An English In Kentucky



















November 8th 2009

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    Past people on this land have left marks.  When I am gone, there will be an imagination that pauses by one or other mark of me and this future imagination will ask the same question my imagination asks of past people.

    Sometimes in the garden I see these other minds as both past and future.  I think of past and future as having come together in a moment that is 'now'.  I think of those things that make the moment proud, and of those things that make the moment sad.  And sometimes in that moment there is the silence of this place as belonging to time.

    Then, twelve inches beneath the ground, I find an engine block that must once have belonged to a bulldozer, or a Sherman Tank.  My imagination curdles suspiciously as I wonder at the circumstances that put this engine block exactly at that point where I had envisioned a fence post.



   Yet at some future time, when I am gone, a future mind will no doubt curse me as I am inclined to curse past people.   There will be no gentle understanding of wooden posts in concrete.  There will be no full appreciation of cement and gravel edging made more lasting with rebar.  There will be no marveling at tilth, when gravel is wanted.

   Lately in the garden, so rough have been my voyages through 'now', so irritable I have become with past people, that I sense a future time when school buses filled with serious minded children will be brought to this place so as to see for themselves what not to do.  And there beside the ruin of my garden will be an effigy of me to further frighten them.

   But I persist, in that stubborn way of one who knows what's right.  A couple of dozen more yards of concrete should put me firmly in this dark history book.  And under one last yard of concrete I'll lay a plaque which reads "Apology Accepted".

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tim candler

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