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.

F

F .B.L // london clay, blackened, arsenic // railings, pointing, down p
rs of iron plate glue east // Grow face
fa -cai thick soup.  // XO sauce explodes to grow the fragile bone.  // T
boilers of iron plate glue east // Grow
face fa-cai thick soup.  // XO sauce explodes to grow the fragile bone.
sixty vintage, the house is flat // in
face , no sign of the deep bay windows that // adorn most later London
get sunburnt on the right side of your
face only.  As Judith had broken in a new pair of boots, we buried the
// straining at their lines.  The bows
face seaward // Hear the marsh-birds calling // against the current pu
e // Hear the marsh-birds calling // to
face the town, runs headlong for the bar, // Breath the scents the sea
, will know // exactly when to show her
face , // the world just so.  // A wingéd dragon, flying low, // will se
ly go // and dangers great will bravely
face , // the world just so.  // True love will germinate and grow, // a
// Even now, // I feel the heat upon my
face .  // Twenty three years later, when my mother died // we had the p
no hint of a sigh // is to show him his
face , warts and all.  //
cking down too // down, not up—as in //
facing down the crisis // pinning down the problem // throwing down th
ome // on the very edge of Sheffield //
facing the Derbyshire moors.  // But the next war comes, and D is now c
that this equation also needs some zeta
factor // and my clear beta, gamma, delta connection // is screwed up
a connection // is screwed up by a zeta
factor // in ways that I can neither // control nor understand.  // Yet
s.  Hard to tell, now, // which failing
faculties to place // at its door.  Rage too against // the cessation
criss-cross, revolutions // blossom and
fade , movements // are born, copulate and die.  // But for the real tur
go on forever?  // Softness grows still,
fades away.  // Empty spiral hardness rests // on the sea-bed.  Forever
’s images last.  // But now the light is
fading // as the day slides into the mist.  // Morning is always the mo
ch: a throng // moves north against the
fading evening light.  // Slanting lines are forming, breaking, forming
uncompleted day.  // Not until light is
fading // has the interval passed by.  // An uncompleted day // is not
ading now // last glow // tiny light //
fading now // dark night //
mes gone // last glow // embers warm //
fading now // last glow // tiny light // fading now // dark night //
on and flood the plain.  // The light is
fading now.  // Politicians on the stump // make promises-to-go // insp
ny things.  Hard to tell, now, // which
failing faculties to place // at its door.  Rage too against // the ce
red by our local Trump.  // The light is
failing now.  // The surgeons trying to cut us off // from continental
/ resonates on though the print becomes
faint ; // just as each new generation soon finds itself // rich redisc
t asleep // dark night // dream deep //
faint light // bird sings // growing bright // gadget pings // go away
arth, // in the light of a fire, // and
faint starlight from space // reflected in inky water, // the cool nig
o the beach.  We hear // the gulls, and
faintly , far away, the churn // of waves upon the sand.  Eastwards we
oves make the world go round, and all’s
fair in gloves and war, though the course of true gloves never did run
p and one bell.) // we there did espy a
fair pretty maid // with a comb and a glass in her hand.  // See the pr
hy hasn’t she painted // the walls?”  //
Fair question.  //
The // tendering process was not at all
fair .  // The pledges from business are far from what’s needed.  The //
or that hangs on the wall // who is the
fairest of all?’  // The mirror’s reply // with no hint of a sigh // is
Mirror mirror on the wall // who is the
fairest of them all?  // (The cruel looking-glass that will never show
f grace, // far away and long ago.  // A
fairy , good or bad, will know // exactly when to show her face, // the
ten thousand different species rise and
fall // and rise again.  Great populations press // against their bound
the Mediterranean, // empires rise and
fall .  Battles are fought, // wars are lost and won.  Did they rage ar
is a symptom, not a cause.  // A // The
fall drew blood.  // No such obvious culprit here, // except for age, p
willing into every word-filled well, //
fall , fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  //
u on a voyage through deepest space:  //
fall , fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // And now, this book, t
usic makes your languid pulses race:  //
fall , fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // That book will set yo
ok should suck you into its embrace.  //
Fall , fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // That book will take y
ly, not paying attention, I // stumble,
fall heavily forward and land with my // shin on a knife-edge of rock
g into every word-filled well, // fall,
fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  //
voyage through deepest space: // fall,
fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // And now, this book, the her
akes your languid pulses race: // fall,
fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // That book will set you puzz
uld suck you into its embrace.  // Fall,
fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // That book will take you o’e
alls, // no drink involved.  // P // The
fall is denied.  // Anyway, the cancer can be blamed // for many things
// wrestling figures, clinched before a
fall ; // Lutteurs—they are two, and now are one: // no perfectability
.  // We // As for us, the bits begin to
fall off.  // We are not so far behind.  // Old age ain’t no place for s
// get rolled over by an avalanche, //
fall through a wormhole, or cross a mountain range?  // Did I march tow
Wind,
fall // West wind // East wind // Autumn wind is bowling on, // trees
l, when they come to Paris // Manuel de
Falla and Igor Stravinsky.  // A turn, a period of change?  // Well, yes
d it suddenly vanish?  // It hasn’t just
fallen behind.  // Two of our cushions are missing // from the sofa jus
ys provides a bridge.  The trunks // of
fallen trees, fresh from the winter’s storms // or long since stripped
A narrow sandy beach past which // the
falling tide reveals the deep black mud // which oozes softly up betwe
ard, unyielding // rocks and stones, //
falls back under my feet.  // No time, no time.  // Already I am topplin
drink himself to death.  But for these
falls , // no drink involved.  // P // The fall is denied.  // Anyway, th
sand three hundred and sixty:  Truro and
Falmouth // Mevagissey; Mingoose; Mabe Burnthouse // footpaths; phone
mother, in a two-up-two-down // full of
family and lodgers.  Daughter born // at the height of the Luftwaffe’s
much later, I limp into harbour.  My //
family playing, completely oblivious.  //
o grow the fragile bone.  // The peasant
family stir-fries four // Butterfish cooked to no sauce.  // Young flou
tage, the edge of the Lake District— //
family wanting to rest and recuperate.  // Skiddaw is looming, inviting
from a washing machine.  // An electric
fan .  The dial of a clock.  Another dial, // from a stand-on weight sc
d fellow who swallowed his hat.  // Just
fancy that—swallowed his hat!  // He swallowed his hat to fend off the
Fancy that // There was an old fellow who swallowed his hat.  // Just f
on and heir // was Tony Blair.  // Nigel
Farrage // has a mouth like a garage— // he opens it ever so wide // a
Square mile //
Farringdon Without (north side) //
// plummett // Note:  Fifty colours of
Farrow & Ball //
in the number, // best expressed Roman
fashion :  // CII.  // We // As for us, the bits begin to fall off.  // We
western spiral arm (which will never be
fashionable ).  // See the slime on it?  // Wonder if I can get it to do
approach.  We turn tail and flee // as
fast as breath allows us, not to feel safe // until inside the house.)
Wake //
Fast asleep // dark night // dream deep // faint light // bird sings /
// will last and last, // the future is
fast disappearing.  //
us away // But we are bound for nowhere
fast // Give me some wind to blow us away // No wind! we wallow in th
// Where are we going, so fierce and so
fast ?  // I know only the wind and the rain // the sun and the clouds b
own // just in case we were driving too
fast .  // I was probably driving too fast // to see the flowers in the
too fast.  // I was probably driving too
fast // to see the flowers in the hedgerows.  // We love the flowers in
ave passed.  The winter’s chill // Lies
fast upon the land so ill.  // Seldom now the skylark’s trill; // No lo
, // but with sharp claws and barbs, //
fastens itself inside.  // Movement is faster, edgier, rougher.  // Roug
/ fastens itself inside.  // Movement is
faster , edgier, rougher.  // Rough softness grows // but hardness canno
ess never left the womb // That was the
fastness of her room.  // Only through the mirror’s gloam // Dared she
s the brown.  // Autumn fruit is growing
fat , // trees bending, boughs reaching // for the ground, creaking //
// what re-imagine?  Not to rave // at
fate , at chance, at // what has come about, but to close // an open so
untain range?  // Did I march towards my
fate , // or did I merely hang on by my fingernails // while the tornad
d she look to Camelot.  // Not until the
fateful day // When, gleaming in his knight’s array // And gaily singi
eason.  // The author, he whose life the
fates would squander— // such richness in his music did he render // f
s a multitude of zens.  The zens of the
fathers are visited on the sons, even if living in zen.  // Gloves are
wear but wear itself.  Without wear or
favour , fools rush in, where angels wear to tread.  I’ll wear not what
wear jackets // Shapeless, navy blue or
fawn , // three-quarter length, or maybe short, // patch pockets (usele
g blaze.  Then late into the night // I
fed it all the bits that it had missed: // fragments around the edges
the stream-floor ridges // Now a bottom-
feeder dredges // Through the silt of Camelot.  // But what is this sma
on their twice-a-day migration between
feeding grounds // in lop-sided vees and slanting lines, // dark again
; // we march in formation.  // The wind
feeds us, makes us strong.  // Occasionally, I catch glimpses // of the
// as fast as breath allows us, not to
feel safe // until inside the house.) // The bracken spreads across a
ocean // is bottomless no longer.  // I
feel something // never felt before— // something solid underneath us
ards.  // Chair with pile of clothes.  //
Feel something…  // Shit!  The wrong trousers!  // “Was it there?  // It
d flesh // and hide a secret inside.  //
Feel the air.  Turn in the four winds.  Broadcast the secret // to earth
ve me some wind to blow us away // Just
feel the breathless sun beat down // Way-hay, blow us away // And seek
n.  // Saying “Now that I’m old, // I do
feel the cold— // and my breathing is rather uncertain.”  //
l away // into the encroaching dark.  //
Feel the earth.  Feel the water return // to the dry ground.  Let the co
ons, welcome in // the roaming bees.  //
Feel the fire.  Spread out a green canopy // in the warming sunlight.  S
e edges of the blaze.  // Even now, // I
feel the heat upon my face.  // Twenty three years later, when my mothe
lie on the earth, // smell the air, //
feel the warmth of the fire, // listen to the lapping of the water, //
Epicycle // Wake.  //
Feel the water.  Push out below, // tendrils into the dark and damp.  No
he encroaching dark.  // Feel the earth. 
Feel the water return // to the dry ground.  Let the cooling dark // se
Another day // Another day // to
feel your ever-present absence, still // to find a way.  // I hear you
Under the door the glow is peeking, //
feeling its way across the floor.  // From the lamp on the landing it’s
stay // morning glow // time to rise //
feeling slow // rub eyes // yawn and stretch // blue skies // legs itc
nds tense, alert and staring.  A few //
feet away, a sheep, cowering // —and a lamb, sensing danger // sucklin
I can get along just fine.  // But seven
feet !  I must admit that seems exceeding wide, // as if to start out o
best effort at defence // drops thirty
feet into a hole.  // One cold winter’s afternoon // we walk to the edg
sky.  We take our boots off, // dip our
feet into water clear and achingly cold, // and dry them on warm rock.
a cheap pun // [One iamb, two anapest]
feet // [make up an eight-syllable] beat.  // Selec- // tions will do /
ocks and stones, // falls back under my
feet .  // No time, no time.  // Already I am toppling over him // crashi
But come June // it turns out she has
feet of clay.  // My control is as strong as can be // and stable—they
tion for immunity— // To indulge in the
felicity // Of unbounded domesticity. // (not the Pirates of Penzance
ess pass // destined for Harwich or for
Felixstowe .  //
the days were short, // and dark night
fell as we built and lit the fire // on the dark stones, and planted f
me.  // Out of the pastures and onto the
fell side, still // climbing the contours and catching my breath again
/ That book will take you o’er a stormy
fell // with her who to her lover’s side makes haste: // jump willing
Limerick // There was an old
Fellow of Girton // who always made love with his shirt on.  // Saying
on Kinderscout.  // Meet a dashing young
fellow rambler.  // Marry, find a home // on the very edge of Sheffield
ng is past.  // It can’t be a student or
fellow — // the thief’s much too cunning for that.  // There’s only one
seems // perverse—the more because the
fellow // was not wearing glasses.  //
Fancy that // There was an old
fellow who swallowed his hat.  // Just fancy that—swallowed his hat!  //
Reigate, on her way to // recognition,
fellowships // (Linnean Society 1904, // Girton College 1913).  // The
no longer.  // I feel something // never
felt before— // something solid underneath us // churning the water, /
im to the house.  // I always regretted,
felt cheated by // that twenty-minute hiatus.  // But the fire bore us
environmentally friendly of us, but it
felt right. // Many art galleries in many places.  Three so
st, but to small // effect.  At last we
felt we had to call // a halt to worry, and agreed to sell // for demo
kets (useless for cold hands), // thick
felted wool, a monk-like hood— // and with (the most important thing)
bracken // has been ploughed, the edges
fenced , the house // demolished and rebuilt.  The trees remain.  //
// Westwick; Woodbastwick; Winterton //
fences ; marshes; footbridges // One to ten thousand:  Cambridge // Pett
wed his hat!  // He swallowed his hat to
fend off the rain.  // What an odd game—to swallow the rain!  // He swal
bushes, shrubs and flowers, mosses, //
ferns and grasses waving under the sky.  // Islands, beaches, clifftops
Few people walk the brambled way // And
fewer still will pause or stay // To gaze down on the ruins gray // Th
street-corner box.  // I love you.  // Wi-
fi café.  Send a letter.  // Laptop, plug in power socket.  // Click to s
et to look at the case.  // “It’s been a
fiasco , a drain on our taxes.  The // tendering process was not at all
windle… // … a steal… // … and one true
fib // Earth, // air, // fire, // and water.  // Need just a few more. 
ib on // achievement, but got // only a
fib on a cheap pun // [One iamb, two anapest] feet // [make up an eigh
esis.  // Tried // hard // to write // a
fib on // achievement, but got // only a fib on a cheap pun // [One ia
Fibonacci series // Elemental
fib … // … three fibs about fibs… // … a swindle… // … a steal… // … an
t.  But // “Fibonacci”’s four— // not a
Fibonacci number.  // Time?  // No!  // No time // for thesis // or antit
Fibonacci series // Elemental fib… // … three fibs about fibs… // … a
// two, three, // five, eight.  But // “
Fibonacci ”’s four— // not a Fibonacci number.  // Time?  // No!  // No ti
metal screws, // rubber tap washers and
fibre sealing rings.  // The jars hang from their lids, nailed to // th
// Elemental fib… // … three fibs about
fibs … // … a swindle… // … a steal… // … and one true fib // Earth, //
cci series // Elemental fib… // … three
fibs about fibs… // … a swindle… // … a steal… // … and one true fib /
ion; and of course // extracted from my
fickle memory— // elusive and illusive treasure, she.  //
in again.  // Beards are good for finger-
fiddling // stroking, tickling, searching in—but // there was an old m
Across the river // lies the lagoon, a
field flooded and then left // to the encroaching mud.  On the far ban
and I’m to be the battle ground.  // The
field is ready now, the lines are drawn.  // Whichever wins, whichever
rain and the air?  // The hedgerow, the
field , the rapeseed and the corn.  // The five-bar gate, the muddy trac
skirt the edge of Malham Cove, // with
fields below and limestone crags above; // descend the steps to reach
Café Bar // courts; staircases; playing
fields // One to five hundred:  Block plan // Sherlock Road; Sherlock C
// Under a gray and lowering sky // The
fields that by the river lie // Are rough and unkempt.  Buzzards fly /
ever onward.  // Where are we going, so
fierce and so fast?  // I know only the wind and the rain // the sun an
mahogany, archive // plummett // Note: 
Fifty colours of Farrow & Ball //
Close // houses; yards; curbs // One to
fifty :  Ground floor // Bedroom 2; Bathroom; Bicycle shed // walls; doo
s // One to one million two hundred and
fifty thousand:  Low Countries // Gelderland; Glabbeek; Gramsbergen //
a daily ritual.  // After the floods of
fifty -three // they raised the ramparts: giant concrete blocks // on
e the start of the first world war).  //
Fifty yards across the park at the back // a low embankment carries th
rattle round, and link, and split, and
fight .  // No voices in the almost-silence that I hear, // the soft sub
ever meets defeat, // the relict of the
fight will be my wound.  // I am transfixed as a horned goat // charges
roning back towards their bases, // and
fighters too.  The siren call // is in reverse, a brief release— // un
rida as my muse and inspiration // This
figment of my own imagination // is the space in which I must survive,
awn has come, it does not pass, // this
figment of my own imagination.  // Maybe I should write it in a verse /
dou relief is on the wall, // wrestling
figures , clinched before a fall; // Lutteurs—they are two, and now are
ment, formulated forty years ago // and
filed in the middens of my mind.  // And in my mind it conjures up a vi
in trip.  // I’ll need a ton of words to
fill each line from side to side, // verbosely quite enough to float o
rk on the outside of the kettle.  Never
fill the kettle above the MAX level and ensure that it is always above
face. // Where ever possible
fill the kettle through the spout as this will help to reduce the amou
above the MIN level. // Only
fill the kettle with the amount of water you need as this will save el
ark’s trill; // No longer do the people
fill // The wharfs and ways of Camelot.  // Only one remains to shiver
s // that it can make itself again, and
fill // the world with dittoed offspring.  Yet it will // occasionally
four, it had been once— // but they had
filled the gap to make a join // with the neighbouring block, leaving
ling in // Jump willing into every word-
filled well; // a book should suck you into its embrace.  // Fall, fall
place.  // Jump willing into every word-
filled well, // fall, fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  //
haste: // jump willing into every word-
filled well.  // That book will hold against your ear a shell // whose
a case: // jump willing into every word-
filled well.  // That book will tales of distant countries tell // or t
in darker wood.  Clear morning sunlight
fills // the room we glimpse inside.  A woman leans // upon a table in
ony or the ones from Kings.  // If I can
filter out the rest, the aural grime, // even I, atheist, find some of
ount of limescale that builds up on the
filter . // The amount of water can be measured by the level
oftness crawls over sand and rock // in
filtered blue light, // carrying hardness with it.  // Sometimes softne
There must be moonshine //
Fin de siècle.  // Ethel Sargant, botanist // (Girton student 1880s) //
l gut // (well, really, just around the
final bend) // this craven kraken creeps, and slumbers not: // a steal
desist from locomotion, // this is our
final destination.  // These are the buffers, this is the end of the li
e away my will // to find a way.  // The
final fray // remains in memory, for good or ill, // another day.  // I
to my taste; // rather, look forward to
final oblivion— // when the time comes, I might add, not just yet.  //
Then one stormy night // it pulls the
final prop.  A hundred yards // of man’s best effort at defence // dro
ack of the Little Man precipice, // one
final push up the ridge to the pinnacle.  // Now to descend, an alterna
// We also need money—of course private
finance will // jump to join in, but needs time to come through.  // I’
ck first // Cash m/c // Washing // Plan
finances —get advisor?  G’s contact maybe // Ring M about Xmas // Ring T
dashing young fellow rambler.  // Marry,
find a home // on the very edge of Sheffield // facing the Derbyshire
ter.  // Pad of paper, ballpoint pen.  //
Find a stamp, street-corner box.  // I love you.  // Wi-fi café.  Send a
e tomorrow’s still // another day // to
find a way.  //
hether I have the necessary skill // to
find a way.  // And now today // is ending.  I suppose tomorrow’s still
your ever-present absence, still // to
find a way.  // I hear you say, // “But life is for the living, do not
de my head, and take away my will // to
find a way.  // The final fray // remains in memory, for good or ill, /
all the words their spiders’ crawls can
find .  // — // A writer read, a speaker heard, // at every word a choic
ow us away // And we can some direction
find // Give me some wind to blow us away //
g— // I’m sure that there’s one I can’t
find .  // How could it suddenly vanish?  // It hasn’t just fallen behind
ty, I think the gods themselves // will
find in all the books that line the shelves, // and close to home as w
ch morning I came down, // expecting to
find it cold, but every day // the embers beneath the ash were darkly
u will, how it goes.  // It flows.  // To
find its end, where must it flee?  // To the sea.  // Tumbling through r
of dale and moor to skip across // and
find myself in wooded Janet’s Foss.  // Upstream again to clamber Gorda
ike snow.  // A line // to show // can’t
find , // no.  //
we could reach this perfect knot // and
find ourselves at home.  //
sibilance of night.  // Even I, atheist,
find some of them sublime— // Britten’s Ceremony or the ones from King
ality which stings.  // Even I, atheist,
find some of them sublime, // Britten’s Ceremony or the ones from King
t, the aural grime, // even I, atheist,
find some of them sublime.  // Must just ignore the shop-committed crim
stasis, what’s to do?  // Can we not //
find some way to move, to go, // to travel in the mind, some gentle //
; nine // for any other choice.  You’ll
find // that every single play is here // a new production for this ye
scoop out the mushy core.  // Mango:  //
find the flat sides of the stone // slice alongside // almost pole to
write their notes, interpret what they
find .  // The possibility of peace is now long gone.  // In just a few d
y-one year tale to tell // —could I but
find the words to make it plain.  // Two book-ends bracket our shared d
waiting to discover their relations, //
find their denotations, connotations.  // Roget charted their associati
to accept // tried to climb // tried to
find // tried to forget // tried to hear // tried to ignore // tried t
water’s edge, the birds are searching,
finding .  // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring //
ssing, I must have mislaid them when //
finding my way through the scree so much earlier.  // Later, much later
gle, sweep // along the beach.  Each //
finds its own reach up the foreshore, // the banked sand and shingle,
nt; // just as each new generation soon
finds itself // rich rediscovering Bach’s counterpoint— // frescos are
—until // an accidental spiral sequence
finds // that it can make itself again, and fill // the world with dit
.  The next two months // are clear and
fine and bitter cold.  // Every step, // your foot upon the crust, you
halo.  Ah, I have a whim // to build a
fine bridge clear across a great river, where // trees, grass and flow
form, you see, // I can get along just
fine .  // But seven feet!  I must admit that seems exceeding wide, // a
—the // Heatherwick’s sure to produce a
fine plan.  // We also need money—of course private finance will // jum
w them in again.  // Beards are good for
finger -fiddling // stroking, tickling, searching in—but // there was a
fate, // or did I merely hang on by my
fingernails // while the tornado raged around me?  // Or was it just a
// to the stains already covering your
fingers // and your palms.  Sometimes you must stop // to disentangle
.  // I am lost.  The one behind // will
finish me completely // and for ever.  //
and unconstrained.  // Unused parts from
finished or abandoned projects, // pieces half-constructed or half-dec
ut then it began rolling out its own //
finite but unbounded space-time continuum // —cool!  // There are some
// there was an old man called Michael
Finnegan — // crowds stopped by his strange shenanigan // called out al
his Liffey whose recirculation keeps //
Finnegan going (despite it’s his wake)— // Beethoven’s music is just b
// There was an old man called Michael
Finnegan .  // He grew whiskers on his chin—but // the wind came up and
// there was an old man called Michael
Finnegan .  // The wind came up and blew him in again.  //
// there was an old man called Michael
Finnegan — // thought his profile needed broadening // thought he’d fla
// We take the path beside the wood—the
fir // and silver birch along the dunes that run // between the marshe
// we sometimes venture.  // Beyond the
fir -trees lies // a bracken-covered heath.  The summer fronds // rise
ng our teeth // into the maelstrom, the
fire and brimstone // that will be the twentieth century— // for this
side of the earth, // in the light of a
fire , // and faint starlight from space // reflected in inky water, //
, sky and earth // and rock and air; no
fire and no gold, // no gems nor coins nor jewels; just the old // and
Periodical // Earth, air, //
fire and water: just the four— // but the chemists need many more.  //
… and one true fib // Earth, // air, //
fire , // and water.  // Need just a few more.  // How about adding space
/ that twenty-minute hiatus.  // But the
fire bore us no grudge, // and welcomed us back into its glow.  // Anot
ght, the spring rain.  Throw open // the
fire -coloured temptations, welcome in // the roaming bees.  // Feel the
mud.  // Evening.  A great dark cloud //
fire -edged, blots out the setting sun.  // Later, the clouds amass:  //
eded a lavatory, and I had to leave the
fire for a while // to take him to the house.  // I always regretted, f
in place until at home // the small gas
fire has warmed the room // against the cold outside.  // (But that was
You’d think he’d expire from swallowing
fire .  // He swallowed the fire to burn the string.  // What a strange t
others too I love—Earth, Water, Air—but
Fire // is something else again.  // A memory // (nineteen-sixty-one or
ur space is the earth, // time lives in
fire , // leaving us the water and the air.  //
mell the air, // feel the warmth of the
fire , // listen to the lapping of the water, // and gaze into space.  /
Fire // My sign is Aries.  Though it seems a poor // fit for me, it is
pace // the sky is dark, but the raging
fire // of the sun marks passing time.  // Far down below, the earth //
dark night fell as we built and lit the
fire // on the dark stones, and planted fireworks // in the dark edges
ing slowly, // will burn for ever.  The
fire once begun // would last for days and days.  Each morning I came
andy, a candle: // heat till it catches
fire , // pour out the blue flame.  // After lunch, a walk // through th
t LP; // strangely, though, not sex but
fire ).  // See this: // the large, dilapidated country house // that is
ome in // the roaming bees.  // Feel the
fire .  Spread out a green canopy // in the warming sunlight.  Soak up th
a poor // fit for me, it is at least a
Fire .  // The others too I love—Earth, Water, Air—but Fire // is someth
om swallowing fire.  // He swallowed the
fire to burn the string.  // What a strange thing, to swallow some stri
chopped and sawed and dug and then set
fire to // the produce of our labours.  // A box or holly root, smoulde
// He swallowed the rain to put out the
fire .  // You’d think he’d expire from swallowing fire.  // He swallowed
agination fires.  // Pots are thrown and
fired , // crops are watered.  // Seasons and years are counted and time
/ explore the earth, // and send signal
fires // blazing into the air.  // Our space is the earth, // time live
eside banks is marked // with smears of
fires , burnt and black.  // The bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  //
there are times // when the imagination
fires .  // Pots are thrown and fired, // crops are watered.  // Seasons
the house was lit // by gas, with open
fires the only heat.  // The lino on the hall floor had been laid // in
fire // on the dark stones, and planted
fireworks // in the dark edges beyond the flickering light.  // Nearly-
Place the cordless base on a level
firm surface. // Where ever possible fill the kettle throug
ways make sure that the lid is properly
firmly closed. // Place the kettle on the cordless base mak
/ against the sky, a line of those same
firs // looks vaguely oriental.  // Since then, of course, the bracken
ack.  // Towards the river is a group of
firs // —the kind you sometimes see in lines across // the Suffolk cou
garlic slices the beef granule.  // The
first boilers of iron plate glue east // Grow face fa-cai thick soup. 
or kitchen lights—CS 60W screw???—check
first // Cash m/c // Washing // Plan finances—get advisor?  G’s contact
il seven years later, the year that her
first // grandchild arrived?  I can’t quite recall.  Nor can I now //
the Chatterley ban // and the Beatles’
first LP; // strangely, though, not sex but fire).  // See this: // the
ent almost a half-century ago // when I
first met your daughter // I have known fragments, snatches— // some n
r).  // At the end of summer, and in the
first mists // or wild winds of autumn, on the wild Suffolk heath, //
Lockdown // Here’s a
first -rate opportunity— // Isolation for immunity— // To indulge in th
ue skies // legs itch // must get on //
first scratch // clothes on // spell broken // sleep gone // in motion
its own best interests.  // Too bad.  //
First the bad news, then the good: // it's cancer; but it hasn’t sprea
t war comes, and D is now called up.  //
First to Hunmanby on the north-east Yorkshire coast // for the requisi
In the beginning was the third.  // (The
first two were duds; the bits // are somewhere back there, along with
bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  //
First we go to the front to see // the engine, wheels bigger than me—
before // (well before the start of the
first world war).  // Fifty yards across the park at the back // a low
rn nineteen-seventeen (dark days of the
first world war) // in Sheffield, steel town.  // Mother once ran a fis
, animal, machine.  // An owl, a leaping
fish , a fox afar— // night-time noises permeate the air.  // Someone sn
field, steel town.  // Mother once ran a
fish -and-chip shop.  // A young rambler, you take part // in the mass t
rt and whole, netsuke-like.  // Bird and
fish are two, and now are one: // no perfectability except our own.  //
ense.  // The impregnable fortress makes
fish cake.  // Fried kind’s of seafood in monolith // Do the crispy bea
ix the genes around.  // The plants, the
fish , the dinosaurs, the apes // advance across the generations.  Each
l.  // Generations and generations // of
fishermen and trading sailors // ply back and forth overhead.  Was I c
gn is Aries.  Though it seems a poor //
fit for me, it is at least a Fire.  // The others too I love—Earth, Wat
ield, the rapeseed and the corn.  // The
five -bar gate, the muddy track on the tarmac road.  // The walled paddo
r // The other side // The all-clear //
Five days after Charlie Hebdo, I learn // that something is growing at
love?  // One, // one, // two, three, //
five , eight.  But // “Fibonacci”’s four— // not a Fibonacci number.  //
s; staircases; playing fields // One to
five hundred:  Block plan // Sherlock Road; Sherlock Court; Sherlock Cl
// railways; borders; deserts // One to
five million:  Gulf of St Lawrence // Shickshock Mountains; Shippegan
Upscale down // One to forty-
five million:  Pacific Ocean // Marianas Trench, Macquarie Ridge, Mend
otten // as stealing a library book.  //
Five of our cushions are missing.  // How can we counter-attack?  // Per
s ugly.  No such thought would cross my
five - // or eight- or ten-year-old imagination.  // It stands within a
// the merry wives of windsor, four; //
five othello; six for king lear; // seven hamlet; eight macbeth; nine
ly // see its secret: // the apple is a
five -pointed fruit.  //
Clerihews //
Five politicians… // … and one poet // Margaret Thatcher // observed t
ths; phone boxes; inns // One to twenty
five thousand:  The Broads // Westwick; Woodbastwick; Winterton // fenc
beat.  // Selec- // tions will do // for
five , three and two.  // But for the two ones I must cheat.  // Rage, //
beyond the flickering light.  // Nearly-
five -year-old Colin // needed a lavatory, and I had to leave the fire
onth of May // she says “Now’s the time—
fix the day.  // You dance to my tune, // I’ll lead.”  But come June //
irror, but it’s cracked // And won’t be
fixed and always did refract // The one before it into at least two.  /
An uncompleted day // is not yet to be
fixed — // but each interval passing by // may be notched on a stick.  /
be notched on a stick.  // Not yet to be
fixed // while the long night’s images last, // but notched on the sti
usual translation is not raisins // but
flagons .  Flagons might indeed // distract me, or Suliman, from his pi
ut stay me not with raisins nor // with
flagons , for I am well of love.  // Apples may perhaps be comforting //
slation is not raisins // but flagons. 
Flagons might indeed // distract me, or Suliman, from his pilaf.  // Bu
the Mad.  // He’d adore such a grand and
flamboyant adventure—to // jump on the bandwagon he’ll be glad.”  // Th
l it catches fire, // pour out the blue
flame .  // After lunch, a walk // through the summer’s brown bracken //
nfurls // twigs catch // smoke curls //
flame unfurls // smoke grows // smoke curls // smoke billows // smoke
light // twigs catch // strike match //
flame unfurls // twigs catch // smoke curls // flame unfurls // smoke
s creep // move apart // flames leap //
flames creep // growing bright // flames leap // sparks take flight //
billows // move apart // eyes smart //
flames creep // move apart // flames leap // flames creep // growing b
one // potatoes roast // embers warm //
flames gone // last glow // embers warm // fading now // last glow //
n // potatoes roast // warm as toast //
flames gone // potatoes roast // embers warm // flames gone // last gl
torium— // and see her consigned to the
flames .  // (I completely understand why people have // funeral pyres.)
smart // flames creep // move apart //
flames leap // flames creep // growing bright // flames leap // sparks
ap // flames creep // growing bright //
flames leap // sparks take flight // growing bright // throw on timber
wide awake by what the thunder said //
flashes silhouette the trees against the blind.  // A storm is raging a
wide awake by what the thunder said, //
flashes silhouette the trees against the blind.  // Night-time noises p
Coast to coast // dark forest //
flashing stream // bright sea // rugged moor // sharp mountain // stil
nst the sky.  // Ahead, another line, //
flat and sharp and natural too: // pale sky encounters dark sea.  // On
back and forth and to and fro, // in a
flat calm air.  A winter storm // brings wild mountains of water crash
Victorian terrace house // stuccoed and
flat -fronted.  // No electricity— // gas lighting from the thirties; //
Of eighteen sixty vintage, the house is
flat // in face, no sign of the deep bay windows that // adorn most la
t the mushy core.  // Mango: // find the
flat sides of the stone // slice alongside // almost pole to almost po
ofile needed broadening // thought he’d
flaunt a bushy grin—but // the wind came up and blew it in again.  // B
time, the bug’s not spread by rats and
fleas // but by their piss and snot and sweat and spittle.  // Oh, peop
g // at our approach.  We turn tail and
flee // as fast as breath allows us, not to feel safe // until inside
lows.  // To find its end, where must it
flee ?  // To the sea.  // Tumbling through rocks with rainbow spray, //
f before Columbus.  // He is a leader of
Flemish weavers, pointing the rest // towards their major source of tr
sform the coloured flower into coloured
flesh // and hide a secret inside.  // Feel the air.  Turn in the four w
now replaced, // the soft and sensuous
flesh joins love’s embrace.  // Mother and child are two, and now are o
your coat, // and sometimes at the bare
flesh of // the back of your hand as you reach past to pilfer // the c
have made // in twenty-ten, of all the
flesh reviewed // in magazines, on billboards high displayed, // each
ere is that doesn’t love a wall.  // Out
flew the web and floated wide; // The mirror crack’d from side to side
beyond, // and Barden Bridge—and now I
flick my wand // some miles of dale and moor to skip across // and fin
h, // the trout that dart and pause and
flicker under // the bubbling brooks, that chatter and meander; // of
reworks // in the dark edges beyond the
flickering light.  // Nearly-five-year-old Colin // needed a lavatory,
carpet // the Prince of Crim Tartary //
flies into the night.  // The paraffin stove // casts patterns of light
gentle snore // puts all the ghosts to
flight .  //
right // throw on timber // sparks take
flight // glowing embers // throw on timber // let it burn // glowing
ng bright // flames leap // sparks take
flight // growing bright // throw on timber // sparks take flight // g
t in the bay // a seal watches us, then
flips away, // dives deep, leaving behind a swirling wake.  // Nearer,
e to side, // verbosely quite enough to
float or sink a battle-ship.  // But perhaps instead I will go the whol
hat was off by a mile.  // Tony Blair //
floated on air // when Maggie’s encomium // came to be known to ’im.  /
’t love a wall.  // Out flew the web and
floated wide; // The mirror crack’d from side to side.  // I look into
e barriers // cutting down the roses //
floating down the river // whistling down the wind // not as in // scr
ether I’m lying awake or sleeping // or
floating half in half out, I’m sure // it’ll last forever, the light t
enough to overflow // the river Don and
flood the plain.  // The light is fading now.  // Politicians on the stu
s the river // lies the lagoon, a field
flooded and then left // to the encroaching mud.  On the far bank // o
// becomes a daily ritual.  // After the
floods of fifty-three // they raised the ramparts: giant concrete blo
s; yards; curbs // One to fifty:  Ground
floor // Bedroom 2; Bathroom; Bicycle shed // walls; doors; drains //
e!  I want some more!  // A spoon to the
floor — // clatter!  // No!  Another more!  // This stuff to the floor— /
peeking, // feeling its way across the
floor .  // From the lamp on the landing it’s spilling, seeping // under
the only heat.  // The lino on the hall
floor had been laid // in nineteen thirty three, the newsprint said.  /
the ledges, // While between the stream-
floor ridges // Now a bottom-feeder dredges // Through the silt of Cam
d more!  More!  More!  // A plate to the
floor — // shatter!  //
No!  Another more!  // This stuff to the
floor — // splatter!  // I said more!  More!  More!  // A plate to the fl
pped of bark, criss-cross // the forest
floor , streams and all.  // A seven-mile climb // brings us to a hidden
/ descend the steps to reach the valley
floor — // to leave behind, for now, the wilder moor.  // The treasures
that it had to be bolted // down to the
floor , to prevent it going walkabout, // a perambulation whenever it g
e larger bolts and nuts and washers, //
flooring nails, staples, cuphooks, clouts // masonry nails, screw-eyes
my way?  // Across what carpets, rugs or
floors ?  // I cannot say.  // The houses, and their rooms and halls // a
s, // paint from woodwork, // lino from
floors .  // (Under the lino, newspaper // dated 1933 // the year Hitler
ces.  Three solid days in the Uffizi in
Florence .  Walking in the drizzle the long approach road to the Krölle
meal chicken, // Olive dish dried meat
floss stir fries a leaf mustard.  // The small bowl of wedding receptio
for one day // throw half away // more
flour , water, mix well // mollycoddle for one day // put in pouch // r
Ode to the yeast wind //
flour , water, mix well // mollycoddle for one day // throw half away /
for one day // throw half away // more
flour , water, mix well // mollycoddle for one day // throw half away /
for one day // throw half away // more
flour , water, mix well // mollycoddle for one day // throw half away /
see?  // I cannot now recall.  // Cities
flourish and decay.  In forgotten corners, // artists create and somet
Butterfish cooked to no sauce.  // Young
flourishing bowl bowl shrimp // Do a boiler burn the duck head.  // The
d melt, // form and reform each ebb and
flow , each moonphase // and each season (the navigation buoys must nee
This poem eludes me // No time // for
flow // or rhyme, // no.  // Words go // from mind // like snow.  // A l
rying to cut us off // from continental
flow // seem more like butchers working rough.  // The light is going n
ressed for the occasion, // we read the
flower -borne messages // and talked to relatives not seen for years.  /
and the air.  // Transform the coloured
flower into coloured flesh // and hide a secret inside.  // Feel the ai
nses tingling, too.  // Around them, the
flowers bloom and wither // and bloom again.  They’ve been there // fo
great river, where // trees, grass and
flowers can stretch shore to shore.  // Of bridges traversing the Thame
lowers in the hedgerows.  // We love the
flowers in the hedgerows // no matter what the season of the year.  //
probably driving too fast // to see the
flowers in the hedgerows.  // We love the flowers in the hedgerows // n
he sky.  // Trees and bushes, shrubs and
flowers , mosses, // ferns and grasses waving under the sky.  // Islands
Entrust to messenger.  // I love you.  //
Flowing Nile.  Send a letter.  // New papyrus, brush and ink.  // Command
s, torrents, // tarns, and streams slow-
flowing , under the sky.  // Trees and bushes, shrubs and flowers, mosse
t really.  // Objective // Yellow liquid
flows .  // Subjective/objective // Tap left open.  // Oh bugger!  // What
ell me, if you will, how it goes.  // It
flows .  // To find its end, where must it flee?  // To the sea.  // Tumbl
ing across meadows, // from a spring it
flows to the sea.  //
lie // Are rough and unkempt.  Buzzards
fly // Above the weedy hedgerows, by // The once-proud towers of Camel
oon // some cryptic rune.  // The senses
fly .  // It’s Jan, not June.  // Back home soon // warm and dry.  // A cr
a raucous song:  // A thousand geese are
flying into night.  //
the world just so.  // A wingéd dragon,
flying low, // will seek a human sacrifice, // far away and long ago. 
p lines // High overhead, the geese are
flying out // on their twice-a-day migration between feeding grounds /
click-clack.  // At night, the glow and
flying sparks.  // Grass on the lineside banks is marked // with smears
// above, below, // left and right.  //
Focus in, // each ray // trapped on its way // from the sun.  // Bright
so // above, below, left and right, //
focus in each ray.  // Trapped on its way from the sun, // bright spot,
e has cut us off from looking at // the
focus of her gaze: does he not want // to tell?  // This painting has a
ter the engine’s noisy roar, // coaches
follow along the track: // the bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  //
fter— // there was no chance for her to
follow him.  // There was a week of waiting while they fought it out.  /
ha to beta using this equation, // then
follow that suggestion // to make the beta, gamma, delta link.  // Damn
We walked across England, once.  If you
follow the west-to-east coast-to-coast walk devised by Wainwright, you
ale- and Wensleydale // they passed the
following day.  // Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, // and such grea
ife.  // Most of the steps are small, //
following , if not a line, // at least some vague direction.  // Once in
reverse, a brief release— // until the
following night at least.  // Odysseus' sirens, of course // can offer
Septilla CD* // Please choose from the
following nine // options: if you want the tempest // please press on
keep a healthy handle on the case.  // *
following the example of the chemists and their sort // ** because th
ough Suliman’s pilaf // is real comfort
food .  But comfort me not // with apples, nor with pilaf.  I can't spe
t wear itself.  Without wear or favour,
fools rush in, where angels wear to tread.  I’ll wear not what men say
and bitter cold.  // Every step, // your
foot upon the crust, you think // ‘This time, it will hold my weight.’
bastwick; Winterton // fences; marshes;
footbridges // One to ten thousand:  Cambridge // Petty Cury; Park Para
Through passages or corridors // light-
footed did I make my way?  // Across what carpets, rugs or floors?  // I
e clear that the hour // for soft pussy-
footing is past.  // It can’t be a student or fellow— // the thief’s mu
orizontal space, // we must** resort to
footnotes just to keep a healthy handle on the case. // * following th
evagissey; Mingoose; Mabe Burnthouse //
footpaths ; phone boxes; inns // One to twenty five thousand:  The Broad
bin—needs emptying.  // That knocking? 
Footsteps in the next room?  // Don’t be silly, that’s just the plumbin
swirling wake.  // Nearer, the lapwings
forage up the beach.  // At water’s edge the oyster-catchers, gulls //
// and weathered hills, created by some
force // beyond imagination; and of course // extracted from my fickle
ulled or pushed?  // Did I leap a chasm,
ford a raging torrent, // get rolled over by an avalanche, // fall thr
ch.  Each // finds its own reach up the
foreshore , // the banked sand and shingle, perhaps // (when the tide i
nly on, but of, // sand.  All along the
foreshore , // the remains of trees // that once grew on the hill above
man artifacts.  // Geological time // is
foreshortened .  This is now, here, // real human time.  //
llen with spring melt.  But an old pine
forest // always provides a bridge.  The trunks // of fallen trees, fr
lose forest // by lake and stream // by
forest and moor // from sea to mountain to sea //
e // high mountain // wide sea // close
forest // by lake and stream // by forest and moor // from sea to moun
// silver lake // purple moor // green
forest // clear stream // grey mountain // jagged mountain // choppy s
Coast to coast // dark
forest // flashing stream // bright sea // rugged moor // sharp mounta
ce stripped of bark, criss-cross // the
forest floor, streams and all.  // A seven-mile climb // brings us to a
n-million-year mountain // hundred-year
forest // hundred-million-year sea // ten-thousand-year lake // thousa
swirling stream // smooth lake // dense
forest // rough moor // million-year moor // ten-million-year mountain
ufted crown—quite unlike // the planted
forest , serried ranks of Christmas pine // which begins a mile down th
still lake // resting lake // rustling
forest // tumbling mountain // running stream // rambling moor // chan
stening the many-coloured earths.  // In
forests and in open spaces // there are times // when the imagination
d Lake // The winding trails // through
forests waking to the spring // intersect or fork.  Some of these meet
iral hardness rests // on the sea-bed. 
Forever ?  // Another, rougher softness, // but with sharp claws and bar
ermanence the rule.  // Change will last
forever .  // At intervals along the south horizon // container ships in
you ate straight off the bush are saved
forever ).  // At the end of summer, and in the first mists // or wild w
other rough softness.  // Can this go on
forever ?  // Empty again, in harsher light.  // Another softness, giant
blackberries // of my childhood remain
forever perfect, // forever simultaneously sweet and tart, // sharp on
my childhood remain forever perfect, //
forever simultaneously sweet and tart, // sharp on my mind’s tongue. 
itself, trumpet-like.  // Can this go on
forever ?  // Softness grows still, fades away.  // Empty spiral hardness
the river, // Tending her cabbage patch
forever , // The hermit of Shalott.  //
alf in half out, I’m sure // it’ll last
forever , the light that’s leaking // under the door.  //
ard.  // Build speed.  // Build power.  //
Forge ahead.  // Spread.  // Reach.  // Slacken.  // Settle.  // Pause.  //
d to climb // tried to find // tried to
forget // tried to hear // tried to ignore // tried to learn // tried
me now half-remembered, some long since
forgotten — // but nothing that resembles a narrative.  // Born nineteen
call.  // Cities flourish and decay.  In
forgotten corners, // artists create and sometimes destroy.  Did I rea
tural or mechanical purpose // now half-
forgotten .  Electrical components.  // A pair of cast-iron supports for
beta, gamma, delta link.  // Damn—I had
forgotten // that this equation also needs some zeta factor // and my
ts waking to the spring // intersect or
fork .  Some of these meeting-points // are signposted with names and d
and banks of shingle shift and melt, //
form and reform each ebb and flow, each moonphase // and each season (
mera in bag for Mon // Did I submit tax
form ??  // Check L’s dob—70 next b/day?  // Dentist appointment—week of
wind grows steady and purposeful.  // We
form into rows and columns across the deep.  // Without knowing what it
eval winds // a billion random patterns
form —until // an accidental spiral sequence finds // that it can make
ugh for any line.  // With a terse verse
form , you see, // I can get along just fine.  // But seven feet!  I mus
hen my mother died // we had the proper
formal funeral.  // (She had chosen the music for the ceremony // —a Sc
the purpose of the wind; // we march in
formation .  // The wind feeds us, makes us strong.  // Occasionally, I c
ng evening light.  // Slanting lines are
forming , breaking, forming // ordered chaos with a raucous song:  // A
/ Slanting lines are forming, breaking,
forming // ordered chaos with a raucous song:  // A thousand geese are
wind it starts to snow.  // A snowdrift
forms against the wire brush // of David’s thick black hair, // stayin
hrough glasses, darkly.  // —A fragment,
formulated forty years ago // and filed in the middens of my mind.  //
amma, delta.  // The way is clear.  This
formulation // both lays the problem out and then reveals // the parts
/ for all of us, such beauty brought he
forth ; // and at the end, almost with dying breath, // a swan-song, le
d sift, // pushing the shingle back and
forth and to and fro, // in a flat calm air.  A winter storm // brings
arth // Where tender shoots may venture
forth // On weed-o’er-run Shalott?  // She who hath this garden laid //
men and trading sailors // ply back and
forth overhead.  Was I carried for trade?  // Or in payment of taxes? 
rolls up an incense.  // The impregnable
fortress makes fish cake.  // Fried kind’s of seafood in monolith // Do
, towered Camelot.  // Then, as winds of
fortune blow, // It was arranged that she should go // And take her pl
Upscale down // One to
forty -five million:  Pacific Ocean // Marianas Trench, Macquarie Ridge
a century ago and // three hundred and
forty miles // to the south-west: // marked by a bolt embedded in // t
Interval // There is a
forty -one year tale to tell // —could I but find the words to make it
ses, darkly.  // —A fragment, formulated
forty years ago // and filed in the middens of my mind.  // And in my m
he Peckham house // that we bought some
forty years ago.  // One of the legs had rotted half away.  // But a new
inst the cold outside.  // (But that was
forty years ago // —these days his hair is white all through.) // ‘Eve
g attention, I // stumble, fall heavily
forward and land with my // shin on a knife-edge of rock that protrude
.  // Tiptoe.  // Probe.  // Grow.  // Push
forward .  // Build speed.  // Build power.  // Forge ahead.  // Spread.  //
Zigzag // 2
forward : inspiration // 1 back: frustration // 3 sideways: perspira
uld not be to my taste; // rather, look
forward to final oblivion— // when the time comes, I might add, not ju
ss // and find myself in wooded Janet’s
Foss .  // Upstream again to clamber Gordale Scar // and rest, and breat
A trifle // (with double cream) // Dr
Foster went to Gloucester // for a summer spin— // and liked a lass fr
There was a week of waiting while they
fought it out.  // There was a lull— // But he was dead: // had died th
// empires rise and fall.  Battles are
fought , // wars are lost and won.  Did they rage around me // where I
the wilder moor.  // The treasures to be
found along my path // are elemental: water, sky and earth // and rock
itself and four-inch rings surely to be
found // elsewhere in the garage).  // The bench was once // a kitchen
s // expresses change.  Some variant has
found // how good sex is—to mix the genes around.  // The plants, the f
As I have visited other places, I have
found other treasures, and regret not having had the chance to show so
Colourless green ideas
found sleeping furiously // The garlic slices the beef granule.  // The
ur own tangled thread, // would we have
found some common course, // or bend or hitch or bead?  // Some earlier
cattered on the ground // waiting to be
found .  // Waiting for declension, conjugation, // other morphologic va
arth, air, // fire and water: just the
four — // but the chemists need many more.  // The top of the table is s
bone.  // The peasant family stir-fries
four // Butterfish cooked to no sauce.  // Young flourishing bowl bowl
rotted half away.  // But a new piece of
four by two turned it into // a perfect workbench—the cuts and holes a
truthful— // The eye of the little god,
four cornered.  // Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.  // Out
belline; // the merry wives of windsor,
four ; // five othello; six for king lear; // seven hamlet; eight macbe
lling Shakespeareline. // * pronounced ’
four hundred’ //
hes in diameter (the pole // itself and
four -inch rings surely to be found // elsewhere in the garage).  // The
n terraced fronts.  // One of a block of
four , it had been once— // but they had filled the gap to make a join
, // five, eight.  But // “Fibonacci”’s
four — // not a Fibonacci number.  // Time?  // No!  // No time // for the
// who’s sneaking our cushions away //
Four of our cushions are missing.  // It’s getting beyond a bad joke.  /
arrived) I divided each drawer // into
four or more sections, with plywood strips // carefully cut and glued.
et inside.  // Feel the air.  Turn in the
four winds.  Broadcast the secret // to earth, as far away as it will g
, a storm will // simply erase them.  //
Four years ago a storm demolished // the dunes on the beach across the
, machine.  // An owl, a leaping fish, a
fox afar— // night-time noises permeate the air.  // Someone snoring in
Type right // The quick brown
fox jumps over the lazy dog //
soup.  // XO sauce explodes to grow the
fragile bone.  // The peasant family stir-fries four // Butterfish cook
ing Bach’s counterpoint— // frescos are
fragile , but Piero’s perspective will // live on long after his colour
up a little croaker with no result.  //
Fragile crab of incense taste mushroom // Do the black boiler hair bel
tained bed next door: // someone else’s
fragile life is there.  //
tained bed next door: // someone else’s
fragile life is there.  // Each new doctor asks the same once more, //
life // through glasses, darkly.  // —A
fragment , formulated forty years ago // and filed in the middens of my
Fragment // I could not see what he saw; but I saw him see // across t
it all the bits that it had missed:  //
fragments around the edges of the blaze.  // Even now, // I feel the he
Fragments of a life // We walked across England, once.  If you f
first met your daughter // I have known
fragments , snatches— // some now half-remembered, some long since forg
—does he know what it is she sees?  The
frame // he chose has cut us off from looking at // the focus of her g
some distant point outside the picture
frame .  // What does she see?  Is there something there?  // Some object
ard: // under the channel and then from
France to Belgium.  // But we don’t notice them at all: the journey is
ke in 1896, in order to make proper San
Francisco bread, prospectors would carry with them their sourdough sta
ty-nine years long.) // Béla Bartók and
Frank Bridge // are still at college // Sergei Prokofiev and Carl Orf
my will // to find a way.  // The final
fray // remains in memory, for good or ill, // another day.  // I canno
k the way we came.  // All verse is born
free .  //
A poem for
free // The night mail rattles north to the border // (bringing the ch
h rediscovering Bach’s counterpoint— //
frescos are fragile, but Piero’s perspective will // live on long afte
es // Hanging garden.  Send a letter.  //
Fresh clay tablet, stylus, scribe.  // Entrust to messenger.  // I love
bridge.  The trunks // of fallen trees,
fresh from the winter’s storms // or long since stripped of bark, cris
space in which I must survive, // with
Frida as my muse and inspiration— // that reality in which I live.  //
be I should write it in a verse // with
Frida as my muse and inspiration // This figment of my own imagination
// But Aix was as far as he went.  // In
Friday Market square // Jacob van Artevelde makes an expansive gesture
All done with mirrors // One
Friday morning when we set sail // and our ship not far from land // (
mpregnable fortress makes fish cake.  //
Fried kind’s of seafood in monolith // Do the crispy bean curd of boil
for one more.  // Now it happens my old
friend is crowned mayor of London, he // goes by the rubrik of Boris t
orland.  It wasn’t very environmentally
friendly of us, but it felt right. // Many art galleries in
y companions, pray?  // Old friends, new
friends did I meet?  // I cannot say.  // And when we parted, did we say
.  Back to Sheffield again.  // How many
friends have you outlived?  Eventually // the Sheffield ties become mo
passing cloud // more meetings with old
friends // more talks, more silences // more sleeps, more sleepless ni
nd who were my companions, pray?  // Old
friends , new friends did I meet?  // I cannot say.  // And when we parte
en, // Olive dish dried meat floss stir
fries a leaf mustard.  // The small bowl of wedding reception stews bea
ragile bone.  // The peasant family stir-
fries four // Butterfish cooked to no sauce.  // Young flourishing bowl
he inky darkness, keeping // at bay the
frights night has in store.  // Whether I’m lying awake or sleeping //
g the shingle back and forth and to and
fro , // in a flat calm air.  A winter storm // brings wild mountains o
// a bracken-covered heath.  The summer
fronds // rise far above our heads.  In this bright green // we wander
efully cut and glued.  And labelled the
front — // Nails: tacks, panel pins, ovals and round; // Screws: small,
y the back // of the one immediately in
front .  // The wind is angry, howling and shrieking.  // It pushes us ha
lack click-clack.  // First we go to the
front to see // the engine, wheels bigger than me— // a great big mons
rian terrace house // stuccoed and flat-
fronted .  // No electricity— // gas lighting from the thirties; // two
hat // adorn most later London terraced
fronts .  // One of a block of four, it had been once— // but they had f
ough to melt // the topmost layer.  The
frost returns // to make a crust.  The next two months // are clear an
Currie.  // Gordon Brown // replaced his
frown // with a one-sided smile // that was off by a mile.  // Tony Bla
secret: // the apple is a five-pointed
fruit .  //
eath, // at war with the bracken.  // No
fruit here—the thorns will catch // at your sleeve, at the tails of yo
edging // towards the brown.  // Autumn
fruit is growing fat, // trees bending, boughs reaching // for the gro
h // stands out, a clump of pears whose
fruit // is hard as stone.  (But when stewed overnight // in the oven
rass.  // Winds bowling through trees //
fruit -laden boughs bent to earth // apples in the grass //
sages or chops // Veg—broccoli?  // Some
fruit // Present for C—book?  // Coat to cleaners // Pay newsagent // B
gue.  Why is it that // this latter-day
fruit so often disappoints?  // Did I just dream the taste?  // But no. 
les may perhaps be comforting // as any
fruit , though Suliman’s pilaf // is real comfort food.  But comfort me
// 2 forward: inspiration // 1 back: 
frustration // 3 sideways: perspiration // Alpha, beta, gamma, delta.
ury and a bit.  There is an area about 2
ft square of brush marks in a darker paint, made by a house-painter cl
went on, // we generated quantities of
fuel // and built a roaring blaze.  Then late into the night // I fed
o there, with my eyesight?  // Yes, with
fuel to burn.  // If the lines be blurred just right, // You may go the
zac, and called “Post-Balzac”.  It is a
full -length bronze cape, upright and rounded as if on the shoulders of
door // through box and holly grown to
full maturity // to an iron-gated pointed arch // piercing the wall, b
ps instead I will go the whole hog, the
full nine yards: turn the paper onto its side and write each line // i
back to mother, in a two-up-two-down //
full of family and lodgers.  Daughter born // at the height of the Luf
n, heart aglow // will sit and spin, so
full of grace, // far away and long ago.  // A fairy, good or bad, will
!  Vast hall // of city station, noisy,
full // of people rushing there and back.  // The bogeys go: click-cla
, // we have to guess.  // The woods are
full of streams, // swollen with spring melt.  But an old pine forest
because the margin is too narrow for a
full report // Turns out† that the seventh layer consists mostly of on
e, // as if to start out on a voyage, a
full round-Britain trip.  // I’ll need a ton of words to fill each line
for hidden treasure, long beaks buried
full // to probe deep down beneath the shining mud.  //
ple spread!  Quick, guys, an ecstasy of
fumbling , // building the clumsy barriers just in time // to keep the
through.  // I’ll give it some taxpayer
funding , and get old saint // George of the Chancel to throw in some t
ompletely understand why people have //
funeral pyres.) Later we scatter the ashes // in a wild part of the o
mother died // we had the proper formal
funeral .  // (She had chosen the music for the ceremony // —a Schubert
Colourless green ideas found sleeping
furiously // The garlic slices the beef granule.  // The first boilers
s: defunct household gadgets, // broken
furniture , shelves no longer // serving any useful purpose.  // The clu
that is not so.  // Seen from here, the
future is changed // utterly.  And I have the scars // to prove it.  //
the past // will last and last, // the
future is fast disappearing.  //
way to wander into // a better place, a
future that // revives, replenishes, makes good // the damaged present
been had.  // Nothing remains // but the
fuzzy end of the lollipop and the squeezed out tube of toothpaste // t