Jodrell Bank

You kick the stone and you say the stone hurts your toe.

So don’t kick the stone.

The stone tumbles over the edge of the pond and lands with a plop. You say you heard the plop, I heard the plop, the frogs and the trout heard the plop. But I won’t accept it’s anything.

Let’s start with colour. There’s no colour out there in the world. That lovely shimmer of iridescence on the dragonfly. You know, secretly, it shimmers only in your mind. Nothing like that could really be. Could really be.

But when I hold your hand, and you make me laugh, I can forget all that.

There was another time when we came to the brow of a hill and saw a line of radio telescopes as white as bone. They shone in the afternoon sun. We didn’t realise they were so close. They seek out quasars and pulsars and report it all in some unintelligible code that only the ones with the doctorates and years of sitting there staring at the screens can ever hope to understand.

Take a sip of this Stroh 80 rum and tell me it’s not real.

Watch the fish at the bottom of the pond, sliding through shafts of afternoon light and tell me it’s not real.

In August, towards midnight, we can lie on our backs in the garden, a blanket up to our chins, and watch the Perseids ignite as they hit the upper atmosphere.  We’ll have a flask of tea and some snacks and I get to search for your hand in the darkness.


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