Betula Betula



Sitting in the garden. A Birch tree stands in front of a wood slat fence. Behind and above me an apple tree.

I hear myself repeat the word “Betula Betula”.

On one side – on the left hand side there’s the tortoise house. A man climb’s through fence out of the darkness. His face is familiar but I don’t know him. I examine his ball head gleaming with sweat suggesting he has undergone some exertion prior to emerging from the darkness to the subdued light of the back garden. His face could submerge into the many hundreds of violent and aggressive men I have assessed in my many years of work. I can tell by the intense look on his face he intends to do me harm. He moves quickly into the garden towards me. I am unable to move. I am unable to get up and move away from this man who has now moved slowly towards me step by step as if he is performing a dance macabre. I am unable to scream or call for help. I am transfixed in a state of helplessness.

I wake from the dream.


The tortoise is screaming too. Freed at last from the sentient silence of millennia.

“Lovage, mint, sweet cicely & chives, lambs sorrel or wood sorrel I have no preference. Mustards are a bit hot for my taste. Land cress is a dream – so sweet. Anything other than iceberg lettuce.”

I realise the dream is continuing. I am aware that the man is standing behind me.

It starts snowing.



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