Monday, 11 May 2009

The Wilful Walks of C.J. Duffy part four

* A Town without a High Street * Alleyways and Decay * The Sixties Fell like Concrete * Bric-a-Brac and Wagging Fingers * Dull feet that move to David Bowie * A poem of sorts *

Rochford Town: dirty paint and the dust of history fall from the buildings facades, an autumnal fading of aging architecture. The square has been ravaged by my generation’s favourite decade. If the sixties gave birth to the modern man and woman, liberating us all sexually and leaving a legacy of great music and literature, then it had quite the reverse effect with architecture. Flat concrete and glass designed shops flop against their quaint hallowed counterparts. The supermarket has grown like a wart on the arse of a lady and remains a zit of a building. Squat glass references to the visionaries of modern architects from those not fit to shade in their dreams. Here it fails miserably. From my youthful memory the nineteen sixties was the greatest of times, probably due to my being only fifteen when it finished, but its desire to bring modernity to the grim grey preceding decades of the forties and fifties failed when buildings of antiquity and historical importance were smashed down and replaced by characterless structures such as this. However, the scent of history clings here; you can smell it as you walk around. The market square no longer has cattle that used be to driven across the railway lines, passing through the station and then herded into the town; in its place, and on Tuesday’s only, is a general purpose rag tag of stalls: bric-a-brac and clothes. The market dates back to twelve forty seven.

There are pub’s galore here, six by my reckoning. Enough booze for a salvationist to have a busy nights work over as they fly from pub to pub to try and preach to the deaf, dumb and couldn't careless.

There is no high Street in Rochford as it still has the town cross design that harkens back to the middle ages. Claustrophobic alley ways link back streets to the market square. A Victorian clock ticks time away as it hangs above the Women’s Institute building. I once bought a series of books from here, antiques that I got for the bargain price of one pound each. Gold leafed and thread sewn with a decorative embossing that was designed in the art deco style of the era it was published in. The woman wagged her finger at me as if to say. 'You know you have a bargain but so do I.'

They burnt people at the stake here; burnt them because their Christian belief differed from the majorities’ Christian belief. In fifteen fifty five, a Catholic man, John Simson was burnt alive because he wouldn’t conform to Roman Catholicism. Makes me wonder if we have changed as a species at all in five hundred years?

Moses said to Satan, Man, that was fun
but I've got to cross this river to get my business done.
Saul said to Sarah, Girl, button up your dress
your fathers on the prowl, your sins to him confess.
Enoch said to Joseph, man, that was such a blast
but I've got to speak to Jesus to make his divinity last.
Jesus spoke to Krishna 'You know, we both are alike
but I bet your congregation didn't nail you with a spike. '
Loki sat down softly with mischief in his sack
he sharpened up his wicked knife to place in someone's back.
Rama did a pirouette as Bast slowly turned
to the tune of a saxophone whilst Surt gaily burned.
Poseidon eyed up Brigit, 'Lady, I like your smile.'
'Indeed,' said she with a grin, 'come lay with me awhile.'
Cronus sat with Zeus and played a game of chess
with pieces made of jade, Phersephone to impress.
Yemaya danced with Bishamon she liked his Shinto ways,
Anubis fancied Balor (even deities have gays).

Loki fixed a fire and let the flames rise
he laid a torch to heaven that lit up the skies.
Odin of the one eye with his ravens and his son
rode out to find Obatala waging war on everyone.
They poured libations to themselves and drank their bellies full
whilst Yahweh said to Allah 'I remember you from school'.'
Vishnu played a game of dice with pilgrims and with saints
watched by tired Ixchel, bright rainbows she paints.
Hades, bored of hell sits and contemplates
Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos, sisters and the Fates.
But Loki never can resist an evil game or ploy
with twine and twig a plot device more than Balder he'll destroy.
The deities are dancing on, the deities dance still
they lead us such a merry chase no doubt they always will.
For every god or deity be they small or great
are but the stuff of fantasy that mankind did create.

A pub is a pub is a pub: time for a drink then off to somewhere else, Ashingdon methinks and then maybe Fambridge. David Bowie's "The Bewlay Brothers" plays in my head... I have such a funny head, full of strange shapes and sounds but more of that next time: Onwards!

all words and art are copyright © of C.J. Duffy.


Perfect Virgo said...

These ambles through historic English towns and villages are the perfect chance for me to re-connect with my roots. Beautifully drawn word-sketches CJ.

weirsdo said...

Another lovely piece. The Victorian clock reminds me of the P. G. Wodehouse where Bertie is stuck in a small village with nothing to do but wander repeatedly up the only street to have a look at the Diamond Jubilee watering trough.
I'm ready to look at your stuff. Let the guilt begin.

C.J.Duffy said...

PV>>>A little Britain but without the comedy!!

C.J.Duffy said...

weirsdo>>>Thank you! I love PG Wodehouse. Beautifully constructed English - the very opposite of me though.
You MUST NOT feel guilty. I am deadly serious about being published and I passionately believe that my Fekenham Tales are good enough. Sadly though my English isn't. Be brutal with me. Allow no tautology, no over use of conjunctions and watch out for my incorrect use of tenses: I tend to mix 'em up!

Aleksandra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonant said...

Why is Loki mentioned 3 times is the poem and the other gods are mentioned only once or twice?
I hope all is well with you.

C.J.Duffy said...

Sandra>>>Your English improves all the time so do not be concerned. If only my Finnish were so good. The only thing I know about Finland is Sibelius!

C.J.Duffy said...

anonant>>>Everything is fine. I use Loki as a metaphor because the bad always pops up in life to screw us over and is never far away.

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