A sequence of twelve stories for two or more voices by Robert Cole

Original cover art by Nomis

Dedicated to Mark Beech (1960-2020). He left too soon

Here is how it starts . . .


I – Before the Beginning

Pond Mount. Blackheath. Nothing is begun.
There is nothing here, not even London.
It’s cold: a life-defying Kelvin cold.
A bare expanse with nothing for a soul.

It’s vacant, gaping, meaningless space
known as Chaos to Greek mythologists,
a chasm without bottom, top or sides,
a vacuum waiting for the start of time.

This is before the beginning, before
the hills, before the dinosaurs,
before the pharaohs and before the flood,
before beliefs, exchange, bodies and blood.

Slowly, off-beat ethereal noises
subvert the blankets of freezing silence.
From the hollowness, Northern Lights arise
colouring the obsidian darkness.

Six raven figures, dressed in anthracite
habits, slide out of the backlit midnight.
Hissing winds and knocking sounds are heard
which, as befits beginning, become words . . .

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