Heron of Hawthornden

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.

20th November


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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About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
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