Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

Concordance

This concordance provides an index to every word in the poems, excluding a list of common "stopwords".  It may be useful in finding a half-remembered poem, and perhaps in looking at the usage of words in the poems as a whole.  It will be readable only on a large screen.

B

mit tax form??  // Check L’s dob—70 next
b /day?  // Dentist appointment—week of 10th // Write poem for Weds //
F.
B .L // london clay, blackened, arsenic // railings, pointing, down pip
ipper satin, worsted // dimity, blazer,
babouche // borrowed light, dimpse, mizzle, skylight // ammonite, maho
Babylon by candlelight // How many miles to Barnard Castle?  // Three s
soon finds itself // rich rediscovering
Bach’s counterpoint— // frescos are fragile, but Piero’s perspective w
k green leaves showing // their lighter
backs , a few edging // towards the brown.  // Autumn fruit is growing f
// over and under // as we skip on the
backs of the older ones.  // The wind grows steady and purposeful.  // W
Random walk // Looking
backwards , I can see // mistily, the shape of things: // the steps whi
d around me?  // Or was it just a hedge,
backwards ?  // Yesterday I was told: it looks clear.  // So life should
low bits // way out here in the remoter
backwaters // of the western spiral arm (which will never be fashionab
/ not in its own best interests.  // Too
bad .  // First the bad news, then the good: // it's cancer; but it hasn
ead.  // No balance here.  The bad // is
bad in absolute, while the good // is good only in relation to the bad
hasn’t spread.  // No balance here.  The
bad // is bad in absolute, while the good // is good only in relation
s are missing.  // It’s getting beyond a
bad joke.  // Destroying our comfort’s as rotten // as stealing a libra
est interests.  // Too bad.  // First the
bad news, then the good: // it's cancer; but it hasn’t spread.  // No b
good // is good only in relation to the
bad .  // The chances are said // to be good.  That’s good // enough, I
away and long ago.  // A fairy, good or
bad , will know // exactly when to show her face, // the world just so.
ten million:  Middle East // Bam Posht;
Badiyat ash Sham; Bisharin // railways; borders; deserts // One to fiv
me.  // But when my support // is caught
badly short // I’ll just have to ask ‘Where d’you pee?’  //
Tickets to Glasgow 6th-7th // Camera in
bag for Mon // Did I submit tax form??  // Check L’s dob—70 next b/day?
rds: // sitting, lying all around // in
bags or scattered on the ground // waiting to be found.  // Waiting for
t's cancer; but it hasn’t spread.  // No
balance here.  The bad // is bad in absolute, while the good // is goo
ett // Note:  Fifty colours of Farrow &
Ball //
lly hard to know.  // We have no crystal
ball , no glass.  // The light has all gone, now.  //
from the inside?  // See that blue-green
ball of stuff? // —spinning around one of the hot yellow bits // way o
er sky.  // It’s Jan, not June.  // A red
balloon , // way up high, // with crescent moon // from cold immune.  //
bedsit.  Send a letter.  // Pad of paper,
ballpoint pen.  // Find a stamp, street-corner box.  // I love you.  // W
shington, close to a version of Rodin’s
Balzac , and called “Post-Balzac”.  It is a full-length bronze cape, up
ion of Rodin’s Balzac, and called “Post-
Balzac ”.  It is a full-length bronze cape, upright and rounded as if o
// One to ten million:  Middle East //
Bam Posht; Badiyat ash Sham; Bisharin // railways; borders; deserts //
dy // between the end of the Chatterley
ban // and the Beatles’ first LP; // strangely, though, not sex but fi
he shop-committed crime, // the muzakal
banality which stings.  // Even I, atheist, find some of them sublime,
dunes protects // a calmer green oasis,
band of salt-marsh // where barn-owls hunt their prey.  But not for lo
flamboyant adventure—to // jump on the
bandwagon he’ll be glad.”  // The Boris is happy.  “We need a designer
.) // This one started with an almighty
bang // —thought it was going to be a disaster // but then it began ro
ough the marsh // carve out sections of
bank // leaving sharp cliffs of compacted mud.  // Evening.  A great da
// to the encroaching mud.  On the far
bank // of the next bend, another sandy beach // to reach by boat.  Th
ed // inside) mark out the sandy/grassy
bank that is // the cliff.  A narrow sandy beach past which // the fal
its own reach up the foreshore, // the
banked sand and shingle, perhaps // (when the tide is high enough) //
he Martello tower, // we walk along the
banked -up track // behind the wall, level with the top, // running the
flying sparks.  // Grass on the lineside
banks is marked // with smears of fires, burnt and black.  // The bogey
h the tides run strong.  // Channels and
banks of shingle shift and melt, // form and reform each ebb and flow,
closer look at this one here, // with a
bar across.  Not quite the biggest // of its group, but very beautiful
to face the town, runs headlong for the
bar , // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // becomes a trickle.  O
lege // The Chimney; Cranmer Room; Café
Bar // courts; staircases; playing fields // One to five hundred:  Bloc
the rapeseed and the corn.  // The five-
bar gate, the muddy track on the tarmac road.  // The walled paddock an
Hear the marsh-birds calling // at the
bar the waves are washing over.  // Breath the scents the sea-winds bri
k; // chrome coffee machines.  // At the
bar three people sit // all six eyes lowered // in silent contemplatio
ness // The latest growths are long and
barbed , // reaching out to colonise the heath, // at war with the brac
r softness, // but with sharp claws and
barbs , // fastens itself inside.  // Movement is faster, edgier, roughe
ear // of celebration—every line // the
Bard created for the stage // by the best actors of the age.  // Thank
ery second period or layer, // like the
bard from Japan whose verses never would scan, adds an extra list.  //
ton Abbey, and the Strid beyond, // and
Barden Bridge—and now I flick my wand // some miles of dale and moor t
// that would be sharp if our toes were
bare .  // Behind us, in the wood, // tall straight pines reach for the
en path leads on, // a gentler walk, to
bare bleak Malham Tarn.  // Then back to skirt the edge of Malham Cove,
s of your coat, // and sometimes at the
bare flesh of // the back of your hand as you reach past to pilfer //
the sheep- and rabbit-droppings, // the
bare rocks and the ridge, knife-edge against the sky.  // What do they
s // the Suffolk countryside, each tall
bare trunk // gnarled and twisted by the wind, supports // a wild, tuf
r’s storms // or long since stripped of
bark , criss-cross // the forest floor, streams and all.  // A seven-mil
reen oasis, band of salt-marsh // where
barn -owls hunt their prey.  But not for long // —impermanence’s perman
lon by candlelight // How many miles to
Barnard Castle?  // Three score, out/return // Can I go there, with my
ecorded time.  // From the bottom of the
barrel // the sound of scraping has ceased.  // This drain germinates h
// to kill me.  // Like the asteroid //
barrelling onwards, to wipe us out in // ten or a thousand or maybe a
g down the computer // tearing down the
barriers // cutting down the roses // floating down the river // whist
asy of fumbling, // building the clumsy
barriers just in time // to keep the carriers of plague at bay.  // Yet
ss windows // across the pavement.  // A
bartender bent to work; // chrome coffee machines.  // At the bar three
nly // ninety-nine years long.) // Béla
Bartók and Frank Bridge // are still at college // Sergei Prokofiev an
Place the kettle on the cordless
base making sure it is positioned correctly. // Plug in and
your Kettle // Place the cordless
base on a level firm surface. // Where ever possible fill t
dresser, already ancient in // the damp
basement of the Peckham house // that we bought some forty years ago. 
/ Afterwards Colin and I go down to the
basement // —the real crematorium— // and see her consigned to the fla
bout Xmas // Ring Tony D about works in
basement // Tickets for Once Sat night—check time // Tickets to Glasgo
now, // are droning back towards their
bases , // and fighters too.  The siren call // is in reverse, a brief
shire coast // for the requisite square-
bashing .  And then when he ships out, // back to mother, in a two-up-t
ier // path with spectacular views over
Bassenthwaite .  // Walking down quickly, not paying attention, I // stu
ains // One to ten:  Tiles // Ormeaux on
Bastille ; Ormeaux on Rioja; Ormeaux on Lagoon // taps; pipes // One to
ne to fifty:  Ground floor // Bedroom 2;
Bathroom ; Bicycle shed // walls; doors; drains // One to ten:  Tiles //
roblem // throwing down the gauntlet //
battening down the hatches // closing down the argument // shutting do
a wooden board on which are mounted //
battery box, switches, lights, buzzers, plugs // and connecting leads.
l meet // and clash — and I’m to be the
battle ground.  // The field is ready now, the lines are drawn.  // Whic
n suite // In other news // Polarity //
Battle lines // The goat // Catheter // The other side // The all-clea
rbosely quite enough to float or sink a
battle -ship.  // But perhaps instead I will go the whole hog, the full
diterranean, // empires rise and fall. 
Battles are fought, // wars are lost and won.  Did they rage around me
// their winter sustenance.  Out in the
bay // a seal watches us, then flips away, // dives deep, leaving behi
, // but grander far, a corniced window
bay // in darker wood.  Clear morning sunlight fills // the room we gl
vading the inky darkness, keeping // at
bay the frights night has in store.  // Whether I’m lying awake or slee
is flat // in face, no sign of the deep
bay windows that // adorn most later London terraced fronts.  // One of
me // to keep the carriers of plague at
bay .  // Yet someone here is staggering and stumbling— // how in hell d
ntains; Shippegan Island; Cape Sable //
bays ; harbours // One to one million two hundred and fifty thousand: 
ow appear // as it did a month gone, //
BC (Before Capricorn).  // But of course that is not so.  // Seen from h
a storm demolished // the dunes on the
beach across the creek // and had a go at East Hills.  // A once in a c
storm has passed // lie back on the wet
beach // and watch the stars emerge.  // Sharp dots; but watch and do n
.  // Nearer, the lapwings forage up the
beach .  // At water’s edge the oyster-catchers, gulls // compete for su
// come at an angle, sweep // along the
beach .  Each // finds its own reach up the foreshore, // the banked sa
r, we met again // on a Suffolk shingle
beach .  // In November the days were short, // and dark night fell as w
.  Eastwards we turn, // along the open
beach , in rich sea air.  // Look up, look up, my love—the sky is callin
lls // compete for surface scraps.  The
beach is good // for all.  The redshanks, godwits, curlews search // f
k that is // the cliff.  A narrow sandy
beach past which // the falling tide reveals the deep black mud // whi
locks // on piles all along the shingle
beach .  // The mile south to the Martello tower, // we walk along the b
bank // of the next bend, another sandy
beach // to reach by boat.  That place we call Japan: // against the s
is clear.  // Across the wood, onto the
beach .  We hear // the gulls, and faintly, far away, the churn // of w
asses waving under the sky.  // Islands,
beaches , clifftops, creeks and inlets, // rocky shorelines tumbling un
l be more.  // More hills, dales, crags,
beaches // more boat or cycle rides // more walks, more bluebell woods
e common course, // or bend or hitch or
bead ?  // Some earlier occasion when // our life-lines must have crosse
ews search // for hidden treasure, long
beaks buried full // to probe deep down beneath the shining mud.  //
nge—redshank, // godwit, curlew—long //
beaks probing deep // beneath the // shining // mud.  // Cold and clear
rd, sun behind us, low, // yellow light-
beams almost horizontal; // East Hills aglow.  // Winds moaning round t
e small bowl of wedding reception stews
bean bubble, // The taro rolls up an incense.  // The impregnable fortr
of seafood in monolith // Do the crispy
bean curd of boiler, // Blow up a little croaker with no result.  // Fr
wind came up and blew them in again.  //
Beards are good for finger-fiddling // stroking, tickling, searching i
wind came up and blew them in again.  //
Beards are great when gales are threatening // keep drafts out and com
e wind came up and blew it in again.  //
Beards may need some clipping, shortening // left alone they easily wi
us away // Just feel the breathless sun
beat down // Way-hay, blow us away // And seek out any shade we can //
st] feet // [make up an eight-syllable]
beat .  // Selec- // tions will do // for five, three and two.  // But fo
t of Camelot.  // But what is this small
beaten path // Between two beds of clean-raked earth // Where tender s
he end of the Chatterley ban // and the
Beatles ’ first LP; // strangely, though, not sex but fire).  // See thi
attles on the rooftiles overhead // and
beats against the window with the wind.  // Whipped wide awake by what
e the biggest // of its group, but very
beautiful .  // What does it look like from the inside?  // See that blue
ic did he render // for all of us, such
beauty brought he forth; // and at the end, almost with dying breath,
r of peaceful earth, // the mill-girl’s
beauty or the maiden’s death, // the trout that dart and pause and fli
Becalmed // Run all the sails up the mast // Way-hay, blow us away //
ived?  Eventually // the Sheffield ties
become more tenuous, // legs weaken, and isolation palls.  // One more
to the village shop to seek supplies //
becomes a daily ritual.  // After the floods of fifty-three // they rai
ck, makes some small additions.  And it
becomes a scene, a group of people in evening dress, top hats and the
reath the scents the sea-winds bring //
becomes a trickle.  On the soft, receding // Hear the marsh-birds call
llous, // resonates on though the print
becomes faint; // just as each new generation soon finds itself // ric
e culprit must now be unmasked.  // It’s
becoming quite clear that the hour // for soft pussy-footing is past. 
pty spiral hardness rests // on the sea-
bed .  Forever?  // Another, rougher softness, // but with sharp claws a
once more, // voices from the curtained
bed next door.  // Responses muted, though the sense is raw, // to ques
ding care.  // Voices from the curtained
bed next door: // someone else’s fragile life is there.  //
, machine.  // Voices from the curtained
bed next door: // someone else’s fragile life is there.  // Each new do
ward seed, // Planting out this cabbage-
bed — // She was once a lady’s maid // In gracious, towered Camelot.  //
e in.  // Turn the place upside down.  //
Bedroom again, more drawers and cupboards.  // Chair with pile of cloth
curbs // One to fifty:  Ground floor //
Bedroom 2; Bathroom; Bicycle shed // walls; doors; drains // One to te
casts patterns of light on the // high
bedroom ceiling.  //
s this small beaten path // Between two
beds of clean-raked earth // Where tender shoots may venture forth //
n television?  // No.  // Desk?  // No.  //
Bedside table?  // No.  // Kitchen again?  // No.  No.  No.  No.  // Dammi
penny stamp.  // I love you.  // Papered
bedsit .  Send a letter.  // Pad of paper, ballpoint pen.  // Find a stamp
delicious.) // Another tree, perhaps a
beech , but green // (I think that I can see the nuts it sheds) // on t
// identify across the years.  A copper
beech // stands out, a clump of pears whose fruit // is hard as stone.
ping furiously // The garlic slices the
beef granule.  // The first boilers of iron plate glue east // Grow fac
hent: canals and cobbled streets // and
beer and chocolate shops // and churches, churches, churches // and bu
temptations, welcome in // the roaming
bees .  // Feel the fire.  Spread out a green canopy // in the warming su
time Judith has chosen the music, // a
Beethoven string quartet.  // Afterwards Colin and I go down to the bas
negan going (despite it’s his wake)— //
Beethoven’s music is just bloody marvellous, // resonates on though th
s going to be a disaster // but then it
began rolling out its own // finite but unbounded space-time continuum
skin // door open // breathe in.  // Now
begin .  //
So it goes // How and where does it all
begin ?  // From a spring.  // Tell me, if you will, how it goes.  // It f
n:  // CII.  // We // As for us, the bits
begin to fall off.  // We are not so far behind.  // Old age ain’t no pl
d shadow // The rule: we should not //
begin unwrapping till it’s // light enough to see.  // Below the bulges
Beginagain // There was an old man called Michael Finnegan.  // He grew
// One more great change, one more new
beginning : // a different kind of home // here on the north Norfolk co
inning is the end and // the end is the
beginning and // the bit in the middle is // as long as a piece of str
be somewhere.  // Start again, from the
beginning , by the door.  // Tables, shelves, cupboards, hooks, drawers.
Destination // (and
beginning —for G) // From random junctures in primeval winds // a billi
and borne on the blue ocean.  // In the
beginning I am small and playful, like the wind.  // It changes directi
short treatise on string theory // The
beginning is the end and // the end is the beginning and // the bit in
ove, at the edges of the air // and the
beginning of space // the sky is dark, but the raging fire // of the s
Tide // each new
beginning // reiterates a pattern // as old as the hills // each itera
singularity is quite absurd.  // In the
beginning there were many words: // sitting, lying all around // in ba
You are here // In the
beginning was the third.  // (The first two were duds; the bits // are
erried ranks of Christmas pine // which
begins a mile down the road // and into whose dense interior // we som
bring // makes another lingering turn,
begins // Hear the marsh-birds calling // retreating back the way it c
scents the sea-winds bring // The tide
begins its steady, slow accretion // Hear the marsh-birds calling // i
ember: nights are drawing in // the day
begins to go // the clouds are low and spitting rain.  // The light is
, // will burn for ever.  The fire once
begun // would last for days and days.  Each morning I came down, // e
then flips away, // dives deep, leaving
behind a swirling wake.  // Nearer, the lapwings forage up the beach.  /
to reach the valley floor— // to leave
behind , for now, the wilder moor.  // The treasures to be found along m
with dying breath, // a swan-song, left
behind for us to ponder, // in any season.  //
and lost, // we let each thread unroll
behind , // laying down the past— // until the day, just nine months go
route from the valley, with // Derwent
behind me and scrambles ahead of me.  // Out of the pastures and onto t
begin to fall off.  // We are not so far
behind .  // Old age ain’t no place for sissies.  // —Bette Davis //
ut them.  // Move anything they might be
behind or under.  // Look inside anything they might be in.  // Turn the
nale // That scratching?  A poltergeist
behind the skirting?  // Don’t be silly, that’s just a branch of the tr
tal, but carefully composed: // the sky
behind the trees beyond the meadow, // tall grasses glowing in the mor
// we walk along the banked-up track //
behind the wall, level with the top, // running the gauntlet of the wi
toothpaste // that the saxophonist left
behind .  // This is the heat-death of the universe; // the restaurant h
ddenly vanish?  // It hasn’t just fallen
behind .  // Two of our cushions are missing // from the sofa just outsi
ould be sharp if our toes were bare.  //
Behind us, in the wood, // tall straight pines reach for the sky, // d
on the ramparts // looking seaward, sun
behind us, low, // yellow light-beams almost horizontal; // East Hills
pe-ladder, which // we can then haul up
behind us, ready // to defend against the next attack.  // Towards the
/ But we shall leave such counterpoints
behind us: // time will tell.  // Those are not the moments to remember
tting, breaking.  // I am lost.  The one
behind // will finish me completely // and for ever.  //
ury only // ninety-nine years long.) //
Béla Bartók and Frank Bridge // are still at college // Sergei Prokofi
der the channel and then from France to
Belgium .  // But we don’t notice them at all: the journey is seamless /
t, // Though with only one ship and one
bell .) // we there did espy a fair pretty maid // with a comb and a gl
s.  // Wonderful mechanisms in the civic
belltower — // a giant musical box.  // There once was a poet in Ghent /
te mushroom // Do the black boiler hair
belly .  // The day boiler duck is miscellaneous.  //
erminates here.  // Please take all your
belongings with you, // and could the last person to alight please swi
wo threads // In far-off times, my best-
beloved , // when we were young and all, // the woven patterns traced a
the pale, under my guard, // below the
belt and over the line.  // What’s in a name?  // It’s been too far sout
around their necks or attached to their
belts .  //
asing disorder along the back // of the
bench , as far as the window.  // Some of the contents and all of the co
The
bench // At one end of the bench in the garage sits // a miniature woo
The bench // At one end of the
bench in the garage sits // a miniature wooden eight-drawered chest //
e clutter covering the remainder of the
bench // is piled uncontained and unconstrained.  // Unused parts from
iddle-aged New York woman, sitting on a
bench seat, observes the situation, and promptly, busily, without risi
und // elsewhere in the garage).  // The
bench was once // a kitchen dresser, already ancient in // the damp ba
ng mud.  On the far bank // of the next
bend , another sandy beach // to reach by boat.  That place we call Jap
// Narrow side road curves to join // a
bend on a bigger road.  The pavements // curl around, leaving two smal
we have found some common course, // or
bend or hitch or bead?  // Some earlier occasion when // our life-lines
Sunburn // Sonnet // Tanka //
Bend the light // just so // above, below, // left and right.  // Focus
// turn // white // hot // and burn.  //
Bend the light just so // above, below, left and right, // focus in ea
// (well, really, just around the final
bend ) // this craven kraken creeps, and slumbers not: // a stealth inv
/ Autumn fruit is growing fat, // trees
bending , boughs reaching // for the ground, creaking // under the weig
// Autumn wind is bowling on, // trees
bending , dark green leaves showing // their lighter backs, a few edgin
Good vibrations // The
Bendix washing machine was already elderly // when my mother, acquirin
nd it cold, but every day // the embers
beneath the ash were darkly glowing, asking only // a slight encourage
emed to twist into one, // right there,
beneath the bridge.  // If we could trace them in reverse, // each our
ld clouds across the sky, // lying abed
beneath the cobwebbed rafters, // warm and dry.  // On waters of the cr
the crafty sea is also digging down //
beneath the piles.  Then one stormy night // it pulls the final prop. 
beaks buried full // to probe deep down
beneath the shining mud.  //
t, curlew—long // beaks probing deep //
beneath the // shining // mud.  // Cold and clear.  The tide runs out,
from what’s needed.  The // real public
benefit’s not even there.”  // Sadiq says “The Boris’s vanity project h
ing through trees // fruit-laden boughs
bent to earth // apples in the grass //
// across the pavement.  // A bartender
bent to work; // chrome coffee machines.  // At the bar three people si
Walking in winter //
Berkshire , 1962-3 // Suffolk, circa 1958 // Cambridge, circa 1966 // T
o.  No.  No.  // Dining table?  // No.  //
Beside easy chair?  // No.  // On television?  // No.  // Desk?  // No.  //
crews: small, size 6, size 8, large.  //
Beside it stands another of much later age: // a plastic chest with sm
Wells in winter // We take the path
beside the wood—the fir // and silver birch along the dunes that run /
ing // the drying sand with muddy spots
bespeckled .  // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // The trickle sl
est // just three alliterative lines—at
best // a semi-stanza—and then to cease?  It seems // perverse—the mor
he Bard created for the stage // by the
best actors of the age.  // Thank you for calling Shakespeareline.  // *
Two threads // In far-off times, my
best -beloved, // when we were young and all, // the woven patterns tra
inal prop.  A hundred yards // of man’s
best effort at defence // drops thirty feet into a hole.  // One cold w
/ hidden, but evident in the number, //
best expressed Roman fashion:  // CII.  // We // As for us, the bits beg
it seems to be acting // not in its own
best interests.  // Too bad.  // First the bad news, then the good: // i
a poet in Ghent // Who set out with the
best of intent // In rollicking verse // On a galloping horse— // But
ce.  We left the room unpainted for the
best part of the 22 years we lived there, and it wasn’t just because w
r cups.  Thomas certainly did his level
best // to drink himself to death.  But for these falls, // no drink i
// just have to check on my map for the
best way back.  // Reading a map now, I have to use spectacles.  // Carr
k to recover the net.  // You’d scarcely
bet he’d swallow a net.  // He swallowed the net to trap the hat.  // Re
needs some zeta factor // and my clear
beta , gamma, delta connection // is screwed up by a zeta factor // in
n follow that suggestion // to make the
beta , gamma, delta link.  // Damn—I had forgotten // that this equation
// 3 sideways: perspiration // Alpha,
beta , gamma, delta.  // The way is clear.  This formulation // both lay
ing an approximate relation // by tying
beta up with mu and lambda.  // I can’t see clearly:  I’ll need to wand
ed to do is make connection // alpha to
beta using this equation, // then follow that suggestion // to make th
Old age ain’t no place for sissies.  // —
Bette Davis //
bering the branches by the trunk // or (
better ) by the real rope-ladder, which // we can then haul up behind u
arge and in the small, // to learn (for
better or for worse) // what moves us all.  // From me you’ll learn bef
some gentle // way to wander into // a
better place, a future that // revives, replenishes, makes good // the
r cushions are missing.  // It’s getting
beyond a bad joke.  // Destroying our comfort’s as rotten // as stealin
ou reach past to pilfer // the clusters
beyond , adding scratches // to the stains already covering your finger
arfe, // to Bolton Abbey, and the Strid
beyond , // and Barden Bridge—and now I flick my wand // some miles of
athered hills, created by some force //
beyond imagination; and of course // extracted from my fickle memory—
se interior // we sometimes venture.  //
Beyond the fir-trees lies // a bracken-covered heath.  The summer fron
planted fireworks // in the dark edges
beyond the flickering light.  // Nearly-five-year-old Colin // needed a
y composed: // the sky behind the trees
beyond the meadow, // tall grasses glowing in the morning sun // below
rned goat // charges towards me // from
beyond the pale, under my guard, // below the belt and over the line. 
reathe some more the cool clear air.  //
Beyond the scree the open path leads on, // a gentler walk, to bare bl
y:  Ground floor // Bedroom 2; Bathroom;
Bicycle shed // walls; doors; drains // One to ten:  Tiles // Ormeaux o
Tunnel link.  // A monstrous hole, quite
big enough to eat // the park and all the houses down the street.  // W
s cannot grow.  // Rough softness is too
big , // leaves for another home.  // Another rough softness.  // Can thi
gine, wheels bigger than me— // a great
big monster, steaming, black.  // The bogeys go: click-clack click-cla
untry house // that is my mother’s next
big venture after // producing six of us.  // L-shaped the house; enclo
side road curves to join // a bend on a
bigger road.  The pavements // curl around, leaving two small raised t
the front to see // the engine, wheels
bigger than me— // a great big monster, steaming, black.  // The bogeys
e, // with a bar across.  Not quite the
biggest // of its group, but very beautiful.  // What does it look like
the flesh reviewed // in magazines, on
billboards high displayed, // each model posed in languid attitude, //
ttoes must compete for life.  // Another
billion random changes: all // —or almost all—are duds.  Nevertheless /
random junctures in primeval winds // a
billion random patterns form—until // an accidental spiral sequence fi
s // smoke grows // eyes smart // smoke
billows // move apart // eyes smart // flames creep // move apart // f
// smoke grows // smoke curls // smoke
billows // smoke grows // eyes smart // smoke billows // move apart //
ant?  // Don’t be silly, that’s just the
bin —needs emptying.  // That knocking?  Footsteps in the next room?  //
h beside the wood—the fir // and silver
birch along the dunes that run // between the marshes and the sea.  Th
nse of part and whole, netsuke-like.  //
Bird and fish are two, and now are one: // no perfectability except ou
k night // dream deep // faint light //
bird sings // growing bright // gadget pings // go away // sleep cling
arsh-birds calling // water’s edge, the
birds are searching, finding.  // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring
The bows face seaward // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // against the current pushing strongly townward.  // Bre
anges in the harbour; // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // at the bar the waves are washing over.  // Breath the
e sandbanks.  Listing // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // boats are stranded at their stations, waiting // Brea
s reach and lift them // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // echoes of the distant sea-swell rock them // Breath t
teady, slow accretion // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // in places it has lost, reoccupation // Breath the sce
ingering turn, begins // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // retreating back the way it came, regains // Breath th
reek a gentle trickle // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // the drying sand with muddy spots bespeckled.  // Breat
oats around once more // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // to face the town, runs headlong for the bar, // Breat
channels water rises // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // to the edges of the sea-grass—pauses, // Breath the s
On the soft, receding // Hear the marsh-
birds calling // water’s edge, the birds are searching, finding.  // Br
bling under the sky.  // Sea-birds, pond-
birds , dippers, warblers, song-birds, // waders, hunters hovering unde
orelines tumbling under the sky.  // Sea-
birds , pond-birds, dippers, warblers, song-birds, // waders, hunters h
ds, pond-birds, dippers, warblers, song-
birds , // waders, hunters hovering under the sky.  // People, people ro
Pushing 60 // My sixtieth
birthday is nearing— // brings a thought that is far from cheering:  //
model posed in languid attitude, // in
birthday suit and little else arrayed?  // I think he’d add a note to h
le East // Bam Posht; Badiyat ash Sham;
Bisharin // railways; borders; deserts // One to five million:  Gulf o
// the end is the beginning and // the
bit in the middle is // as long as a piece of string.  //
signs accumulated over a century and a
bit .  There is an area about 2ft square of brush marks in a darker pai
third.  // (The first two were duds; the
bits // are somewhere back there, along with // all the other long-aba
ashion:  // CII.  // We // As for us, the
bits begin to fall off.  // We are not so far behind.  // Old age ain’t
hat once grew on the hill above, // and
bits of buildings, human artifacts.  // Geological time // is foreshort
late into the night // I fed it all the
bits that it had missed: // fragments around the edges of the blaze.  /
—spinning around one of the hot yellow
bits // way out here in the remoter backwaters // of the western spira
mber // There was a war.  // There was a
bitter , civil // war in Jordan.  // There was a gun.  // There was a bul
xt two months // are clear and fine and
bitter cold.  // Every step, // your foot upon the crust, you think //
// I cannot say.  // Rainbow-bright, or
black and white, // or autumn hues, or shades of grey— // the colours
rab of incense taste mushroom // Do the
black boiler hair belly.  // The day boiler duck is miscellaneous.  //
inst the wire brush // of David’s thick
black hair, // staying in place until at home // the small gas fire ha
ch // the falling tide reveals the deep
black mud // which oozes softly up between our toes.  Across the river
ight, // the ocean, the blue-green-grey-
black ocean, // the bottomless, endless ocean.  // Where are we going? 
Black September // There was a war.  // There was a bitter, civil // wa
rked // with smears of fires, burnt and
black .  // The bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  // On holiday by tr
n me— // a great big monster, steaming,
black .  // The bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  // Telephone wires
wild Suffolk heath, // the wild Suffolk
blackberries // of my childhood remain forever perfect, // forever sim
ones you will deliver // for tomorrow’s
blackberry -and-apple pie // —the ones you ate straight off the bush ar
F.B.L // london clay,
blackened , arsenic // railings, pointing, down pipe, clunch, setting p
the lee // of the sea-wall, around the
bladder -wrack, // long-legged waders scutter, scavenge, seek // their
mile // that was off by a mile.  // Tony
Blair // floated on air // when Maggie’s encomium // came to be known
r natu- // ral son and heir // was Tony
Blair .  // Nigel Farrage // has a mouth like a garage— // he opens it e
is denied.  // Anyway, the cancer can be
blamed // for many things.  Hard to tell, now, // which failing facult
the glass.  // We jump at a sudden sound-
blast — // another train on the next track.  // The bogeys go: click-cl
river.  A line of ancient oaks // (one
blasted trunk is hollow through, and can be climbed // inside) mark ou
d: // fragments around the edges of the
blaze .  // Even now, // I feel the heat upon my face.  // Twenty three y
antities of fuel // and built a roaring
blaze .  Then late into the night // I fed it all the bits that it had
loth, slipper satin, worsted // dimity,
blazer , babouche // borrowed light, dimpse, mizzle, skylight // ammoni
the earth, // and send signal fires //
blazing into the air.  // Our space is the earth, // time lives in fire
th leads on, // a gentler walk, to bare
bleak Malham Tarn.  // Then back to skirt the edge of Malham Cove, // w
ess nights, more dreams // more seasons
bleeding into seasons.  // Just not so many more.  //
chael Finnegan.  // The wind came up and
blew him in again.  //
bushy grin—but // the wind came up and
blew it in again.  // Beards may need some clipping, shortening // left
on his chin—but // the wind came up and
blew them in again.  // Beards are good for finger-fiddling // stroking
ith and kin—but // the wind came up and
blew them in again.  // Beards are great when gales are threatening //
lashes silhouette the trees against the
blind .  // A storm is raging as I lie abed, // whipped wide awake by wh
lashes silhouette the trees against the
blind .  // Night-time noises permeate the air // with voices human, ani
ge.  // Sharp dots; but watch and do not
blink .  // In time, an instant dash: // a shooting star.  // To the shar
the clouds amass: // watch now: if you
blink you will miss // the instant jagged challenge passing between th
// at the height of the Luftwaffe’s //
blitz on Sheffield.  // In north Africa, D is killed.  // Later, one of
And I have the scars // to prove it.  //
Blitz .  The heavy bombers, lighter now, // are droning back towards th
to make a join // with the neighbouring
block , leaving a row of nine.  // In nineteen sixty nine the house was
ter London terraced fronts.  // One of a
block of four, it had been once— // but they had filled the gap to mak
playing fields // One to five hundred: 
Block plan // Sherlock Road; Sherlock Court; Sherlock Close // houses;
ey raised the ramparts: giant concrete
blocks // on piles all along the shingle beach.  // The mile south to t
tom, not a cause.  // A // The fall drew
blood .  // No such obvious culprit here, // except for age, pure and si
his wake)— // Beethoven’s music is just
bloody marvellous, // resonates on though the print becomes faint; //
em, the flowers bloom and wither // and
bloom again.  They’ve been there // for a decade now.  //
gling, too.  // Around them, the flowers
bloom and wither // and bloom again.  They’ve been there // for a deca
// currents criss-cross, revolutions //
blossom and fade, movements // are born, copulate and die.  // But for
ing.  A great dark cloud // fire-edged,
blots out the setting sun.  // Later, the clouds amass: // watch now: i
d Camelot.  // Then, as winds of fortune
blow , // It was arranged that she should go // And take her place in s
tly water.  // From across the waters //
blow the evanescent airs // moistening the many-coloured earths.  // In
/ Do the crispy bean curd of boiler, //
Blow up a little croaker with no result.  // Fragile crab of incense ta
direction find // Give me some wind to
blow us away //
tling up a wind // Give me some wind to
blow us away // Adrift the middle of the sea // Way-hay, blow us away
the decks to cool the wood // Way-hay,
blow us away // And pour a bucket on my head // Give me some wind to b
he breathless sun beat down // Way-hay,
blow us away // And seek out any shade we can // Give me some wind to
drift the middle of the sea // Way-hay,
blow us away // And there is nothing here for me // Give me some wind
s tomorrow there’ll be wind // Way-hay,
blow us away // And we can some direction find // Give me some wind to
n all the sails up the mast // Way-hay,
blow us away // But we are bound for nowhere fast // Give me some wind
tter as we roll // Give me some wind to
blow us away // Horizon’s clear from end to end // Way-hay, blow us aw
ing here for me // Give me some wind to
blow us away // Just feel the breathless sun beat down // Way-hay, blo
zon’s clear from end to end // Way-hay,
blow us away // No hope of whistling up a wind // Give me some wind to
or nowhere fast // Give me some wind to
blow us away // No wind! we wallow in the swell // Way-hay, blow us a
ny shade we can // Give me some wind to
blow us away // Now sluice the decks to cool the wood // Way-hay, blow
cket on my head // Give me some wind to
blow us away // Perhaps tomorrow there’ll be wind // Way-hay, blow us
nd! we wallow in the swell // Way-hay,
blow us away // The sails clatter as we roll // Give me some wind to b
ation: we clamber down.  // The whistle
blows , the train moves on, // the guard’s van trundles at the back.  //
more rarely, // carriages decked in the
blue and gold livery // of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lit
t till it catches fire, // pour out the
blue flame.  // After lunch, a walk // through the summer’s brown brack
look like from the inside?  // See that
blue -green ball of stuff? // —spinning around one of the hot yellow bi
he darkness by night, // the ocean, the
blue -green-grey-black ocean, // the bottomless, endless ocean.  // Wher
t snow lie, // it’s Jan, not June.  // A
blue lagoon, // the deep blue sky.  // The crescent moon // some crypti
rawls over sand and rock // in filtered
blue light, // carrying hardness with it.  // Sometimes softness shelte
wind, the wild wind // and borne on the
blue ocean.  // In the beginning I am small and playful, like the wind.
s don’t wear jackets // Shapeless, navy
blue or fawn, // three-quarter length, or maybe short, // patch pocket
eam // rambling moor // changing sea //
blue sea // silver lake // purple moor // green forest // clear stream
for the sky, // dark trunks against the
blue , // shed long thin needles.  // In the distance, // gnarled broadl
slow // rub eyes // yawn and stretch //
blue skies // legs itch // must get on // first scratch // clothes on
not June.  // A blue lagoon, // the deep
blue sky.  // The crescent moon // some cryptic rune.  // The senses fly
k walls, knife-edge against // the deep
blue sky.  We take our boots off, // dip our feet into water clear and
boat or cycle rides // more walks, more
bluebell woods // more curlews, more ragged, slanting lines of geese /
November
blues // November: nights are drawing in // the day begins to go // th
s from the // edge of the path, not yet
blunted or bowdlerized.  // Broken?  It must be, if agony’s evidence.  /
, with fuel to burn.  // If the lines be
blurred just right, // You may go there with your eyesight.  //
// peignoir, charlotte’s locks, nancy’s
blushes // drop cloth, slipper satin, worsted // dimity, blazer, babou
Circle line //
Board anywhere //
ng electricity to children: // a wooden
board on which are mounted // battery box, switches, lights, buzzers,
book.  // Don’t waste your time on wild
boar’s head.  // If Aristotle makes you choke // eat me instead.  // My
mud left by the ebb-tide.  // The moored
boat listing on the mudflat.  // The salt-marsh, the sedge and the samp
re hills, dales, crags, beaches // more
boat or cycle rides // more walks, more bluebell woods // more curlews
end, another sandy beach // to reach by
boat .  That place we call Japan: // against the sky, a line of those s
ting // Hear the marsh-birds calling //
boats are stranded at their stations, waiting // Breath the scents the
a-winds bring // the channel, turns the
boats around once more // Hear the marsh-birds calling // to face the
uard’s van trundles at the back.  // The
bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  //
coaches follow along the track: // the
bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  // At night, the glow and flying
another train on the next track.  // The
bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  // Country station: we clamber d
f people rushing there and back.  // The
bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  // First we go to the front to se
mears of fires, burnt and black.  // The
bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  // On holiday by train!  Vast hal
t each pole like a jumping jack.  // The
bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  // Raindrops slanting across the
at big monster, steaming, black.  // The
bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  // Telephone wires through the pa
the ‘OFF’ position. // To re-
boil the kettle, switch it on again.  If the appliance has just switch
k on. // When the kettle has
boiled the water may be poured out through the spout. //
monolith // Do the crispy bean curd of
boiler , // Blow up a little croaker with no result.  // Fragile crab of
ng flourishing bowl bowl shrimp // Do a
boiler burn the duck head.  // The prefecture of river drives meal chic
the black boiler hair belly.  // The day
boiler duck is miscellaneous.  //
incense taste mushroom // Do the black
boiler hair belly.  // The day boiler duck is miscellaneous.  //
c slices the beef granule.  // The first
boilers of iron plate glue east // Grow face fa-cai thick soup.  // XO
lluminate. // When the water
boils the kettle will switch off automatically.  The kettle can be swi
// And gaily singing on his way // Rode
bold Sir Lancelot.  // Years have passed.  The winter’s chill // Lies f
and long ago.  // A handsome prince will
boldly go // and dangers great will bravely face, // the world just so
is happy.  “We need a designer with //
boldness and vision—I know just the man.  // He has built me some buses
es // to the south-west: // marked by a
bolt embedded in // the Newlyn harbour wall.  // One day, a storm will
ple of reasons.  One, that it had to be
bolted // down to the floor, to prevent it going walkabout, // a peram
stream, back up the river Wharfe, // to
Bolton Abbey, and the Strid beyond, // and Barden Bridge—and now I fli
in boxes, jars and tins: // the larger
bolts and nuts and washers, // flooring nails, staples, cuphooks, clou
s and pickles.  Washers // and nuts and
bolts and screws and hooks // were saved from all sorts of deconstruct
rawers // —unlabelled, but the nuts and
bolts and washers // are visible within.  // Gathered round about, a mo
nesses // more storms, gales, lightning
bolts // more days of sun or rain or passing cloud // more meetings wi
rs // to prove it.  // Blitz.  The heavy
bombers , lighter now, // are droning back towards their bases, // and
r savage ground // smoked trout, wevet,
bone , calamine // lichen, brinjal, radicchio, citron, calluna // brass
/ XO sauce explodes to grow the fragile
bone .  // The peasant family stir-fries four // Butterfish cooked to no
Bonfire // Dark night // strike match // tiny light // twigs catch //
roccoli?  // Some fruit // Present for C—
book ?  // Coat to cleaners // Pay newsagent // Bulbs for kitchen lights
s all.  // From me you’ll learn before a
book .  // Don’t waste your time on wild boar’s head.  // If Aristotle ma
find the words to make it plain.  // Two
book -ends bracket our shared domain: // the start, the lobby of a Gree
rt’s as rotten // as stealing a library
book .  // Five of our cushions are missing.  // How can we counter-attac
lling into every word-filled well; // a
book should suck you into its embrace.  // Fall, fall into the writer’s
ter’s well-cast spell.  // And now, this
book , the here and now dispel // and conjure me to quite a different p
to catch the hook.  // That’s not in the
book , to swallow a hook.  // He swallowed the hook to recover the net. 
ng into every word-filled well.  // That
book will hold against your ear a shell // whose music makes your lang
o the writer’s well-cast spell.  // That
book will set you puzzles which propel // your thoughts, destroy or re
o the writer’s well-cast spell.  // That
book will take you o’er a stormy fell // with her who to her lover’s s
ng into every word-filled well.  // That
book will tales of distant countries tell // or take you on a voyage t
journeys, voyages, expeditions // more
books , more coffee cups // more tragedies, comedies, histories // more
gods themselves // will find in all the
books that line the shelves, // and close to home as well: they too ca
an.  // He has built me some buses which
boosted my ego—the // Heatherwick’s sure to produce a fine plan.  // We
inst // the deep blue sky.  We take our
boots off, // dip our feet into water clear and achingly cold, // and
As Judith had broken in a new pair of
boots , we buried the old pair somewhere on one of the passes high abov
// The night mail rattles north to the
border // (bringing the cheque and the postal order).  // Rhythmic vers
// I cannot now recall.  // On the lands
bordering the Mediterranean, // empires rise and fall.  Battles are fo
Badiyat ash Sham; Bisharin // railways;
borders ; deserts // One to five million:  Gulf of St Lawrence // Shick
// is continuous and high-pitched.  The
borders we cross are eastward: // under the channel and then from Fran
t twenty-minute hiatus.  // But the fire
bore us no grudge, // and welcomed us back into its glow.  // Another t
/ —but Sadiq the Most Evil deposes poor
Boris , and // gets the Red Margaret to look at the case.  // “It’s been
on the bandwagon he’ll be glad.”  // The
Boris is happy.  “We need a designer with // boldness and vision—I kno
of London, he // goes by the rubrik of
Boris the Mad.  // He’d adore such a grand and flamboyant adventure—to
t’s not even there.”  // Sadiq says “The
Boris’s vanity project has // gone off the rails.  I’m not such a mug.
/ full of family and lodgers.  Daughter
born // at the height of the Luftwaffe’s // blitz on Sheffield.  // In
in their cots // William Walton not yet
born .  // But Maurice Ravel has just joined // the Société des Apaches
s // blossom and fade, movements // are
born , copulate and die.  // But for the real turn, the cataclysm // whi
/ Back the way we came.  // All verse is
born free.  //
nothing that resembles a narrative.  //
Born nineteen-seventeen (dark days of the first world war) // in Sheff
for the occasion, // we read the flower-
borne messages // and talked to relatives not seen for years.  // It ha
eived by the wind, the wild wind // and
borne on the blue ocean.  // In the beginning I am small and playful, l
mewhere on one of the passes high above
Borrowdale in what was then still Westmorland.  It wasn’t very environ
worsted // dimity, blazer, babouche //
borrowed light, dimpse, mizzle, skylight // ammonite, mahogany, archiv
ine // Fin de siècle.  // Ethel Sargant,
botanist // (Girton student 1880s) // builds a lab in her garden // in
in place.  // Subjective // Discomfort. 
Bother .  // Irritation.  Nuisance.  // Pain? no, not really.  // Objectiv
pedition to conquer the mountaintop.  //
Bottle of water and lunch in my haversack.  // Climb by the obvious rou
etween the stream-floor ridges // Now a
bottom -feeder dredges // Through the silt of Camelot.  // But what is t
syllabub of recorded time.  // From the
bottom of the barrel // the sound of scraping has ceased.  // This drai
rn back and traverse the table from the
bottom to the top // so that the same period games // allow the lines
the blue-green-grey-black ocean, // the
bottomless , endless ocean.  // Where are we going?  // Something is chan
Something is changing: the ocean // is
bottomless no longer.  // I feel something // never felt before— // som
ds bowling through trees // fruit-laden
boughs bent to earth // apples in the grass //
fruit is growing fat, // trees bending,
boughs reaching // for the ground, creaking // under the weight.  // Wa
asement of the Peckham house // that we
bought some forty years ago.  // One of the legs had rotted half away. 
// Way-hay, blow us away // But we are
bound for nowhere fast // Give me some wind to blow us away // No wind
reat populations press // against their
boundaries .  The vital stress // expresses change.  Some variant has fou
// edge of the path, not yet blunted or
bowdlerized .  // Broken?  It must be, if agony’s evidence.  // Lying the
ooked to no sauce.  // Young flourishing
bowl bowl shrimp // Do a boiler burn the duck head.  // The prefecture
stir fries a leaf mustard.  // The small
bowl of wedding reception stews bean bubble, // The taro rolls up an i
to no sauce.  // Young flourishing bowl
bowl shrimp // Do a boiler burn the duck head.  // The prefecture of ri
est wind // East wind // Autumn wind is
bowling on, // trees bending, dark green leaves showing // their light
re apple hits the muddy grass.  // Winds
bowling through trees // fruit-laden boughs bent to earth // apples in
bring // straining at their lines.  The
bows face seaward // Hear the marsh-birds calling // against the curre
ds from the glazed back door // through
box and holly grown to full maturity // to an iron-gated pointed arch
// of weathered Cotswold stone.  // The
box and holly // were magnificent, but could not be allowed // to rema
int pen.  // Find a stamp, street-corner
box .  // I love you.  // Wi-fi café.  Send a letter.  // Laptop, plug in p
tery.  // Perhaps I should plant // some
box or holly.  //
to // the produce of our labours.  // A
box or holly root, smouldering slowly, // will burn for ever.  The fir
n board on which are mounted // battery
box , switches, lights, buzzers, plugs // and connecting leads.  Anothe
the civic belltower— // a giant musical
box .  // There once was a poet in Ghent // Who set out with the best of
ids, nailed to // the shelf above.  The
boxes and tins are stacked // in increasing disorder along the back //
se; Mabe Burnthouse // footpaths; phone
boxes ; inns // One to twenty five thousand:  The Broads // Westwick; Wo
bout, a motley crew // of categories in
boxes , jars and tins: // the larger bolts and nuts and washers, // flo
rs // once had other uses.  The plastic
boxes // were made for slides or toothpowder, tins // for cocoa or thr
ge, circa 1966 // This year it snows on
Boxing Day.  // The country road not cleared for days // —and then of c
ture.  // Beyond the fir-trees lies // a
bracken -covered heath.  The summer fronds // rise far above our heads.
oriental.  // Since then, of course, the
bracken // has been ploughed, the edges fenced, the house // demolishe
colonise the heath, // at war with the
bracken .  // No fruit here—the thorns will catch // at your sleeve, at
safe // until inside the house.) // The
bracken spreads across a gentle slope // towards the river.  A line of
h, a walk // through the summer’s brown
bracken // that covers the heath.  // On magic carpet // the Prince of
across the moor, // the heather and the
bracken , the moss, the lichen, // the cropped grass, the sheep- and ra
ords to make it plain.  // Two book-ends
bracket our shared domain: // the start, the lobby of a Greek hotel //
d connecting leads.  Another pair // of
brackets , this time for a wooden curtain pole, // two and a half inche
Jacob’s Rock Drill pierces through the
brain // and splits apart Edwardian disdain.  // Man and drill are two,
eaves with perfect sculpted edges.  // A
bramble sends great arcing shoots, // strong curves lined with jagged
wers of Camelot.  // Few people walk the
brambled way // And fewer still will pause or stay // To gaze down on
rting?  // Don’t be silly, that’s just a
branch of the tree outside, scraping the window.  // That waft of scent
ter.  // Scented paper, dip-pen, ink.  //
Branch post office, penny stamp.  // I love you.  // Papered bedsit.  Sen
branches, reached // by clambering the
branches by the trunk // or (better) by the real rope-ladder, which //
ent planks, // nailed across two angled
branches , reached // by clambering the branches by the trunk // or (be
managed by Jim Ede (he would pick up a
Brancusi stone head, or a small cut brass piece by Gaudier-Brzeska, an
t decipherable, // orange and penny.  //
Brandy , a candle: // heat till it catches fire, // pour out the blue f
p a Brancusi stone head, or a small cut
brass piece by Gaudier-Brzeska, and put it into our hands).  She intro
brinjal, radicchio, citron, calluna //
brassica , hay, pelt, dove tale, pigeon // mouse’s back, mole’s or elep
ill boldly go // and dangers great will
bravely face, // the world just so.  // True love will germinate and gr
s high, and every wave tries hard // to
breach the wall.  And when it hits just right // the spray rises a mil
, in order to make proper San Francisco
bread , prospectors would carry with them their sourdough starters, car
sleep // I hear the ground-swell gently
break and sift, // pushing the shingle back and forth and to and fro,
get pings // go away // sleep clings //
break of day // brighter now // here to stay // morning glow // time t
e, Suffolk // South wind today.  So the
breakers // come at an angle, sweep // along the beach.  Each // finds
g light.  // Slanting lines are forming,
breaking , forming // ordered chaos with a raucous song:  // A thousand
ppling over him // crashing, splitting,
breaking .  // I am lost.  The one behind // will finish me completely /
h; // and at the end, almost with dying
breath , // a swan-song, left behind for us to ponder, // in any season
/ climbing the contours and catching my
breath again.  // Skirting the back of the Little Man precipice, // one
h.  We turn tail and flee // as fast as
breath allows us, not to feel safe // until inside the house.) // The
the plumbing—a pipe heating up.  // That
breath of air?  A passing presence?  // Don’t be silly, that’s just a d
n // mouse’s back, mole’s or elephant’s
breath // peignoir, charlotte’s locks, nancy’s blushes // drop cloth,
e, the birds are searching, finding.  //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring //
stranded at their stations, waiting //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // as the rising waters reach an
the town, runs headlong for the bar, //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // becomes a trickle.  On the so
e current pushing strongly townward.  //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // In the saltmarsh channels wat
o the edges of the sea-grass—pauses, //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // makes another lingering turn,
in places it has lost, reoccupation //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // of the mudflats and the sandb
s of the distant sea-swell rock them //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // straining at their lines.  Th
eating back the way it came, regains //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // the channel, turns the boats
the bar the waves are washing over.  //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // The tide begins its steady, s
ng sand with muddy spots bespeckled.  //
Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // The trickle slackens, changes
n motion // sun on skin // door open //
breathe in.  // Now begin.  //
o clamber Gordale Scar // and rest, and
breathe some more the cool clear air.  // Beyond the scree the open pat
m old, // I do feel the cold— // and my
breathing is rather uncertain.”  //
e wind to blow us away // Just feel the
breathless sun beat down // Way-hay, blow us away // And seek out any
spring.  Yet it will // occasionally not
breed true.  Now strife: // the different dittoes must compete for life
hquake-waves and volcanic dust, // soft
breezes and winter gales.  // Was I shipwrecked?  Or cast overboard to
ey, and the Strid beyond, // and Barden
Bridge —and now I flick my wand // some miles of dale and moor to skip
e years long.) // Béla Bartók and Frank
Bridge // are still at college // Sergei Prokofiev and Carl Orf // sti
.  Ah, I have a whim // to build a fine
bridge clear across a great river, where // trees, grass and flowers c
o more will I pay for—and // now on the
bridge I am pulling the plug.”  //
Dale Journey // From Ilkley’s old stone
bridge I trace a path // against the stream, back up the river Wharfe,
t into one, // right there, beneath the
bridge .  // If we could trace them in reverse, // each our own tangled
an old pine forest // always provides a
bridge .  The trunks // of fallen trees, fresh from the winter’s storms
nd of the street and right, // the line
bridges over the road.) Sometimes at night, // a heavy goods train ra
owers can stretch shore to shore.  // Of
bridges traversing the Thames here in London, we’ve // just thirty thr
t snows again.  // One afternoon for one
brief hour // the air is warm enough to melt // the topmost layer.  Th
oo.  The siren call // is in reverse, a
brief release— // until the following night at least.  // Odysseus' sir
Why should such a mundane scene // so
briefly glimpsed, make my muse suggest // just three alliterative line
flames leap // flames creep // growing
bright // flames leap // sparks take flight // growing bright // throw
// faint light // bird sings // growing
bright // gadget pings // go away // sleep clings // break of day // b
s // rise far above our heads.  In this
bright green // we wander, hacking out our paths, or creeping through,
at it meant // I cannot say.  // Rainbow-
bright , or black and white, // or autumn hues, or shades of grey— // t
st // dark forest // flashing stream //
bright sea // rugged moor // sharp mountain // still lake // resting l
// Trapped on its way from the sun, //
bright spot, turn white hot and burn.  //
trapped on its way // from the sun.  //
Bright // spot // turn // white // hot // and burn.  // Bend the light
s leap // sparks take flight // growing
bright // throw on timber // sparks take flight // glowing embers // t
away // sleep clings // break of day //
brighter now // here to stay // morning glow // time to rise // feelin
eth // into the maelstrom, the fire and
brimstone // that will be the twentieth century— // for this we have t
eath their surface combinations.  // Now
Brin and Page build index tabulations // of all the words their spider
ing.  // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring //
ting // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring // as the rising waters reach and lift them // Hear the marsh-bi
bar, // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring // becomes a trickle.  On the soft, receding // Hear the marsh-b
ard.  // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring // In the saltmarsh channels water rises // Hear the marsh-birds
ses, // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring // makes another lingering turn, begins // Hear the marsh-birds
tion // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring // of the mudflats and the sandbanks.  Listing // Hear the marsh
them // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring // straining at their lines.  The bows face seaward // Hear the
ains // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring // the channel, turns the boats around once more // Hear the mar
ver.  // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring // The tide begins its steady, slow accretion // Hear the marsh-
led.  // Breath the scents the sea-winds
bring // The trickle slackens, changes in the harbour; // Hear the mar
ht mail rattles north to the border // (
bringing the cheque and the postal order).  // Rhythmic verses with ech
// My sixtieth birthday is nearing— //
brings a thought that is far from cheering: // that while the past //
reams and all.  // A seven-mile climb //
brings us to a hidden jewel lake, // soup-spoon-shaped, still half-cov
in a flat calm air.  A winter storm //
brings wild mountains of water crashing down // to redefine the contou
trout, wevet, bone, calamine // lichen,
brinjal , radicchio, citron, calluna // brassica, hay, pelt, dove tale,
to start out on a voyage, a full round-
Britain trip.  // I’ll need a ton of words to fill each line from side
hat contrived to send us on our way.  //
British Rail announced that it would sink // a hole to build the Chann
ove to Camberwell.  // (Two weeks later,
British Rail’s plans // were scrapped and redesigned.  The house still
atheist, find some of them sublime— //
Britten’s Ceremony or the ones from Kings.  // If I can filter out the
atheist, find some of them sublime, //
Britten’s Ceremony or the ones from Kings.  // Whipped wide awake by wh
/ Feel the air.  Turn in the four winds. 
Broadcast the secret // to earth, as far away as it will go.  Let the b
Finnegan— // thought his profile needed
broadening // thought he’d flaunt a bushy grin—but // the wind came up
/ It pushes us harder, // makes us grow
broader and taller, // sweeps spray from our tops, // drives us ever o
needles.  // In the distance, // gnarled
broadleaf trees with twisted limbs // shed leaves with perfect sculpte
nns // One to twenty five thousand:  The
Broads // Westwick; Woodbastwick; Winterton // fences; marshes; footbr
ife // Milk // Sausages or chops // Veg—
broccoli ?  // Some fruit // Present for C—book?  // Coat to cleaners //
e pain is subsiding, the // leg was not
broken , and after a while I can // think of resuming my journey unaide
objects: defunct household gadgets, //
broken furniture, shelves no longer // serving any useful purpose.  //
side of your face only.  As Judith had
broken in a new pair of boots, we buried the old pair somewhere on one
ath, not yet blunted or bowdlerized.  //
Broken ?  It must be, if agony’s evidence.  // Lying there wondering whe
// first scratch // clothes on // spell
broken // sleep gone // in motion // sun on skin // door open // breat
ability except our own.  // In hard cast
bronze all hardness now replaced, // the soft and sensuous flesh joins
led “Post-Balzac”.  It is a full-length
bronze cape, upright and rounded as if on the shoulders of its owner,
pause and flicker under // the bubbling
brooks , that chatter and meander; // of Ellen, Norna, or of Rosamunde.
he render // for all of us, such beauty
brought he forth; // and at the end, almost with dying breath, // a sw
hter backs, a few edging // towards the
brown .  // Autumn fruit is growing fat, // trees bending, boughs reachi
r lunch, a walk // through the summer’s
brown bracken // that covers the heath.  // On magic carpet // the Prin
Type right // The quick
brown fox jumps over the lazy dog //
y // take the hottest Currie.  // Gordon
Brown // replaced his frown // with a one-sided smile // that was off
rth, as far away as it will go.  Let the
browns // and reds and golds replace the greens.  Now throw the canopy
of people in a city street, shop-window-
browsing .  // A group, gathered around and gazing into // one window; b
t, made by a house-painter cleaning his
brush after painting some woodwork.  Judith sees something in the shap
ng Nile.  Send a letter.  // New papyrus,
brush and ink.  // Command a messenger.  // I love you.  // Draughty hall
.  There is an area about 2ft square of
brush marks in a darker paint, made by a house-painter cleaning his br
.  // A snowdrift forms against the wire
brush // of David’s thick black hair, // staying in place until at hom
/ and, in truth, a little dull.  // From
Brussels by local train to Ghent: canals and cobbled streets // and be
, or a small cut brass piece by Gaudier-
Brzeska , and put it into our hands).  She introduced me to so many art
ll bowl of wedding reception stews bean
bubble , // The taro rolls up an incense.  // The impregnable fortress m
dart and pause and flicker under // the
bubbling brooks, that chatter and meander; // of Ellen, Norna, or of R
// Way-hay, blow us away // And pour a
bucket on my head // Give me some wind to blow us away // Perhaps tomo
en eight-drawered chest // given to me (
budding carpenter) as a child // for nails and screws.  At some more o
e dark and damp.  Now push out above, //
buds into the waxing light, the spring rain.  Throw open // the fire-co
our final destination.  // These are the
buffers , this is the end of the line.  // The last post has been sounde
ow in hell did he evade the line?  // Oh
bugger !  Now we have to get away.  //
ctive/objective // Tap left open.  // Oh
bugger !  // What was it, then, from which I just emerged?  // Did I jump
limiting their needs.  // This time, the
bug’s not spread by rats and fleas // but by their piss and snot and s
rnish my halo.  Ah, I have a whim // to
build a fine bridge clear across a great river, where // trees, grass
face combinations.  // Now Brin and Page
build index tabulations // of all the words their spiders’ crawls can
ow.  // Push forward.  // Build speed.  //
Build power.  // Forge ahead.  // Spread.  // Reach.  // Slacken.  // Settl
hrink.  // Drop back.  // Build speed.  //
Build power.  // Pull in.  // Merge.  // Retract.  // Slacken.  // Settle. 
// Probe.  // Grow.  // Push forward.  //
Build speed.  // Build power.  // Forge ahead.  // Spread.  // Reach.  // S
// Retrace.  // Shrink.  // Drop back.  //
Build speed.  // Build power.  // Pull in.  // Merge.  // Retract.  // Slac
nounced that it would sink // a hole to
build the Channel Tunnel link.  // A monstrous hole, quite big enough t
Quick, guys, an ecstasy of fumbling, //
building the clumsy barriers just in time // to keep the carriers of p
grew on the hill above, // and bits of
buildings , human artifacts.  // Geological time // is foreshortened.  T
and churches, churches, churches // and
buildings that turn out not to be churches.  // Wonderful mechanisms in
, botanist // (Girton student 1880s) //
builds a lab in her garden // in Reigate, on her way to // recognition
to reduce the amount of limescale that
builds up on the filter. // The amount of water can be meas
we generated quantities of fuel // and
built a roaring blaze.  Then late into the night // I fed it all the b
ere short, // and dark night fell as we
built and lit the fire // on the dark stones, and planted fireworks //
ated pointed arch // piercing the wall,
built like the house // of weathered Cotswold stone.  // The box and ho
d vision—I know just the man.  // He has
built me some buses which boosted my ego—the // Heatherwick’s sure to
// The cliff // is of course ephemeral,
built // not only on, but of, // sand.  All along the foreshore, // th
ly the last lives there.  // An inflated
bulb to hold // the other two in place.  // Subjective // Discomfort. 
ge in city clag // —a handful of trees,
bulbs // and other plants.  // On one // a stately ram, great curved ho
// Coat to cleaners // Pay newsagent //
Bulbs for kitchen lights—CS 60W screw???—check first // Cash m/c // Wa
’s // light enough to see.  // Below the
bulges , // not yet decipherable, // orange and penny.  // Brandy, a can
dan.  // There was a gun.  // There was a
bullet , stray.  // There was a young man writhing in the splinters of t
oined // the Société des Apaches // (or
Bunch of Hooligans) // later to enrol, when they come to Paris // Manu
hase // and each season (the navigation
buoys must needs // be relocated every spring, the charts // redrawn).
s only one possible answer: // this cat-
burglar’s Buster the cat.  //
arch // for hidden treasure, long beaks
buried full // to probe deep down beneath the shining mud.  //
d three hours after his arrival, // was
buried in an unmarked grave.  // There were no victors: only victims.  /
h had broken in a new pair of boots, we
buried the old pair somewhere on one of the passes high above Borrowda
sun, // bright spot, turn white hot and
burn .  //
// spot // turn // white // hot // and
burn .  // Bend the light just so // above, below, left and right, // fo
holly root, smouldering slowly, // will
burn for ever.  The fire once begun // would last for days and days. 
ing embers // throw on timber // let it
burn // glowing embers // smoulder down // let it burn // warm as toas
with my eyesight?  // Yes, with fuel to
burn .  // If the lines be blurred just right, // You may go there with
rishing bowl bowl shrimp // Do a boiler
burn the duck head.  // The prefecture of river drives meal chicken, //
owing fire.  // He swallowed the fire to
burn the string.  // What a strange thing, to swallow some string!  // H
owing embers // smoulder down // let it
burn // warm as toast // smoulder down // potatoes roast // warm as to
What should // we salvage from it, what
burn , // what reconstruct and // what re-imagine?  Not to rave // at f
has are happy—some shiny erection to //
burnish my halo.  Ah, I have a whim // to build a fine bridge clear ac
anks is marked // with smears of fires,
burnt and black.  // The bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  // On hol
Falmouth // Mevagissey; Mingoose; Mabe
Burnthouse // footpaths; phone boxes; inns // One to twenty five thous
/ But no.  Once in a while // a perfect
burst still catches at my tastebuds // and drags me back again.  //
m not such a mug.  // I’ve cancelled his
buses , no more will I pay for—and // now on the bridge I am pulling th
w just the man.  // He has built me some
buses which boosted my ego—the // Heatherwick’s sure to produce a fine
e // —the ones you ate straight off the
bush are saved forever).  // At the end of summer, and in the first mis
t to reconnoitre // another part of the
bush .  Take care not to spill // your precious hoard (I mean the ones
ow-flowing, under the sky.  // Trees and
bushes , shrubs and flowers, mosses, // ferns and grasses waving under
ded broadening // thought he’d flaunt a
bushy grin—but // the wind came up and blew it in again.  // Beards may
, observes the situation, and promptly,
busily , without rising from her seat, makes everyone shuffle up in ord
as not at all fair.  // The pledges from
business are far from what’s needed.  The // real public benefit’s not
little more priming (the // buy-in from
business is not keeping pace) // —but Sadiq the Most Evil deposes poor
possible answer: // this cat-burglar’s
Buster the cat.  //
from continental flow // seem more like
butchers working rough.  // The light is going now.  // How will these t
/ The peasant family stir-fries four //
Butterfish cooked to no sauce.  // Young flourishing bowl bowl shrimp /
eeds with a little more priming (the //
buy -in from business is not keeping pace) // —but Sadiq the Most Evil
he river lie // Are rough and unkempt. 
Buzzards fly // Above the weedy hedgerows, by // The once-proud towers
unted // battery box, switches, lights,
buzzers , plugs // and connecting leads.  Another pair // of brackets,
some young man will wander // along the
byways , thoughts tragic or tender— // of love unfinished or of peacefu