By David Hayden.

A journey of light ending and ending and everything feeding off this, in one way or another, but the light just arriving, warm and buttery, letting us see; shapes, shadows, colours and a cottage and a field and a cottage garden with cornflowers, eye blue, heartsease, winking violet, delphiniums, risen purple, primroses, tooth yellow, upgazing, sightless, calendula stars, thyme, tight green spicing curls, and daisies, scattered wings, open palms; over all, fattening bees swing boozily in the warm air. A man or a woman stands smiling once upon the day. All the motion of the living world above and the worm-turned earth below and the breath of life rushing from warm to cool, from damp to dry, adds up to a seeming stillness, a closeness to silence in which one may be wise, be idiot, be almost nothing. If not for the faint tapping, heard and then not heard, and then the man—it is a man—turns to the sound, which is where it is not, and turns again, to where it is not, and turns again; but the knocks have stopped.

He sits on a cool, slate bench and pulls on his socks and boots, then, standing, raises a left-hand L of thumb and forefinger to the white o of the sun, and reaches around the sky with the memory of the sound and, again it comes as a tap, tap, tap. Across the field Lo walks, crossing ridges of newly-turned soil, birds dip their olive beaks and lift their pied tails; hopping, swinging, flighting ceaselessly, feasting on tiny seeds and beetles.

Heat rises up from the dirt in fat waves that are visible, not in themselves, but because Lo’s sight through them is warped and rippled; nothing solid moves; nothing at all. Noticing this Lo stops and considers his clothes; green, heavy, folding over his mass, touching him in a way that could be disallowed as excessively intimate, as meaning that things have claims over selves that they should not have; but they do. And a dat, dat, dat sounds, only a little louder given the distance he has travelled. The sun is in itself, pressing hard against the sky, being orange, and beneath, at the field’s end, a copper river runs; loud at once, thick and reaching up its banks; there are ranks of sharp, black trees beyond this and beyond and beyond a blue mountain dabbed on the horizon.


[This is a short extract, the full article is available to read in Issue Three]

David Hayden has been published in The Stinging Fly, the Dublin Review, the Warwick Review and PN Review, among other places. He is working on a novel and a book of short stories.