Fall/Winter 2015-2016

John Greening


Fears of an angel strike on Hounslow Heath are increasing.
Amid reports of Legions with apparent halos and covertly
folded wings on the approach roads from the north,
Dominions have been recorded in growing numbers, together
with Powers and Thrones. In Terminal One Departures today
Pandemonium erupted when a flight to Eden was cancelled,
leaving passengers without belongings. This from Adam
in Buckinghamshire.

A flock of Seraphim?A skein of Cherubim? Or just
a heavenly hoax? Some would say not. But feelings run high
in Chalfont St Giles. Attempting to interview its oldest resident,
who has written at length on angelic insurgencies, I was hurled
headlong into the street. Rumour has it, however, that Angels
and even Archangels are involved in covert operations over
the skies west of London. The so-called Lord of Flying,
or Air Head, made this statement

‘it is my firm belief
that these migrants will quickly be shown never to have existed,
that they pose no threat to ordinary hard-working families.
Moreover – and I want to make this absolutely clear –
not a single harp has been uncovered’

He went on
to promise renewed restrictions on ladders, escalators, lifts,
and access to all control towers, especially belfries
and that the very latest tambourines and most modern hymn-books
would be deployed to protect the heathen. Back to you.

John Greening A Cholmondeley winner, his recent books are To the War Poets (Carcanet), an anthology about composers, Accompanied Voices (Boydell) and an edition of Edmund Blunden’s Undertones of War (OUP). A collaboration with Penelope Shuttle, Heath, appears in 2016 from Nine Arches. ‘The sequence is set on Hounslow Heath, on the edge of London, where Heathrow Airport is now situated; it was famously the resort of highwaymen and considered in earlier times the most dangerous ten square miles in England. Penny and I were brought up on opposite sides of this now largely imaginary heath.”



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