Tallis was born some time ago. Just exactly how long ago is disputed by a man who claims that whilst he is over thirty, age is mere assumption and nugatory in the great scheme of things.
Be that as it may he has been married to Shena for many of those years and she too insists that age sits lightly on her. As a matter of practical courtesy, age appears to agree.
Tallis is a poet. For those who insist on categorising these things, he emerged from the ‘limitside’ school of poets. This school was apparently called this because of their manifesto decreed that they would only ever to write on one side of the possibility of expression at once. I trust this revelation leaves you wise than it left me.
He has lived virtually all his married life on a barge which is moored to a wharf in Port Naain. Which wharf varies depending on rents, the profligacy of patrons, the petty minded attention of creditors, and even, I regret to say, the attentions of hired thugs and assassins.
His lady wife is a mud-jobber. One who buys from the shore-combers and others who make a living salvaging what the tide leaves behind on the endless mud of the estuary. She then uses her specialist knowledge and string of contacts to sell her purchases on at a profit.
Given that neither of them have what might be called a ‘steady job’ or ‘career prospects’ life can often become somewhat ‘hand to mouth’ at times but still, hope springs eternal and the next tide or the next patron might well be the one which brings them unreasonable wealth or even lasting prosperity.
Or then again, perhaps not.
Tallis has come to the attention of a world not entirely ready for him through the actions of a mutual friend, one Benor Dorfinngil. Benor is a friend and one-time tenant of the Steelyards, and it is my unworthy self who has been fated to chronicle some at least of Benor’s career. (This is career as in ‘the coach careered downhill’)
It was when I sent some of my labours to Mike Rose-Steel he noted a snatch of verse from Tallis and toyed with it.
The results, which represent the sole example of Tallis’s work published in our time can be found at
They are also available in a traditional hand-stitched booklet for the purely nominal sum of £4 plus postage.
Further tales, including details of how they met may be found in ‘Flotsam or Jetsam.’
Obviously any lover of literature or even art in general will insist on acquiring copies, so I suggest you purchase now to avoid disappointment.
At this point Tallis has graciously allowed me, that is, Jim Webster, to mention some of my own work. Admittedly there is too many books to mention without trespassing too far on the generosity of mine host. Still if you wish to read the story in which Tallis is first introduced to modern literature I would recommend ‘Flotsam or Jetsam’
But there are other books in the Port Naain Intelligencer series in which Tallis also features