I think I must have told him my name was Juliette, with four syllables, you said, to go with violette. I envisaged the violet air that presages snow, the dark campaniles of a city beginning to blur a malfunctioning violet neon pharmacy sign jittering away all night through the dimity curtains. Near dawn you opened them to a deep fall and discovered a line of solitary footprints leading to a porch: a smell of candle-wax and frankincense; the dim murmur of a liturgy you knew but whose language you did not. The statues were shrouded in Lenten violet, save one, a Virgin in a cope of voile so white as to be blue. As was the custom there, your host informed you afterwards— the church was dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows.
Ciaran Carson - 1948-2019
hurtling from the airport down the mountain road past barbed wire snagged with plastic bags fields of scrap and thistle farmyards from the edge of the plateau my eye zooms into the clarity of Belfast streets shipyards domes theatres British Army helicopter poised motionless at last I see everything