.... a tiny taste of what I am currently reading......
Mama Wewe sat another sixty years in that curdled odour of rotting brocade, her eyes glued to her father's portable oratory of the Last Supper.
This was a glass-fronted vitrine, the size of a small doll's house and made by the nuns of the Soledade in Bahai: The miniature room had sky-blue walls, mirrors and gilded pilasters. On the floor there was a marquetry sunburst and, under a glass dome on the mantlepiece, a clock. Wooden figures of Christ and the Apostles were sitting down to a meal of plaster-of-Paris chicken. The eyes of Our Lord were the colour of turquoise and his head bristled with real red hair. In her imagination she would contract her body and stand watching the doorway - though she would step aside for the shifty mulatto who left in the middle of dinner.
The years slipped by and nobody repaired the house. The thatch rotted, the shutters spilintered and, when ants undermined the floor, her rocking chair would no longer rock. Weeds sprang up in the rainy season, bleached for lack of light. Patches of mould spread over the walls: a delta of red streams fanned out from the wasps' nests in the rafters and cut across the termite trails
Only once, in 1942, was there a break in the rhythm of her days.
After a noisy vin d'honneur, the Resident's wife, Madame Burlaton, mistook the accelerator for the brake of her Peugeot and distributed Aizan, the Market Fetish, in pieces all over the square. The feticheurs demanded a human sacrifice for the reconstruction. Her husband refused. There was a riot.
A platoon of Senegalese saphis fired, killing a goat and wounding a woman in the leg. Roxa heard the shots and, four hours later, ran to the barracks with a message for the commanding officer: Mademoiselle da Silva would be delighted to receive him.
Lieutenant Andre Parisot had heard of the mysterious white woman whom nobody had son. He took some time to macassar his hair and put on his best whites.
'Lieutenant,' she said. 'I shall play to celebrate your victory. Roxa, fetch me my piano!'
Roxa carried in a white plank painted with thirty-five black keys, and the lieutenant chewed his lip as her uncut fingernails scratched the arpeggios, and dust fell out of the wormholes.
Dom Francisco's wardrobe, held together by its paint surface alone, lasted until 1957, when it collapsed, revealing a wreckage of whalebone stays and shreds of black taffeta that fluttered upwards like flakes of carbonized paper.
Spiders had turned the parrot cage into a grey tent. The pictures were peeling, and all Twelve Apostles eaten away to leprous stumps.
Yet, from the head of Christ, like the periscopic eyes of certain fish, two blue glass beads stood out on stalks.
.... I swear, this book is positively chewy..... yeef.....
.... from Robert Leckie's book....."Helmet for My Pillow"..... upon spending his first night in the jungles of Guadalcanal......
It was darkness without time. It was an impenetrable darkness. To the right and left of me rose up those terrible formless things of my imagination, which I could not see because there was no light. I could not see, but I dared not close my eyes lest the darkness crawl beneath my eyelids and suffocate me. I could only hear. My ears became my being and I could hear the specks of life that crawled beneath my clothing, the rotting of the great tree which rose from its three-cornered trunk above me. I could hear the darkness gathering against me and the silence that lay between the moving things.
I could hear the enemy everywhere about me, whispering to each other and calling my name. I lay open-mouthed and half-mad beneath that giant tree. I had not looked into its foliage before the darkness and now I fancied it infested with Japanese. Everything and all the world became my enemyu, and soon myu very body betrayed me and became my foe. My leg became a creeping Japanese, and then my other leg. My arms, too, and then my head.
My heart was alone. It was me. I was my heart.
It lay quivering, I lay quivering, in that rotten hole while the darkness gathered and all creation conspired for my heart.
How long? I lay for an eternity. There was no time. Time had disintegrated in that black void. There was only emptiness, and that is Something; there was only being; there was only consciousness.
Like the light that comes up suddenly in the darkened theatre, dalight came quicikly. Dawn came, and so myself came back to myself. I could see the pale outlines of my comrades to right and left, and I marveled to see how tame my tree could be, how unforbidding could be its branches.
Mid-July and the mimosa trees have
shed their blooms and replaced them
with seed pods for next years promise.
The clouds of nightly fireflies
that filled the evening sky only weeks ago
have waned as well and only
a few lonely ones flicker mate-less.
June's brutal assault left us all
afraid of the arrival of July
But July has been more gentle
than anyone could have imagined
and we enjoy the coolness of the evenings
while the desperate fireflies long
for the sweltering heat and hope of June.