2. The Quaker Bear

Welcome the Quaker Bear chained and prancing
To its mistresses stick in May Day Green
Gone the freeman dancing to mughouse beat.

I remember Dick when you would ask sixpence
for my wares, now you walk the other way.
Your fine thigh no more suited to my sweatmeat.
More interest in a book than turning my pages.
You are old before your time, a wasted man.

In the mughouse you would sing to me:

My Friend thy Beauty seemeth good
We Righteous have our failings;
I’m Flesh and Blood, methinks I cou’ d,
Wert thou free from Ailings

And I would reply:

Believe me Sir I’m newly broach’ d,
And never have been in yet;
I vow and swear
I ne’er was touch’ d,
By man ’till this day and night.

And supping on your ale you’d sing:

Then prithee Friend, now prithee do,
Nay, let us not defer it;
And I’ll be kind to thee
when thou hast laid the Evil Spirit.

And sitting in your lap I would:

I vow I won’t, indeed I shan’t,
Unless I’ve Money first, Sir;
For if I ever trust a Saint,
I wish I may be curst, Sir.

And jangling your purse:

1. The Cap Fits

If the cap fits, put it on.

I must become other than I am for a woman.

For seven years I trudged behind a counter, a willing, though not obedient slave. My temper soured, marr’d my future views, my projects o’erturn’d and my quiet disturb’d. I was not ev’ry thing I ought to be.

For sev’ral years I have led a single life, nor coveted a spouse: till now, all alone, like Adam in the garden, I have found out I am wanting, and that is a wife.

I have found a comely maid, a native of Ardsley and a fellow Friend and mean to bind her in indissoluble chains. I live a bachelor in my fathers ancient wood and plaster house called St Ann’s and warehouse at the north-east corner of May Day Green, in the fair commercial town of Bamsley; linen manufacturing, my business. I thought a good standing enough to gain a wife; I did not think two worthless fellows could from their tatling, tell~tale disposition, have set at ears my nearest, dearest friends ; their worthless stories have broke all confidence, destroy’d the harmony of private life and made an earthly paradise a hell; poison’d the stream that flows by, soil’d the bleached linen drying in the fields.

I pretended to be very good; a man set up for something more than human, a pharisee of strict observance, pretending to Communion with God.

7. The Beast

She’s turned you into a beast; a gamboling bear in the market place. Turning at her dry stick this way and that. Dancing to the beat of her words to earn a pittance of her crust.
I forget myself you are not lonely that is not the reason for marriage; you just want your reputation back.

Some wights took it away from you shouting about the town. Well when you have it back I’m waiting awhile till your senses return and we can salt each others meat again.
She’s a peach your little quaker girl; that glory of red and yellow that has the ripeness of summer sun rising and nothing of the cold sun setting. She’s a globe, new land awaiting your travelled feet upon her shore. You would pluck her, and bite into her softness till the juice of pleasure washed both of you into joy, and she would bite into you, for you would be a peach too and both would joy until as two seeds lain side by side you marvelled at being fruit enough for the others pleasure. But I forget you are quakers and must give over such pleasures.

10. The Drying Fields of Linen

O monster of reason what have you forgotten:
how we wet the drying fields of linen
and Barley where you ground my com with a jug of mughouse ale
and fresh and naughty manners; this was our rusticating;

you strode a giant amongst my hills and made the river flow.

Now you stride through town cocking a snoop
at all you laughed and jollied with before;
nothing but a prig made up to look like summat.

But your dear pouch must yearn
like a custom weavers shuttle for some
decent to and fro.

I know my threads are breaking without your damp,
snapping like twigs in Autumn,
Arid dry as an empty jug.


4. The Custom Weaver, Richard Peaudane contemplates marriage

Joseph Lister is one of my many custom weavers. I shall offer him board in my premises. It will remove my loneliness awhile and further prove to Sarah my will to have her bound to me.
Joseph and his brother James have inherited a four-loom shop at Beaver Hoyle from their uncle, John Lupton. Joseph has acquired a wife, Susannah Bottomley of Wool dale and a son. Susannah is pregnant again. John wishes to make a life separate from his brother James. He is a regular and fastidious workman like his uncle. And John Lupton
portrays his nephew as a pattern of industry. As he produces the linen that we may spread it out on the fields to dry, to croft, so he may gather it up and store it in my attendant warehouse. If I cannot help him in his progress then I am the poorer man as my future wife Sarah has taught
As I observe Susannah with Joseph, she is constantly curbing his generous nature. A beggar came to Our door and asked for shoes and Joseph gave him his best brogues without a thought. Susannah scolded Joseph with the words: We have not enough for our own feet and you give away our best. We must gain and save before we can give! Joseph, smiles and kisses her pregnant stomach. As I presumed a wife becomes more than a companion, but a moral arbiter. A family dispels the disconsolate air. This place of mine does not feel so empty. It only lacks a wife for myself

3. Sarah’s Advice To A Dissolute from her diary, 1830 (Extract from The Bleaching of Richard Peaudane)

An impertinent fellow has attended our Friends Meeting House; offending our plainness. If a Man would have me for a Wife; he would not decorate himself in extravagance: buckles and silk. And a manner more presumptious could not be imagined; and he imagined himself a Quaker.
I could only speak of self-reformation if he would a husband make. I had heard of such a fellow. Rumour, may not be a good way to dispel ignorance but it provides the cIues to a fellows standing in his society. Richard Peaudane is a dissolute, a frequenter of taverns. His industry being linen manufacturing, is a respectable one and such pillars of our society as William Wilson, linen manufacturer recently removed from Cheshire and set up his business in Bamsley should be his example: plain in dress, plain in manner. I told him this and I will not dismiss the fellow outright: such would not have the spirit of generosity. Perhaps with his effecting of changes to his manner and nature he may be a suitable fellow for my consideration. His face is kind his business prosperous: his father was a draper and grocer. Youth may be the reason for his impertinence but the state of marriage is one for mature persons. I told him this also.

Even More Invisible Town

A paragraph/stanza difficult to read, then urge/ntly to know widens eyes, detail foregrounds, colour sharpens, shadows acute

No electric/gas light. Wood fires flicker at street ends, in single rooms shadow on walls, glorious stars and robbers abound

Every street must be a wasteland: broken bottles, discarded rubbish, rusty nails, decaying carpet. Belonging is discouraged.

Amount and weight not quality of jewellery you wear is sign of wealth/prestige. Piercings/tattoos admired/flaunted.

Violence is always acceptable. Non violence is cowardice, defeat admitted. Only big, strong survive. Bullying praised.

Freezing cold is welcomed. All animals slaughtered, every part used to build shelter, skins warmth, bone tools, percussion.

All surfaces are child friendly soft. All houses have slides, all workplaces ball pools. Play is work. Riotous creativity

dark corners are encouraged. It is an architectural trend to see how many can be made in one building. Cleaners despair.

where a buildings decay is encouraged as a haven for wildlife. People born/live/die in hides, record wildlife as heirlooms.

Nobody puts things back correctly. Compensation is unknown. Goods on wrong shelves. Kids to wrong houses. Fiction in non

More Impressions of Wombwell

Backyard, eye swag silver, two joy, pica pica purplish-blue iridescent sheen wing feather green gloss tail

on train squeal chatter, vivid, green, blue, beavers, cubs, scouts, ventures: anarchy in uniform

unshaven bald man, open green raincoat, brown leather shoes, hauls local paper packed lime green trolley

old folk bench gab, mothers stroll babies down funeral paths eye gambolling squirrels, cemetery a parkland

bright cemetery leaves behind dark, Bakers window 6 loaves, 1 burnt, nurse boards bus, ‘I was miles away’

sunstruck leaf bunch drips bright molten green glass, other leaves luminescent silver stars in green matter, shade cut

patient silver hubcap rests under stone cemetery wall behind blue bus stop halo, full moon fall: day waits

Shadows pass over bus as if it is stop motion animated. I get on the animation. Hand held camera glare work journey

Town a small canvas tent unzipped tied back crowcall, fragrant grass, earth close, sun blue. Is on holiday

light quality early noon than morning, 3 patient full brown potato bags by grocers, cloud dispersal pends

5. Wild Woman

Unmanned, like a bull bereft of all;
a flaccid decoration without use;
at least if thee had what I have thou could be a woman;
eunuch hiding your treasure for marriage
and hypocrisy. And leave me with empty decoration;
rings without sense,
dresses without purpose.

Go about your business thou say
I want nothing to do with thee now;
yet not a month ago it was all Peggy this,
Peggy that; such are the changes of the seasons.
I cannot give birth to an empty ache;
wet nurse it; teach it its fathers worth;
I cannot tell the ache how we loved,
how we met, how we joyed.

I cannot sit round this mughouse days and months
I must out into the world
roll in the smell of Man again
with a jug of ale in one hand
and earning a stony crust
from some wight with a jangling purse. And forget the bull that was castrated.

The Attic World

The figures in the landscape saw the light reach up to where they all met. Their Creators had said “One day you will see the light, again.” and now daylight emerged from the keyhole and illuminated the edges of their landscape. The prophecy was fulfilling. Each knew much work had to be achieved in a short period of time.
Finally the key turned in the lock. The door in the floor opened and their saviour stepped into their world. She was dressed differently from their Creators, had no wrinkles. They heard a click, and a whirr and the voice of one of their Creators
Hello Kurston. It’s your mam and dad. You’ve heard our Will. Welcome to ‘The Pentateuch.’
It’s a loft, dad!
It’s just a loft to you. To us it’s our marriage. Our life.
She could tell he was reading. His voice forced and unnatural. Her mother spoke.
Hi ya, Kurston. Close the door. Take 25 days off work, if you’re curious. There is a bed for you.
A light highlighted a bed against one wall. Explain to your boyfriend.
A light highlighted a phone on the bed.
If you’re curious?
That word again. She’d been brought up to that word. Why should I bother with all this nonsense? What were they ever to me?
I understand your anger with us, Kurston. Leave now, and no more need be said.
There was a pause. Her mother knew her too well. She knew asked to leave by her parents she’d stay. Her eyes began to water. She was determined. The grief over her parents death would be an ordered process. She needed time by herself. She would stay. She sat on the bed and said
This is for me not you.
And as soon as she put her weight on the bed a light flicked on the opposite wall. It revealed a painting so big it covered the wall. She gasped. Out of the darkness, to get colour bouncing out of the dark.
Who? What?
Her fathers voice seemed distant. We thought you would be.
Her mother voice seemed closer.
We call it “Out of the Woods”. Your father thought of the title. Being the clever so and so he is. Do you like it? Don’t be afraid. Get up and have a look. It wont bite.
Slowly she got up. Her legs felt weak and unsteady. The picture was a landscape that inclined like a dormer ceiling up to the single point of the roof ,where she could faintly discern that the other walls were similarly covered with landscapes. However, the other paintings faded into the darkness while the illuminated one shone out its predominant colour of green.
She thought it a forest at first. A primordial wood.
Peering more closely she began to discern a building or two. Then everything was not what it had seemed. She saw a picture of Barnsley: a town hall of white blossom. The football ground at Oakwell was made of Oak trunks.
Looking more closely she could see small Bunnies hopping around a forest path down a rhodedendron Arcade towards a Market Hill full of fruit trees extending from Graham’s Orchard that lined a stream running from Whinny Nook at Pogmoor, down Summer Lane described in Cherry trees, down Peel Street lined with Beech to the bottom of Market Hill and a little stone bridge. In fact this was the only piece of stone in the picture.
She thought she recognised some of the bunnies for they had human faces. Yes, two of the bunnies hopping together were her dead parents.
Why bunnies?
Does it ask questions of you Kurston? Her father was trying to sound portentous and she wasn’t about to talk to a piece of magnetic tape.