by Jean SpracklandI’m vague about their names –laziness, yes, but also a wishto keep them free. Isn’t it enoughto foul their brooks and fieldsand flay the high trees with our floodlightswithout this last assault of language?I limit myselfto the one thing I know: that they are light(the word splits on a prism,revealing them luminous, weightlessand all tones between).I learnt this as a childin the little yard behind the chapelwhere I would be sent with the leftover bread.When I stepped out from the cool, screened interiorthey were waiting in the sunshine.They glittered in the brancheswhile I crumbled the host and scattered itamong the weeds and broken paving.• From Sleeping Keys, published by Jonathan Cape, RRP £10. To order a copy for £8 with free UK p&p go to or call Guardian book service on 0330 333 © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds …read more

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