscuits. Pearl and I wag our tails and gently take the biscuits from his hand.
“We’re grand,” says our companion. “How are you?”
“I do not know what the world is coming to,” says John. “I mean, every day there is something else and the media … I mean, don’t get me going on the media.”
Pearl gets a whiff of something and starts digging in the sand.
“I mean, I was reading ‘Map Reading Error’ the other day and you know those lines:
To what degree and by decree
has media come to mean
the metaphysics of the hang man?
We wait, wanting the simple dark again.
That was written in 1976 and it is as if the clocks stopped then because nothing has changed. It might as well have been written today.”
“You are right,” says our companion, “when it comes to any kind of conflict the powers that be seem to revert to old habits that are rarely for the highest good.”
I walk on to have a good sniff myself. These are interesting smells and it is as if some birds have walked here that have not been here before.
When I look up I see our companion’s thoughts wander off to a sun-lit room in Belfast. There are men reading poetry and some speak with a stammer so familiar among people who grew up listening to machine guns.
The clouds start rolling in and we get on our way before the rains come down. John waves us goodbye and stops by the rock as if he is waiting for his dog to follow.
Our companion smiles at us and remembers a poem she wrote that day in Belfast:
You sat in the corner dressed in black,
rose to your feet when I swung through the door,
shook my hand, took my coat,
we both knew we had met before.
Not here, not in this life,
somewhere to the left of your shoulder
where you glanced and waved your hand.
I immediately knew what you meant.
© Xenia Tran
I look up at her and smile. Time exists in so many parallels where clocks are never needed.
I am sending you all so much love,
Photographs taken by Xenia Tran, edited in windows editor.
Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA
Lines quoted by John from ‘Map Reading Error’, a poem by Brendan Hamill from his pamphlet ‘Emigrant Brother’ (1976), Belfast: Lagan Press.
Daily Prompt: Clock
dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #181