And cement mixers began to come to life
And men in dungarees, like captive shades,
Mixed concrete, loaded, wheeled, turned, wheeled as if
The Pharoah's brickyards burned inside their heads.
Yes, the gravel has all gone and the builder assures me that the floor is perfectly level now and we're ready to go. Once the electrician returns, that is. Now we have to have lots of meaningful discussions about what colour we're going to paint the kitchen - it's time for a change as far as green goes, methinks.
The sun has come out in force and I was thinking of Edward Thomas but even his happier, sunnier poems are tinged with regret and the foreshadowing of death. I found this, though:
While the North blows, and starling flocks
By chattering on and on
Keep their spirits up in the mist,
And Spring's here. Winter's not gone.
I'm not convinced the sun is going to stay and we've had a lot of mist around here recently, so it seems apt. Thomas, of course was a good friend of Robert Frost and they often went walking together whilst Frost lived in England. I think it's Thomas that he was talking about in The Road Not Taken. Choices made obviously have a huge impact on us. Frost wanted him to move to New Hampshire but Thomas decided to go and fight for his country in the Great War and was killed by a stray bullet at his observation post on 9th April 1917. He had managed to survive on the Western Front for sixty nine days. At the time it wasn't the road less travelled - many had taken the same one. Most hadn't left a legacy of beautiful poetry, but who knows what some of them could have become? The comments yesterday in the staff room about where we're going and, presumably jokingly (albeit cynically), how we need a plague or a war seemed shocking now I think of it. It wasn't me that made the comment. It's about a lack of hope for the future. With the government obviously having it in for teachers at the moment with their impossible-to-satisfy inspection criteria (alongside attacking the whole of the Public Sector), feelings seem to be rather low in the profession at the moment. Lower than usual, that is.
My foot is still sore and after three months of useless service from the quacks, I'm going to have to take things into my own hands - well, feet, I suppose. I'm going to go see a physiotherapist to see if they can help. I'll probably find that it should have been sorted months ago and I'll have done some permanent damage. So, back over to Edward Thomas:
This is the best and worst of it -
Never to know,
Yet to imagine gloriously, pure health.
On to happier things, if you missed Songwriter's Circle on BBC4 on Sunday, I implore you to watch it. Martin Simpson, Michael Chapman and Steve Tilston sitting around just singing and playing together in front of a small audience, not Earth-shattering, just an hour of sheer entertainment. These guys get paid to do this.
Elixir strings so I've definitely changed my mind about them: well-worth the money. Perhaps I'll write a tune . . .
So, I'll leave you in the capable hands of Seamus Heaney*:
So walk on air against your better judgement
Establishing yourself somewhere in between
Those solid batches mixed with grey cement
And a tune called 'The Gravel Walks' that conjures green.
See, it all sort of comes together.
*From The Spirit Level - aha!