Draft 1 - Prose form
Cocooned in their own intensity, with a hovering aura of muted voices, their presence is not immediately apparent. The dappled sunlight plays within the greensward, as the springy grasses muffle the outside world and the shade plays relief to the still humid air of late summer. The ongoing murmuring provides evidence that this is no casual encounter. They have a job to do.
The lilting female voice is accompanied by sculpting gestures that slice the air, interrupted briefly by the gentle prompts of her amanuensis – a Regency dance replete with bonnet and waistcoat. They pay little head to the temporal space they occupy, nor to the passage of time. This pairing is not for hurrying. They are in a world of their own making, a cerebral world.
Recording the past for the future requires an exactitude that brooks no interruption. I beat a soft retreat back from whence I came.
Draft 2 - Verse form
A self-conscious hesitation halts my bold progress.
Cocooned in an intimate intensity
muted voices create a shimmering aura.
Sunlight dapples the carpet of lawn -
muffling reality’s encroaching cacophony.
The close breathed air of late summer
stills her delving into memory’s crevasse.
Their comfortable interaction of body and mind -
Evidences this is no chance encounter.
An inquisition of sculpting
Gestures slice the soupy air.
Interrupted briefly by gentle promptings –
an deftly choreographed allemande.
Time eludes them just as
They are blind to their surroundings.
Memory is not for hurrying -
Requiring respect, before gently unravelling.
As midwives in attendance at a birthing
These oral historians construct their framework
Assiduously, a brick at a time
From fragmented primary sources.
Documents and dross, detail and trivia
Neither ruled in nor ruled out,
When ploughing the monotone past
For intimations of immortality.
I beat a soft retreat back from whence I came.