Saturday, 28 November 2015

Knife (November)

Gift of Mrs Pamela Carswell, rare books and rare birds at the theology library, Ormond College, an elegant long Japanese stainless steel paper knife, used ever since for envelopes, uncut 19th-century monographs, origami. Professional chefs say one needs only two (or three) knives for everything and mine was purchased in Elizabeth Street one November, what French call ‘office’, English prosaically ‘vegetable’: 3&3/4-inch blade, 3&1/2-inch moulded handle. About the oldest knife in continued use (cakes) is my grandmother Mrs Evelyn Hulme’s standard dinner knife: faux bone handle 3&1/2-inches, 5&3/4-inch blade, Thomas Ibbotson & Co. Owltic Sheffield, England, Firth Brearley Stainless. &c.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Bottle (November)

Still life with bottle. Red wine black with ferment. Grace said in silence. Then the day’s news: an unexpected diagnosis, visitors from another lifetime, a thunderbolt phone call. We examine our meals, tuck in. Wine animates the ordinary, flows understandably. Conversation is everyone’s turn, untying a few strands of our complicated city. November is cherries, too many for the bowl. And anyway (second glass) who invented the still life? Google it. One thing’s for sure, the bottle is vital. Thick at base, tapering above halfway. Stories flow from its lip. Sound of our voices flesh out meaning, alive to purpose.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Spoon (November)

Sometimes I may as well be N. He travels so many K whether it’s SMTWTF or S, then back. Friends text RUOK. They abbreviate to save time, while N’s lost the strength to finish words, city big zero O, emptiness that cannot say Y. XXXX, expletes an innocent bystander. People merge. Politician A could be B. Celebrity C may as well be D, probably is. November shrivels to N. Home at last his EPNS spoons sugar into T. It rests like Q in the cup, with no answers. O! U2 could be N, words not ending, early to bed, zzzzzzz…