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John Trevillian

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Member Since: Oct, 2008

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Ta’llis-ton
by John Trevillian

Monday, October 13, 2008
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This poem is about my home, its principles and lifestyle. The concept is simple: to take a standard English dwelling in an ordinary street, in an ordinary town, and then…

Though Talliston (Old English for 'the hidden place') is a state of geography, it is also a state of mind. It is a place of imagination and delight. Somewhere extraordinary within the ordinary. There could be a Talliston in any street, in any town, anywhere, it could be reconstructed physically, but that is not even the half of it. The quintessence of the house is more than how it looks. It is also how it sounds, smells, tastes and feels. It is a way of life. And I feel that the key to that life is to enjoy the simple pleasures while perfecting a taste for its riches. To live in both worlds. To exist in both. And to appreciate the necessities of both. So the house could have been grander, could have been more remote, could have been a chateau in the Dordogne, or on an island in the South Pacific, yet… It is its outward ordinariness that is its magic, and the belief that anyone can live in the environment they want rather than the one they are given.

Actually, it’s hard to capture what Talliston represents, and I am left gathering quotes from others. In a letter in 1851, Charlotte Bronté wrote of the Great Exhibition held that year: “Its grandeur does not consist in one thing, but in the unique assemblage of all things. Whatever human industry has created you find here… it seems as if only magic could have gathered this mass of wealth from all the ends of the earth.” I want my world to be like that. Entering the house, like entering a wood, alters your sense of time. It is a way of leaving the present, and entering the past. And then – by moving from room to room – you leave the past and enter the future. Someone once said Talliston is what happens when a man who believes in true love and wild adventure buys a three-bedroomed semi in Essex. Another thought it a recreation of all the houses in all the lives in all the ages I have lived. Others, that it is a grand folly of gargantuan proportions. A grand folly? Of course! All lives are folly; it’s just some are more visible than most. The links below will take you beyond the garden gate in search of the unknown...

I

Enter this house;

Those who dare.

Let its arms embrace

Let your fingers touch its stone, its wood

Its linen, lace.

Stroke your hand upon its back

Entangle in its hair.

Lose your shoes

Let your toes caress the carpets on its stair.

 

II

Here the gate at first foot’s fall

Which leads to woodlands, gardens, hall

Found through the many-bolted door

To rooms and dens and chambers there

Light and colour, music, sound

Butterflies, mirrors and clocks surround

Leave behind the threshold’s stone

To walk within is to walk alone

Windows shine their stained-glassed glare

Enter this house;

Those who dare.

 

III

Let its carpets caress your toes as you stare

Feel its senses

Entangle in your hair.

Stroke its hand upon your back

Your cloth defences.

Let its fingers touch your skin, your bone

Let your arms embrace

For all things come

In the emptiness there.

Enter this house;

Those who dare.

 

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