2.10.05

Ibis



It was one those tears in the fabric, one of those rents, one of those places where you enter a stillness that is not so much outside time as more deeply embedded in it. He saw it first through the train window and only later found a way to get there past the derelict sheds, the daubed superannuated carriages, the dead engines, the great wheeled machines whose uses were forgotten and gone. A rectangular enclosure fenced with hurricane wire. A silver tank that had lost its bogies. Heaps of blue metal here and there on the brown beaten earth. Pampas grass. And everywhere, the sacred ibis. It did not seem a likely place for them to be nesting, so far from water, nor could he imagine that they found food there either. It just seemed a place they wanted to be. He stood a little way off, close enough to see them clearly but not so close as to scare them away. In a patch of sun beside a pile of bricks. It was hot, the first real hot day of the year and he thought it was the heat making him feel dizzy; but when he moved into the shade and sat down on a piece of masonry, the buzzing in his ears increased to a near unbearable whining hum and then suddenly accelerated out of range and he was through, he was there, in the oasis. Not pampas grass, papyrus. Lotus pools where the brown earth had been. Flash of silver from the meniscus of the river and a reflection of palms shimmering there. This was what the ibis saw, this was why they were here. The illusion lasted only a moment and then he was back on his stone, back in the dust of the abandoned rail yard, faint with longing. He heard the metallic sound of wheels on rails and saw the grey train passing. That was him at the window, one minute he was watching himself go by, the next, looking out through smeared glass at that enigma of ibis about weedy gravel mounds behind the hurricane fence.

2 comments:

~River~ said...

I don't think I've ever said this to you before, but you do write beautifully.

Martin Edmond said...

Thanks, ~river~ ... I like what you do too ...