John on our visit to Victoria Park
Why are there so many magpies here? They don’t move away when I lie down (as crows would) and there’s one which squeaks as it jerks but then doesn’t quite fluff out its wings . Just a few steps now, left, right, left, right. Stop. A quiver of a scratch. Now in profile staring somewhere.
Ding gong ding dang!
Leaves on the grass are blowing along like little wheels.
Now everyone’s arriving, and driven off all the birds. There’s a woman in a wheel chair with a child in the sun. She holds her hand to shade her eyes. I can’t see anything. Sounds of children.
Round and round us is the moan of traffic. Quite loud and yet you don’t hear it. Now some sort of howl like a cleaning machine, sucking, moving, nagging. It makes a bicycle silent – as if flying on the ground. Now hammering, each hammer blow doubled by an echo.
A few minutes ago we came through lists of the glorious dead. To here, this. The careful red and yellow beds of flowers. But I think they spoil the place. Gaudy. Look how bright and shiny and well arranged we are!
A little boy is getting into the bottom of a tube slide and climbing up, two boys, one squealing down to meet the other, who’s watching now.
A seagull. Tall neck and prim and thin White at the back of the eyeballs. Legs moving but no rhythm carried through the body - like a cartoon character’s walk.
A pine tree long since fallen sideways but still growing almost lying down. Someone’s chopped the lower limbs off, zigzag round the trunk now, only four or five boughs left, at the end of the tree, slightly across the path. How firmly embedded in the dust and leafy ground it is.
Ah here comes Christina, flying just above the branches of the pine-tree with her white nightdress spreading out like wings and a tail, very slowly, lying in the top boughs of the pine now with eyes so blue that when you look you think you are looking right through them, through her head, and hair, into the blue sky beyond. Then without warning the folds of white are lifting away from the twigs and she’s dissolving back up into the clouds again.
I find I am holding a choc-ice.
Then as I hold it, dribbling a bit, the choc-ice is whisked out of my hand and there is Sharon's chair lifting into the sky and witchy cackling sounds fill the sky.