But tonight just seems a bit odd. It's chilly outside, but not as chilly as I'd expected, and very quiet. An overcast is hiding the stars and the waxing crescent moon. The overcast is probably what's keeping the night a bit warmer than expected, too. But it is very, very dull and boring. The television is apt to be dull and boring, too, since the PBS stations are not showing any English murders, but only reruns of last year's series about young Queen Victoria.
As far as I know, Victoria never murdered anyone. Not directly, in any case. She just sent her army and navy out to slaughter foreigners, and even then she had plausible deniability because, you know, Parliament and Prime Ministers. If only she'd been able to have someone, maybe the Earl of Aberdeen, or perhaps William McGonagall, beheaded, the show would be more interesting.
Anyway, if I'm going to do laundry on a Sunday night this is the Sunday night to do it on. But I'm also going to make some onion soup. I think that might just make up for the paucity of decent television to watch. If not, then I'll just have to turn to drink.
by John Burnside
Stepping outside in the dark,
if only to fetch the coal, this December night,
I stop in a river of wind
on the cellar steps
and think of men, no different from me,
transforming themselves at will
– misshapen lives
suspended in the blood,
and loping away through the snow
or, coming in,
I turn to face the cold
with nothing in my veins
the thought of someone
not unlike myself
in borrowed senses
– marten, dog-fox, wolf –
coming to some new scent, some bitter truth,
and gulping it down in the dark
while the hunters