British Spellings

Honour with you looks
as strange to me
as once it did without.
Do I mourn you or wonder
where you came to me from,
wandering across
the sea in search of spices?

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Hummingbird Bones [Journal Entry 21.4.15]

The companions sat in silence, their conversation having run its course, flowing from science to religion to logic to politics to stories of their childhood. The sky had changed from the orange-maroon streetlamp lit canopy to an inky black and was, finally, now a granite grey. The sunrise was attempting to break through the clouds that hung in the air.

He looked at his companion who, eyes glazed over, was lost in his own labyrinthine thoughts. Should he say it? he wondered. Would his companion understand? The feeling had moved up his gullet from his gut. It was now burning in his mouth, threatening to break free from behind his clenched teeth.

“Do you feel,” he asked his companion, “as if you were meant to do something big? That you were destined for greatness?”

His companion snapped back into the room but didn’t respond. The words swirled between them like those exchanged by a heretic and a believer. Then, at last, his companion spoke.

“You have no idea,” his companion said.

He breathed a sigh of relief. They were truly companions, then, soul friends, brethren of fate. His companion spoke again, his voice so low that his ears almost missed the words.

“I feel it in my bones.”

He nodded in agreement and the silence of introspection fell between the two. He, too, felt it in his bones. Sometimes he was convinced that his marrow had been replaced by heavy, leaden urgency, that he do something, anything. At other times, he felt his limbs lighten like the hollow bones of a flighty hummingbird.

“But what does it mean?”

He couldn’t tell whose mouth those words had come from. It didn’t matter.

The birds were up now. They flew from their nests and flapped in circles around the room the two sat in, their cries filled the air and the ears and minds of the two companions until they sounded like strange human voices. But what does it mean? But what does it mean? But what does it mean?