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Blackberrying

September 14, 2014

The following flash fiction is an attempt to get back to something altogether more pastoral and poetic in my writing; to reclaim my home ground, so to speak. Also it may be considered a last snatch at summer as fallen leaves begin to gather…

Have a good Sunday, everyone.

 

BLACKBERRYING

Paul Beech

 

I’m making for the river, the calm old river. My way lies down a stony lane.

Brambles high on my left side, low on my right. The sheep have fallen silent now, valley golden in the late sun. I sidestep puddles, screw my eyes against the glare…

At the first bend a woman of some age, in straw hat and blue body warmer, stoops to pick blackberries between tangles of ragwort and thistle.

Now she straightens stiffly, pulls off her gloves, treats me to a smile.

“Aye, the blackberries…they’ll be made into jam for sale,” she says. “Proceeds to the Steeple Restoration Fund.  Should have been gooseberry jam too.  A good crop in the Vicarage garden this year, pink gooseberries.  But our blackbirds had the lot, little perishers!”

She offers her trug and I take a few berries. They are warm, almost bitter, and bits stick between my teeth.

At the second bend a gent of some age, with purple-tinted glasses and white-whiskered chin, stretches high above the willowherb to pick blackberries.

He barely glances in my direction, clearly not as sociable as his wife.

“Steeple Restoration Fund? Pah!” he says.  “I thought she was going to bake me a pie.”

A man of the cloth, he swings a boot at his trug but misses.

At the third bend, the river, the calm old river. Now a lame rabbit crosses my path and winks.

~~

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2014

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7 Comments
  1. Maureen Weldon permalink

    This is a beautiful Autumn story, rich in imagery, with a spot of humour. I almost felt I was there.

    Maureen Weldon

  2. The Lord works in mysterious ways. :o) Beautiful Paul, I wonder how others will interpret it. :o)

  3. Maureen, thank you so very much. Coming from you, a truly marvellous poet, that is praise indeed!

    Best wishes always,

    Paul

  4. Pat, so lovely to hear from you again. Ah, those “mysterious ways”! The steeple restoration will cost a small fortune but I wouldn’t mind betting they get there in the end.

    Very best wishes,

    Paul

  5. This is beautiful! I love your word choice and the poetic fiction. Great work, Paul.

    • Donna, so pleased you like this. I reckon the poetry/prose borderland is a great place to be, creatively. And I was thrilled to discover your blog during Hurricane Gonzalo the other day. I foresee ‘A Little Bird Tweets’ fast becoming a favourite.

      Cheers,

      Paul

      • Paul. I agree, the prose/poetry combination is wonderful. I am glad Hurricane Gonzalo has gone now 🙂 Thank you for your inspiring comment on my blog.
        Donna

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