Still Life

This quiet window sits in the wall of a storeroom in an ancient farmhouse in Devon.


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Generations of spiders and other insects have made this frame their home. The dusty bottles have faded over the years; they have grown dryer than any imaginable desert. Creepers and weeds have sprouted, grown and died against this brittle glass.

Only weeks ago, snow was piled up against the panes, arriving after the lashing of November rain and before that; high summer had brightened its aspect.

It is one of those windows where eyes have seldom lingered for long. Standing a moment in the gloom by this window, time seems to stand still. Far from the madding crowd; where the reach of the internet falters, and the mobile phone signal falls short, we become temporarily stranded in another world.

A chicken strolls by. He pauses a moment. Then suddenly turns 45 degrees and with head bobbing, walks off out of sight.

About Bill Hayes

I have a very large sea shell collection; it's too big to keep at home, so I have left the collection scattered on various beaches around the world. Perhaps you've seen some it.
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51 Responses to Still Life

  1. john zande says:

    A micro story par excellence. You have an astonishing command of language, Bill. Awesome.

  2. A short post that managed to stop time for me.

  3. Love this, well one part of me loves the writing for sure and the window, and the other part of me wants to wash the window!

  4. Jill London says:

    An excellent atmospheric sketch, Bill, I loved it!
    Btw, I have seen your fabulous sea-shell collection in various locations, and I am in awe, Sir! 😉

  5. ideflex says:

    This reminds me so much of my childhood…
    Across the Bored has nominated you for a Bouquet of Awards at If you choose to accept, feel free to cut and paste whatever you need from the post to make the process easier! If not, know that your blog is well appreciated and a source of inspiration for us.

  6. taphian says:

    nice photo and story. I have found some shells in various beaches. Thanks for putting them there.

  7. How great to take a moment to stop and consider something in a way that few others would. Enjoyed!

  8. That picture is stunningly beautiful. And I love the concise post – so few words, but bringing the scene into such vivid life.

  9. fieryice12 says:

    Interesting, no?

  10. Beautiful words to compliment a beautiful window awash in life’s history.. Congrats on being FP too Bill.. well deserved!!

  11. I have always loved your insight. What a great way to see it again! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Now more people than ever can enjoy your writing.

  12. Highly imaginative short story that has the ability to lead you to a different world of calmness and stillness in very short span of time.

  13. stefanieshaw says:

    It is definitely nice to stop for a moment and enjoy. I’ve found myself stopping and enjoying small images a lot more since going out in the world specifically to take photos and find small stories.

  14. Akshita says:

    Enjoyed your short story. And I have to say this, I loved your About description!

  15. The window makes me think i’m looking through someones eyes far more greater in wisdom, and a little sad knowing how todays people overlook so many beautiful moments.

  16. Lily Mugford says:

    wonderfully simple, yet says so much. I am glad you are freshly pressed, as that is how I came to read your words. Thank you WordPress for leading me here.

  17. This picture is pure beauty. The color is stunning. I enjoyed the words very much. By -the-way, I have seen some of your shell collection – you know, the part at Ludington State Park, Ludington, Michigan 😉 .

  18. I like your post. Who would have thought that such a dusty and old window can be transformed in something magical, with it’s own story 🙂 nice work.

  19. northernmalewhite says:

    your words reminded me of being young
    and wandering the edges of town and ruined abandoned buildings
    the smell of soil dust wooden buildings


  20. Amazing picture! Love your writing too!
    Thank you

  21. This post made me see beauty in small details. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  22. I love non-fiction that transport me to another place. This could even be the beginning of a really interesting story…

    Courtney Hosny

  23. Excellent piece. Very real and museful

  24. shanta8968 says:

    beautiful and magical image..

  25. A moment captured and shared. A break from the perfect. Thank-you.

  26. Simple, beautiful and elegant. Nice share!

  27. penny~lane says:

    I love your words, your description of this beautiful window, it is indeed beautiful. I am going to read your other writings. Oh! I have seen some of your shell collection, they are fascinating, just don’t please get them mixed up with mine okay?

  28. What a lovely contemplation of your image – unhurried, lingering, evoking different time periods as witnessed by this little window.

  29. Lovely! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. 🙂

  30. crazzyjazzs says:

    Very Inspiring for photography beginners like me.

  31. That was such a beautiful read, I wanted to get lost in it, but it was over too soon…

  32. That was lovely! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  33. This is amazing. For a second I thought it was a painting…

  34. clothing says:

    This is a wonderful piece. I hope there will be a continuation…

  35. agirs says:

    Nice 🙂

  36. Thaileang says:

    Nice picture and good description 🙂

  37. wildsherkin says:

    This is too beautiful for words…

  38. reverie says:

    Reblogged this on empty vessels.

  39. amommasview says:

    I love it! So we’ll captured and described…

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