HERON OF HAWTHORNDEN – a chap-book of dizains by Anthony Howell celebrating his residency at the castle in the Autumn of 2017. Illustrations by the author. Limited edition from Grey Suit Editions, UK.
Our very first breakfast. Tardier than the rest,
I sit alone at the narrow elm table,
Terribly ancient; eating my porridge with Sucrose
Purchased in Tottenham. Not quite as fit
As I ought to be; recovering from a twisted knee.
Everyone else now busily writing. As I finish
What’s in my bowl, the elegant dark-wood Windsor
Chair, stately and antique as our patron, who is
A hundred and three, gives way beneath me.
I clutch at its arms, but still… it collapses, albeit gracefully,
Taking me with it, spilling me onto the tartan carpet.
This elicits apology. However, I’m encouraged not to fret.
This veteran’s been rickety for ages.
Hamish will fix it. Yes, but the peg at the top of a leg
Splintered, I’m sure, as we keeled over.
Clearly that chair has now been put paid to by me.
What a way to start a residency in a precipitous
Castle, a castle where silence is de rigeur until our
Convivial evening fare. I must watch my step
As well as how I sit. There is a dungeon below us here.
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