Sunday, September 11, 2005

Martins, framed, the middle of the highway

Over the High Street, house martins wheel against the evening sky. It is hard to see one of the features - the white rump - which distinguish these birds from swallows, but you can identify them by their tails, where the fork is less pronounced than with swallows. The swifts, with their longer wings, which, a few weeks ago, in the same place, were swooping and screaming, have departed for warmer lands. I love the noise, which swifts make and their daredevil, agile flight.

In the upper room of a house, a couple are painting the inside of the window frame which frames them.

I'm still reading Jack Kerouac's great outburst of care-free, extravagant joy On the Road, which did so much to define post-World War 2 America.
Here's a typical image, as they drive through the night: " The white line in the middle of the highway hugged our left front tire as if glued to our groove. Dean huddled his muscular, t-shirted neck in the winter night, and blasted the car along".You get the feeling, as you do with so many American novels, of the vastness of the country and the hard-to-control energy, which fills it.

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