The sounds of 2019
less singing, more netflixing
less piano, more typing
and sometimes silence –
golden silence –
in wales and at home.
the cat chirruping and purring
and yowling at 3am to tell me
she’s found her favourite toy.
in the mountains, a noise
so loud its volume scared me:
planes flying low, the reverberating boom
of an air show.
the smells of 2019
beets baking in the kitchen
and bath bombs in the bathroom
in the living room, incense and smoke
and eventually the satisfying scent
of old wood rising from the new desk.
the scent of cooking wafting up a kensington street
drawing me into a restaurant
on my way home.
london: i became more aware of
the car fumes, the pollution
or maybe they got worse, i don’t know.
her house, a scent that always calms me,
and my office, a scent that sets my brain to work.
the feel of 2019
the fiat juddering under my hands
plasticky steering wheel seeming too light
the exhilaration of driving fast down beautiful roads.
the oppressive heat in london in summer
– a record-breaking 38 degrees –
the air con in the office providing a cool release
and the blanket of heat when i stepped outside.
velvet sofas, more of them now
(and a big tub armchair which i have barely sat in
because the cat has claimed it.)
an uncomfortable desk chair finally replaced
the tacky tap-tap of a keyboard, frantically
keeping things going long into the night.
the tastes of 2019
those beets i baked
with coconut milk and pistachios
and many more good meals
in norway and london and oxford.
coffee: sometimes too much
and wine: chocolatey and sweet
and whoops! i drank the unicorn
dry and musty and mushroomy
a wine for an attic
or a long-forgotten cellar.
the air in london and the air in wales
and the air clogging up the motorway queues in between
and near the end of the year, the welcome taste
of winter approaching on the breeze.
the sights of 2019
blue and green and green and blue
deep and inky in the living room
bright and beautiful in the mountains of wales.
the sun playing across the hillside opposite
and the light red of the 1980 selvapiana catching the sunlight
along with the sparkling ring i accepted
as the night fell.
the bats, the stars – such stars, outside of london! –
and the cottage, cool and characterful
and replete with the ghosts of people past.
the house in a mess
then eventually clean, just in time for new year.
the cat, of course the cat:
a white layer across everything
no matter how many times i brush it off.
her tail floating over the top of my head and into my face
as she sits behind me on the sofa
pressing against me and purring madly
making me see everything through a fluffy white screen.
candlelight and windowlight
and sunlight and moonlight and twilight
my living room in the dimly-lit darkness
and each candle giving out a plume of smoke
as i gradually extinguish them and make my way
into the bright yellow bathroom, the colour of sunshine
and then, in a room lined with books,