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April 2013, vol 9, no 1

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Ken Jones


Javelin

Diana the Huntress
from dream to day and day to dream
she casts her javelin

My story begins up the muddy track which leaves the tarmac beside my house. After twisting and turning through the forest it ends at a dowdy little cottage besieged by thistles.

Beside the accursed house
a mocking rowan
flaunts its bright red berries

Tŷ Jesebel they called it. Women and witchery. Finally bought as a “holiday home” by an Englishman, but boarded up and unvisited for many a year now.

At first it was no more than the rattle of an old car down the track and past my house, just loud enough to wake me up. Then came the night when the ghostly vehicle, with a squeal of brakes, stopped by my door.

Rat-a-tat tat!
I fling open the door
to the winking stars

Only that. And none of my neighbours could explain the mystery. I began to suspect that this must be a dream within a dream, persistent in trying to tell me something. At home in Celtic legend, I was not too surprised when, at the next full moon, the disembodied car stopped beneath my candle-lit window. and in tripped a fairy woman to sit on the end of my bed. (No, I know better than to mess with the tylwyth teg, the fairy tribe).

Old Man in the Moon
his slate grey Bluemotion
attracting the fairies

When a mortal woman she was the last to live at Tŷ Jesebel.. One day she unwisely rejected the advances of a magician, a classic car fiend, unimpressed by his six-cylinder Bugatti. Furious, he turned her into an ancient Jowett Javelin, doomed to rattle up and down the track every full moon . Only a liberal application of a dewitching potion called WD40 could release her. She’d seen my moonlit Bluemotion in the yard, and guessed I might be possessed of this liberating brew. Naturally I obliged her, and was troubled no more.

Later, one bright morning, a winsome woman knocked on my door and introduced herself as my new neighbour up at Tŷ Jesebel. Apparently she was an enthusiast attracted to our valley by its classic car club. However her own pride and joy was stuck up on the track and refused to start. Did I have a cylinder of WD40 by any chance ? Naturally I obliged her. But, of course, I didn’t ask her what make of car…

Aerosol spray
a waft of new magic
a whisper of life


Notes:

A mocking rowan: The rowan, or mountain ash, is the good luck tree of Celtic legend.

Jowett Javelin: A classic British car, in production from 1947 to 1953.

WD40: A long established aerosol spray used to get machinery started when immobilised by moisture and corrosion.

Slate gray Bluemotion: Miraculous Volkswagen claimed to go from John O’Groats to Land’s End on one tank of diesel fuel.




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