The sun smote him by night. He was writing a letter to his father in ENGLAND: “Dear . . .” the stars mirrored what he wrote but kept their distance. He shook his jam jar of fireflies blinky blinks and heard heavy cannonade blasting from the direction of HEREIRA. Bursting shells danced on the ridges behind ATAWINEH REDOUBT. He remembered that BELLAM was BETHLEHEM pitching between alms and lust. But he couldn’t remember if Jesus was of NAZARETH or of BETHLEHEM or of GALILEE. A lateral skanking natty dread at the bus depot in GOLDEN GROVE told the boy that Jesus was of no place but here and touched his chest.

It was around this time No. 2292 Pte. Herbert Morris aged 17 was executed for desertion by firing squad composed of 7 WEST INDIAN soldiers and 3 white soldiers. His soul fled to MIDIAN accordingly.

He was called to whitewash the walls of Prestige Funeral Supplies & Service by the seaside in PORT ANTONIO where his grandmother’s body was laid out for the final burial rites. He decreed a calendrical change and her laminated almanac saviour was taken off the kitchen wall. He heard the far-off drum of Miriam as he paced with a sharp ringing in his ears among his grandmother’s croton plants which glittered like sardius like topaz like diamond like beryl like onyx like jasper like sapphire like emerald like carbuncle like gold like a green ringing green of mildewed croton leaves.

They moved from El ENAB to LATRUN under cover of mist. His classroom was the first one by the opened trenches and pit latrines. Leptospirosis spread rampantly along the blocks of first- and second-form classes where khaki boys go up and down the stairs through a gas cloud of flies. Bivouacked there for two years Godspeed could not see the RED SEA. But he did see Stone Haven the old great house shuddering in the heat from the paroxysm of a broken Quaker romance that took place there in the last century. The romance ended the first missionary position. Et le temps passait vite très vite.

Around the year 30 CE in PEREA Godspeed was rocked with fresh cold. Water wrung dry in the rock-cistern. Then with a two-sided cutlass he cut down his father’s trumpet tree and rolled the trunk down into the abyss of the gully. Tumbling forward under enfilading fire to ALEPPO Pte. G.H. Hudson’s brain came off on the bandage which had wrapped his head wounded from shrapnel flying through the Syrian blue.

Godspeed skulled elocution day at Happy Grove and so missed the shrieking out of “And then my heart with pleasures fills/And dances with the daffodils.” Bayonet fighting amid the cactus hedges the metal tangled with the sand’s imperfect memory. He sprinkled spikenard on his head and replenished his jam jar of fireflies in one night. Blinky blinks.