The Remains of She takes place in a dystopian future England and Wales, and concerns the 10th century historical characters Æthelflæd Lady of the Mercians, her husband Lord Æthelred, and their daughter Ælfwynn – the hero of our tale. The Remains of She is a love story which has travelled the centuries to bring about a renewal of nature and humankind.
Our ‘continuation’ of this Mercian true story is presented here today in the form of an epic poem, sculpture, photography and art.
For maximum reading and viewing pleasure please allow yourself a comfortable thirty minutes with a large screen, and prepare yourself for a magical journey into the Mercian past and future… as we present to you…
The Remains of She
She catches a train on a November night – the 9:18 Powys to Stafford.
The platform is empty save for a tramp, a mask hanging from his ear
By its solitary loop, and whose unlit pipe and a missing leg
Brings to mind W.H. Davies and one of his verses:
My little Lamb, what is amiss? If there was milk in mother’s kiss,
You would not look as white as this.
She boards the train and takes a seat, pulls down her mask to drink tea
From a Thermos growing cold, cold as the night, as cold as the carriage
She occupies, as cold as he: her childhood sweetheart she is off to meet;
All thirty years which lie between their teenage kisses, soulmate vows,
Her promise to love him till the end of time, to hold his weak hand –
For he is cold from the vice which squeezes, and for which prayers
Are as useless as vaccines and pills and conspiracy theories.
She. She looks up as a masked watchman patrols the empty carriage,
Commissioned by King and Country to inspect ID cards in the gangways
Of the public transport system under yet another government curfew.
He electronically stamps her papers with words that should read –
CLEARED FOR TRAVEL –
Instead there appears a trail of blood red Latin:
Surge. Dna. Disepentur inimici tui et fugent qui oderunt te a facie tua.
She recalls it is the script from the famous Staffordshire Hoard,
Inscribed on a gold strip once buried in the earth:
Rise up, O Lady, and may thy enemies be dispersed
And those who hate thee be driven from thy face.
She realises something has been lost in the translation,
That the dna part should read dne –
Do Not Awake – Do Not Enter.
And on a night of unsolicited verse, she considers how absurd
It is to encounter such words under lockdowns and curfews,
And a pandemic curse as bastard-big as the universe,
And as dark as a horse, black as a hearse, thunderous as a herd
Rotten from tip to tail with failed immunity.
“So, you’re a doctor, eh?” the watchman says with a nod
To the steel case balanced across her lap.
And she knows he knows exactly who she is, and what’s in the case,
And that just like her he is a chameleon from the same departments
And corridors of power unlit by scrutiny, clip, clip, clip go the heels
Of the likes of her through tunnels as dark as rabbit holes,
Into cabinet rooms under beams of Maglite and white phosphor;
The skelly-bones rattle of keys able to lock up secrets and bury lies
As big as satellites, as deep as lakes and as grand as canyons,
And as abundant as flies on the living starved,
And on corpses laid out where their bones did fall.
She tells the watchman, yes, she is a doctor, from Wales.
Lie after lie after lies are simply new truths stacked upon the old,
Skyscrapers of misinformation in a city of fools governed by devils
As naked as the day they came slithering from the womb.
The watchman bids her a safe journey, followed by the requisite
Mantra: “The queen is dead, long live the king!”
And he sails along the carriage in search of fish the bigger to fry.
And she – she winds back her thoughts to a lady and a lord –
DNA domina, DNE domine,
The repetition makes the same sound as does her train
Clattering along rails under Welsh skies, her metal crate
On wheels and track, parting mountains and rivers
To take her fast to her childhood love and solemn pact.
Quickly now hurry, Dna-Dne-Dna-Dne, before my boy
Takes his final breath, before he…
He shivers in his fourth-floor flat in Staffordshire,
Claimed by an illness whose fingers hold him by the scruff of his neck
So that he may gaze into a mirror to face what he became
In that long-ago first summer of underlying health conditions,
Pulverised and smashed to smithereens by particles falling
In air droplets like paratroopers descending and armed to the teeth.
Boy, best listen up now, and listen real good:
Stare hard at your skeleton reflection in the glass,
And swallow these pips of a winter which will be your last.
He. Who clutches in his fist the letters from her, smuggled inside parcels
From a mutual friend who works for Amazon.
He. Whose left eye is lost to malady, has read her words of love
With a single blue orb; a lone stone paler than the blue of her own eyes.
And if they were named as spies by the colour of their eyes
Would they answer to Cobalt and Azure?
With trembling voice he utters:
O universe hear me in my final hour.
Hold back your thunderbolts from the sky,
And allow me to gaze at her azure eyes
Just one more time before I die.
Ring. Ring. Ring.
He jumps at the noise of the intercom. It’s ten-thirty. It’s her.
“I’m downstairs,” she says. “Buzz me up, before I freeze to death.”
And soon at his door, even obscured by a mask, he can tell she is just
As beautiful as the day they met and when their teenage hearts fell in love.
How they connected the dots around their souls and discovered
The shape made a castle; the very same castle which sat on the hill
Beyond their estate, while they pretended to be lady and lord
Of a renewal to come as their young eyes turned west.
West is best.
I go there because there the sun sets.
Dna-Dne-Dna-Dne… hurry come find the Remains of She.
A wordless “come in”.
A blast of barely warm air from his cheap electric fire
And the smell of skin care treatments greet her.
He sees the steel case in her gloved hand and understands
What it holds inside, as she pulls down her mask and smiles.
And he says, “You haven’t changed a bit.”
And she says, “You… you look like shit.”
“I’ve seen better days. But now I don’t have much time.”
“So let’s hurry along. Do you have the key?”
And though enchanted by the shanty of her azure eyes, he turns
To a desk missing several handles, its rosewood top tattooed
With time and the ringlets from tea cups and the stains of wine.
And he plucks an iron key from a stack of pens in a desk tidy,
And declares, “The key to the castle.”
“We should go there now,” she says to he,
“Dna-Dne-Dna-Dne… come let’s find the Remains of She.”
He blinks his cobalt sole blue eye, and asks,
“Will we find treasure?”
She is already turning to the door when she answers,
“Every castle that ever was, and is, contains a treasure.”
They emerge on the streets of November England to the retort of gulls
And the snare drum rattling and piper’s whistle disturbing the buildings
And street furniture, discharged by a bitter wind drunk on boredom
And deep regret for the absence of a public it would like to torment.
But there is not a soul upon these streets save for she and he,
Who commence their procession to a derelict warehouse –
The temporary home to a van which has been idle all day
On a full tank of petrol and with false numberplates,
And decals declaring: HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS – BIO RISK.
O haz van – our regal coach, our golden chariot hauled by prancing
White horses in the guise of black diesel smoke – come carry us
About our procession through streets abandoned by prosperity;
Towns left to rot by recession, shored up, scaffolded,
Rebranded redevelopment under fast track laws, thinktank slogans
Trumpeted across screens and written by slaves not much better off
Than the people the sentiment was intended for:
WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU IS GOOD FOR ALL
AVOID A TRIP – STAY INSIDE AND CLICK
WE DELIVER TO YOUR DOOR TO SAVE OUR NHS
And the notices pinned to the front of sullen venues:
THE MUSIC IS OVER
When the music’s over
BANG goes another car on the bumper of a truck
Speeding through cities hauling parcelled-up goods,
Belched from megalithic warehouses by the click of a button.
Don’t look now, hon, but that poor passenger just lost her head.
Rubberneck. Bottleneck. Here’s a noose to tie round your neck.
And she, and he, tip-toeing through this car crash land hand in hand,
Bang, Bang, Bang, ghost town, unemployed, starved, fucked up;
A Dickensian metropolis on home-grown and prescription drugs.
Dna-Dne-Dna-Dne… hurry let’s find the Remains of She.
At the derelict warehouse two doors grind apart,
And there stands the haz van in all its yellow and black glory.
Key. Ignition. Twist. The dashboard blinks into a bank of lights.
Eleven says the clock –
One hour to midnight, to get to a castle,
To find a secret passage, to open up a door,
To find sacred treasure scattered on the floor,
To analyse artefacts, to strike connecting lines
Between the numbers and the dots of two souls
Making history repeat,
Repeat after me:
Underneath the spreading chestnut tree,
I loved you and you loved me.
Say: I do, I do, till death do us part,
Now say it again with blood-capsuled hearts,
And rings on fingers and the inscription Æ,
And an intercourse in bed to sculpt and shape
The wetness flowing between intertwined legs –
To fashion a daughter to be crowned one day queen
O’er all Mercia, o’er England free, o’er an isle united
By harmony, equality, prosperity –
The Remains of She lie in abeyance of discovery,
And the loving gift to set us free.
The haz van crawls through the doors and proceeds about town
In search of the Newport Road that leads to the castle,
Past condemned houses and offices gone to the dogs,
Past commercial signs still pedalling the lie
That England is open and trading for business.
While above this stately route of a van’s procession,
Sits the sulking sky full of swollen clouds,
Pledging oaths it will burst its granite banks
And pour a season’s worth of rain upon the land –
Unless things damn well change around here –
Here! cries the fit-to-burst sky. Will you wretched people
Ever learn from your history books and scriptures?
Must I send forth my tears to drown you again,
And have you build yet another flood-beating Arc?
“The sky’s full of it,” he says.
And she increases speed as though she might outrun the pellets
Already pitter-pattering against the windshield.
She spies a needle prick of blinking light in the blackness above;
A dot in the sky following their progress, and it becomes clear –
“We’re being followed.”
He finds the source of light with his sole blue eye.
“A surveillance drone? Police?”
“Might be an ally.”
But she is proved wrong, when in the side mirror of the haz van
Appears flashing blue lights mere metres behind.
She pulls over to the wailing siren. Turns off the engine.
In the mirror an officer emerges from her patrol car.
Tap, tap, tap at the haz van window, a masked face stare,
A voice that declares: Your papers.
Then questions. Answers verified. Radio static. Cold eyes.
Restless fingers on fluorescent hips equipped with deterrents
And incapacitating bolt-throwers as deadly as fifty hornet stings.
What’s in the metal case? Vials, you say. Vials of what?
Yes, I have every right to question you. To make you open up.
See, your doctor credentials… they don’t hold water, don’t add up.
Step out of the vehicle. I’m calling for backup.
And she. Just when she thinks all might be lost, is aware of a figure
Emerging from the trees at the side of the road.
And this figure is a man clothed in robes which shroud his frame.
And his each stride forward makes the sound of the earth’s plates
Trembling below them, tumbling and resonating like earthquakes.
In one palm he holds dancing white lights.
And in the other is a staff shaped by the movement of the sea
And by designs of the wind and the pull of the moon.
Wizard… you are here!
And the wizard comes to the she and the he.
And the police officer unclips her hornet gun and aims it
At him with words recited from her training –
While the wizard remembers words from far more ancient scripts,
And in a language fashioned by a higher universe he declares:
You may return to your station, for all is well upon this road.
And from his palm he shakes his staff at the bloated sky –
To the watching drone which blinks, flickers then disappears.
And from his other palm he makes dancers of the orbs of white light,
And sends them spinning as ushers to escort the officer to her car
And to take her leave, and to remember never this November night
For as long as she breathes nor as long as she dreams.
The wizard’s eyes are dark and liquid and kind
And full of galaxies. And he says to the she and the he:
Your path is clear. The road is free. And you shall meet no obstacle
Save your own fears. And what are fears, if not mere mirrors,
Reflections? Death staring back at you. Boo!
Face these visions and you will see that death is but the beginning
Of a journey which will set you free.
He stares into the cab of the haz van. Spies the steel case
Resting in the foot well, and, lo – by his will he opens it.
And it is true that the case contains vials. Two. And of equal size,
Made of glass, and in the perfect shape of hearts.
But, lo, these vials are empty!
Empty you say? No more!
And in a language neither the she or the he have heard before,
Comes a wizard spell from wizard lips beneath a wizard beard.
Lo! See those glass hearts transform into vessels of ancient blood
Tapped from the veins of a lady and a lord.
Lo, and lo again! See that wizard vanish from sight
After the miracle he has caused, but not before declaring to the two:
Dna-Dne! Hurry to your castle! Shoo-shoo-shoo!
O, let that procession continue along the Newport Road.
Let eyes widen in wonder at a castle on a hill,
A silhouette against the still swollen sky, their childhood fortress –
Smaller now than how they remembered it, though no less
Majestic in its allure, and for what it contains beneath its stones,
Deeper still, below foundations lain by medieval masons,
Deeper, into the guts of the hill it sits upon, yet deeper,
Into labyrinth corridors spiralling into the earth to enact the birth
Of a child of time and her baptism by a lady and a lord.
She. She steers the haz van into the castle grounds
Where in ancient days there may have been hounds
Upon their tail, upon their scent, to hunt them down to prison
Sent. Hung, drawn, quartered, tarred and feathered, pilloried,
Ye witches shall confess! Ye sorcerers shall bleed!
Yet the two are chased only by a curious breeze
As they quit the haz van gallant in duty done of bringing them
To a Staffordshire hill in November chill, and under that still
Bloated sky who has thus far held back its full battery of tears.
They climb the hill,
And the castle looks down upon them and thinks:
Ah, two strangers come, a she and a he, to unlock my secrets
With their brass key, their brass cheek, their audacity,
To unpick me! To plunder my treasure, for what measure?
Hark, I think hear their thoughts, old castle I,
Domesday Book recorded, Anglo-Norman family walls,
Feudal baron stone floors, shelter given to dukes and earls
Who fled my banquet tables when Civil War did demolish
My shoulders, did buckle my knees to bow to new masters
Who pledged to rebuild me, over and over again,
Stone by stone, Gothic revival, my arms open wide
To greet now all tourists on the Newport Road
Who come to me with guide books and camera phones.
Selfie cheese. I am here to please, and to be known –
But never do I tell my secrets.
Yet, hark once more… these two, the she and the he:
They come with only one intention, one act in mind.
Therefore, should I open my doors to the ancient paths
Beneath my belly of stone, and offer my treasure with hope
It might enrich the human touch with the gift to create life?
Do I give up willingly the Remains of She
Who I have guarded for more than ten centuries?
And you. What would you decide if in such a position,
If you were a castle upon a hill?
Pray tell, and fast, for I see these two traversing my mount.
Shall I allow them into my deepest tomb?
If so, then name me no more to be castle or fort,
But a tenth century Mercian maternity room.
He struggles to climb this hill in his final hour,
His breath rattling about his lungs like a rainstick upturned,
As she takes his hand and tugs, afraid he may not live long
Enough to play his part, while above them stars flicker
In a tapestry of sky, and a crescent moon looks on in interest
At what may be disturbed this night, among crisp air and cold
Castle walls, a hatch discovered in the frosty dirt –
Into the belly of the earth.
They linger at this hatch like space walkers waiting
To reboard their craft. She pulls up the lid and an unholy hiss
Escapes the shaft, chaperoned by the whiff of uncorked air
Expelled from lungs pressed against a cage of prison cell ribs.
My little Lamb, what is amiss? Must I awake you with the kiss
Of life to steal you from ten centuries of slumber in the abyss?
For Death would own a sleep like this, if not for magic and guile
And the midwifery of angels at your side. And they –
The she and the he, a lady and lord upon which we pin our hopes…
But, alas, the two hesitate at the hatch steps, fear placing its ropes
Over their heads and about their necks. Ah,
If there was milk in mother’s kiss,
You would not look as white as this.
And she. Just when she thinks courage has forsaken her,
Is aware of a figure standing nearby.
And this figure is a man dressed in black, neither old nor young,
But with an age of stories and poetry and sagas told, whispered words
To shake the earth, or ease moons to slumber in the grip of insomnia,
Lullabies, rhymes, the script for a lyricist’s travel into time in search
Of discovery word by word, line by line, a paragraph, a stanza,
A diary of events, letters pulled from alphabets to spell out songs
Of eternal love and renewal to come, by the light of his pen and page
Be he known as the Mage…
And the second messenger of this night to bring gifts of wisdom,
Magic and light…
Mage… you are here!
And the mage comes to the she and the he,
His eyes bright behind orange lenses like the rays of the sun,
His mask – a black flight case to protect the instruments
Of his lips and tongue and the music his words make on journeys
Upon days such as these and nights such as this –
The gifts which he gives; in this instance four books,
Which he offers to the she and the he.
And though the mage is a man of many words, he has only these
Few things to say:
“Here is a book left blank on each page.
Here is a book to help light your way.
Here is a book to put you on track.
And here is a book to make you laugh.”
The books being:
The Journals of Queen Ælfwynn (yet to be written).
The Book of Taliesin (Welsh poems of enchanted Britain).
The Railway Atlas of England & Wales (1918 edition).
The Importance of Being Earnest.
“The first has blank pages for your daughter’s pen. The second
Let me quote Taliesin – O tan a dayar, a dwfyr ac awyr, a nywl
A blodeu, a gwynt godehue. The third, ah, helps your daughter
Find a train which will take her to a place of renewal and magic.
And the fourth – it was Oscar Wilde who said it…”
Behind every exquisite thing that existed,
There was something tragic.
Dna-Dne-Dna-Dne… ‘tis time to behold the Remains of She,
As the Mage departs and into the earth go the she and the he.
Down spiral steps with their brass key,
To unlock the door of a birthing suite
By trinity of the inscription Æ…
Æthelflæd and Æthelred – the she and the he,
And Ælfwynn their daughter to rise as queen.
There is a door made of mahogany at the bottom of the steps.
And she. She takes their brass key and pushes it inside
A lock held fast for ten centuries of a pregnancy
About to break its water.
The key. Does it make the sound of skeletons fornicating
As it enters this lock; or the sound of salmon pushing the currents
Of a stream; or the music of unpublished symphonies
Discarded by maestros in the wealth of output inspired by divinity
The door of the birthing suite opens to the aroma of musk,
To the glittering jewels and artefacts left scattered about the floor;
An offering of timelines taken apart and put back together again.
And did the azure blue of her eyes not behold such treasure?
And did the cobalt blue of his single eye not measure the same?
Did they not cast their collective gaze upon the trove of computer
Circuitry bejewelled with Anglo-Saxon metal and stones;
Upon the two NASA spacesuits from the 1960s laid out on the ground
In preparation for employment; upon the drawings on the walls of moons
And constellations and planetary coordinates for deployment?
Did their gaze not comprehend the rotation of a disc upon the platter
Of a phonograph – and their ears understand a voice very much like
Orson Welles relaying historical events since 1914?
And did their eyes not witness the collection of 35mm film photographs
Documenting the Hale-Boppe comet as seen in the Northern Hemisphere
Skies in March 1997? And the ink drawing of a UFO by an uncredited
Artist, depicting a square-shaped craft above Stafford castle in 1984?
And upon the floor, in the centre of this maternity room, this birthing
Suite, this museum tomb, this hollow womb… lies the Remains of She.
Ælfwynn… we have come, our daughter, little lamb, to give to you
The milk of our love so that you may finish what we have begun.
Behold among the artefacts the Remains of She –
Ælfwynn – already crowned and inscribed with Æ, already masked
In preparation for her journey to the upper world of push-button
Pandemics and politics mandated by a population blinded
By bandits and charlatans and parasites and predators
She must pretend to be a part of to enact clever changes from within;
To pull levers, switch tracks, rewrite codes and expose the monsters
For who they are and with no hiding place to go –
Suffer – their masks won’t slip, rather…
Let them be torn off by Ælfwynn, and the ogre faces beneath made
To stare into a mirror of truth – the mirror of truth –
And already there is such a mirror behind the masked remains
Of this queen soon to be reborn, look…
And the she and the he take turns to look, and they see themselves
In this mirror as teenagers when they first met and fell in love,
And they see themselves gazing at a square craft which surveyed
Their castle, and they see themselves older and playing their roles
In the institutions for which they became spies and sleepers,
And the collectors of potions to make the greatest living spell.
They see themselves now, honest and pure, then later as corpses
In white NASA suits, floating away into the void of space.
She knows that the act of sex will finish him.
He knows this too.
So no time to undress, to disrobe and reveal naked flesh,
Only zips and buttons become soundtrack to a foreplay
Of the spreading of themselves upon cables and the guts
Of ripped-open computer boards and consoles and the glittering
Hoard of treasure strewn across the floor, and coins bearing ornamental
Designs in desire to create a unique specie for monumental times.
She mounts him.
Presses his hardness against the wetness between her thighs.
Pushes him deep inside the walls of her cave.
Their movement is as serene as Mediterranean waves,
Sunflowers turning their heads to the south,
Nectar dripping into open mouths,
Pollen gathered by busy bees,
Treetops parting to a gambolling breeze –
Underneath the spreading chestnut tree,
I loved you and you loved me.
The climax is near.
And now they must drink from the two glass vials,
Those heart-shaped receptacles reflecting their eyes
In blood-red stillness and anticipation
As they cum and swallow this ancient blood
At the same time as the sky outside explodes with rain,
Floods of fluid flushed
Through living bodies in a fabulous liquid death
To hydrate life into new beginnings
And a single pip;
A stone which will grow
In the belly of she.
She dismounts him. Watches his sole orb flicker.
He has no words,
Only a pencil-flick peaceful smile as he dies before her azure eyes.
A final kiss then, on those upturned lips,
And a whisper she will love him forever, and, O, that phonograph
Is now playing a song by Vera Lynn –
We’ll Meet Again –
And she has never felt more truth in the grains of any lyric until now,
This moment, as she says goodbye to him.
Goodbye my love, we’ll meet again,
Don’t know where, don’t know when,
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.
Let me fold your arms across your still chest,
And close your cobalt eye so you may sleep neath angel wings
And cross the riven sky.
There is no indignity that your funeral robes shall be
An astronaut suit and helmet, a visor to cover your sweet face,
As you drift away into the void of space.”
She puts him inside the NASA suit and seals him shut,
Props him against the wall next to the second suit, which she knows
She will herself come to occupy in time.
The tick-tock of hands turning across dials. The switch of digits.
The phasing of moons and the tidal pendulum.
Momentum measured in heartbeats – she places a hand across her belly
And can already feel the tempo of her daughter.
She looks at the artefact which is the Remains of She –
Ælfwynn, crowned and inscribed with Æ, masked, yet beneath
That stretch of fossilised fabric she knows there is already
The mark of a smile; the knowledge of a soul about to bear
Fruits of life, the soon-to-blink-open inherited colours
Of her mother and father’s blue eyes.
Tick. Tock. Tock. Tick.
And at last comes the kick.
The kick inside.
Born and raised twelve years in darkness, this Ælfwynn child
Does seal her mother in the shroud of an astronaut suit.
Remembers her last words:
My little lamb, you have learned much in our short time together,
And now I must leave and take with me your father.
Be strong, and know this… there was always milk in mother’s kiss.
Rise, my fair queen, go tend to the people and banish greed,
Conquer hate where it grows like a seed,
And let love flourish at Earth’s hour of need.
Remembers her training days, does this Ælfwynn child,
This child of time, who can fuse circuits and wires and rocket fuel
With nothing more than her imagination and a will to blast
The corpses of her parents into space and eternal rest.
This Ælfwynn child, O child of time, with the guidance of wizards
And mages who will remain at her side to guide her
As she enacts plans for the recalibration of humanity.
O, she will use her four books wisely as she emerges
From her birthing suite into the light of a day shining in herald
At her summertime arrival. This Ælfwynn child,
This child of time, this child who will travel unhindered
Across lands and beguile all she meets by her fair heart and hand
And the hope which she gives.
Yet, hark, do not take her gentle ways as a sign of weakness…
For those with will to oppose will be crushed
In the very same heartbeat it takes for a wicked man
To do a wicked thing –
This Ælfwynn child may wreak havoc on all architects of evil,
Will show them suffering and starvation, pain and misery,
Foul acts returned to them as they once inflicted their dismal art
Upon creatures as weak as new-born lambs.
And they, they will be made to look into the mirror of truth.
And they will be made to see what they have done.
And they will be invited to atone in the garden of mercy.
Perhaps in time all hatred will diminish,
And new seeds will grow upon lands once barren,
And the incandescence of Ælfwynn will shine like a beacon
For those who seek love, light and spirit.
My word! This renewal will be so magnificent it will be witnessed
From space, and all manner of craft from across the universe
Will visit Earth and survey this new state with alien eyes
Of the deepest accord.
And this Ælfwynn child, this child of time, she –
She will come to be known as The Warrior Queen,
Our Lady of Renewal, Our Mercian Hero who emerged
From a castle upon a hill, from a birthing suite
Where she was born to rise as a light from the Remains of She.
The author’s favourite line
From Stafford castle to Tamworth castle, and the adventure continues?
♦♦♦ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ♦♦♦ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ♦♦♦
♦♦♦ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ♦♦♦ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ♦♦♦
Poem by Ford. Sculpture by Spira. Art and photographs by Ford & Spira. Additional art images by Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Stafford castle image by Giles Jones.