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.

M

—get advisor?  G’s contact maybe // Ring
M about Xmas // Ring Tony D about works in basement // Tickets for Onc
hts—CS 60W screw???—check first // Cash
m /c // Washing // Plan finances—get advisor?  G’s contact maybe // Ring
itation to the rocks.  // But me, now, I'
m just lucky.  //
o and Falmouth // Mevagissey; Mingoose;
Mabe Burnthouse // footpaths; phone boxes; inns // One to twenty five
x for king lear; // seven hamlet; eight
macbeth ; nine // for any other choice.  You’ll find // that every sing
nate.  A pump and valves from a washing
machine .  // An electric fan.  The dial of a clock.  Another dial, // f
e the air // with voices human, animal,
machine .  // An owl, a leaping fish, a fox afar— // night-time noises p
e the air // with voices human, animal,
machine .  // Voices from the curtained bed next door: // someone else’s
Good vibrations // The Bendix washing
machine was already elderly // when my mother, acquiring a newer model
artender bent to work; // chrome coffee
machines .  // At the bar three people sit // all six eyes lowered // in
ion:  Pacific Ocean // Marianas Trench,
Macquarie Ridge, Mendocino Seascarp // the shape of the world // One t
, he // goes by the rubrik of Boris the
Mad .  // He’d adore such a grand and flamboyant adventure—to // jump on
cycle.  The other, the noise // that it
made as it spun, a rhythmic staccato juddering // with a touch of sync
quare of brush marks in a darker paint,
made by a house-painter cleaning his brush after painting some woodwor
other uses.  The plastic boxes // were
made for slides or toothpowder, tins // for cocoa or throat lozenges o
chalk and cheese; so what would he have
made // in twenty-ten, of all the flesh reviewed // in magazines, on b
s an old Fellow of Girton // who always
made love with his shirt on.  // Saying “Now that I’m old, // I do feel
er heard, // at every word a choice has
made .  // Those that they choose to use // to inform or confuse, // ela
ling and gnashing our teeth // into the
maelstrom , the fire and brimstone // that will be the twentieth centur
ty-ten, of all the flesh reviewed // in
magazines , on billboards high displayed, // each model posed in langui
// Tony Blair // floated on air // when
Maggie’s encomium // came to be known to ’im.  // Thomas Stearns Eliot
bracken // that covers the heath.  // On
magic carpet // the Prince of Crim Tartary // flies into the night.  //
old stone.  // The box and holly // were
magnificent , but could not be allowed // to remain in occupation of th
, dimpse, mizzle, skylight // ammonite,
mahogany , archive // plummett // Note:  Fifty colours of Farrow & Ball
s cabbage-bed— // She was once a lady’s
maid // In gracious, towered Camelot.  // Then, as winds of fortune blo
The Lady’s
Maid // Under a gray and lowering sky // The fields that by the river
ll.) // we there did espy a fair pretty
maid // with a comb and a glass in her hand.  // See the pretty girl in
lace, // the world just so, // a pretty
maiden , heart aglow // will sit and spin, so full of grace, // far awa
earth, // the mill-girl’s beauty or the
maiden’s death, // the trout that dart and pause and flicker under //
A poem for free // The night
mail rattles north to the border // (bringing the cheque and the posta
ers, pointing the rest // towards their
major source of trade:  // England.  // Back the way we came.  // All ver
n see all the junk inside. // grey John
Major // surely had a wager // that he could without worry // take the
topmost layer.  The frost returns // to
make a crust.  The next two months // are clear and fine and bitter co
once— // but they had filled the gap to
make a join // with the neighbouring block, leaving a row of nine.  //
ancing on a hidden hollow which // will
make a temporary home, until // the next adventure.  // (One time, thou
of a solution.  // All we need to do is
make connection // alpha to beta using this equation, // then follow t
trong as can be // and stable—they will
make for me.  // But when my support // is caught badly short // I’ll j
tell // —could I but find the words to
make it plain.  // Two book-ends bracket our shared domain: // the star
al spiral sequence finds // that it can
make itself again, and fill // the world with dittoed offspring.  Yet i
a mundane scene // so briefly glimpsed,
make my muse suggest // just three alliterative lines—at best // a sem
ages or corridors // light-footed did I
make my way?  // Across what carpets, rugs or floors?  // I cannot say. 
ing now.  // Politicians on the stump //
make promises-to-go // inspired by our local Trump.  // The light is fa
in in the Klondike in 1896, in order to
make proper San Francisco bread, prospectors would carry with them the
save electricity. // Always
make sure that the lid is properly firmly closed. // Place
n, // then follow that suggestion // to
make the beta, gamma, delta link.  // Damn—I had forgotten // that this
s are a many-splendoured thing.  Gloves
make the world go round, and all’s fair in gloves and war, though the
ed to live // tried to love // tried to
make // tried to mend // tried to reach // tried to recall // tried to
pun // [One iamb, two anapest] feet // [
make up an eight-syllable] beat.  // Selec- // tions will do // for fiv
past, // maybe catch // close enough to
make you jump, or far away, // the thud as one more apple hits the mud
what he says, // through these ideas he
makes a worthy guide; // his voice is lively, gestures wide.  // The su
ay Market square // Jacob van Artevelde
makes an expansive gesture // towards the setting sun.  // Go west, you
reath the scents the sea-winds bring //
makes another lingering turn, begins // Hear the marsh-birds calling /
, busily, without rising from her seat,
makes everyone shuffle up in order to allow Judith to sit down.  They
an incense.  // The impregnable fortress
makes fish cake.  // Fried kind’s of seafood in monolith // Do the cris
a future that // revives, replenishes,
makes good // the damaged present, this dark night?  // Not to return t
ell // with her who to her lover’s side
makes haste: // jump willing into every word-filled well.  // That book
g his lesson, the great Michelangelo //
makes his work lasting by carving in stone— // me, I’m not looking for
the shapes, and using a charcoal stick,
makes some small additions.  And it becomes a scene, a group of people
d shrieking.  // It pushes us harder, //
makes us grow broader and taller, // sweeps spray from our tops, // dr
rch in formation.  // The wind feeds us,
makes us strong.  // Occasionally, I catch glimpses // of the ranks ahe
me on wild boar’s head.  // If Aristotle
makes you choke // eat me instead.  // My ancestor caused Eve to know /
against your ear a shell // whose music
makes your languid pulses race: // fall, fall into the writer’s well-c
triking gamma from consideration // and
making an approximate relation // by tying beta up with mu and lambda.
chicken // is just the egg’s // way of
making // another egg // then what I should // not be doing // is coun
Place the kettle on the cordless base
making sure it is positioned correctly. // Plug in and swit
ke the turn on the zero, not the one //
making the twentieth century only // ninety-nine years long.) // Béla
sh husband transforms into // Yorkshire
male , expecting // tea on the table when he returns from work // in a
Tarn.  // Then back to skirt the edge of
Malham Cove, // with fields below and limestone crags above; // descen
ds on, // a gentler walk, to bare bleak
Malham Tarn.  // Then back to skirt the edge of Malham Cove, // with fi
t the tail end of my colon: // probably
malignant .  // ‘Malignant’ seems too strong a word.  // I’m sure it does
of my colon: // probably malignant.  // ‘
Malignant ’ seems too strong a word.  // I’m sure it doesn’t really want
g the window.  // That waft of scent?  A
malodourous revenant?  // Don’t be silly, that’s just the bin—needs emp
and splits apart Edwardian disdain.  //
Man and drill are two, and now are one: // no perfectability except ou
they easily win—but // there was an old
man called Michael Finnegan— // crowds stopped by his strange shenanig
Beginagain // There was an old
man called Michael Finnegan.  // He grew whiskers on his chin—but // th
and comfort in—but // there was an old
man called Michael Finnegan.  // The wind came up and blew him in again
g, searching in—but // there was an old
man called Michael Finnegan— // thought his profile needed broadening
azing into // one window; but one young
man half-turned // across the rest, looking with unfocussed eyes // in
// boldness and vision—I know just the
man .  // He has built me some buses which boosted my ego—the // Heather
ards the setting sun.  // Go west, young
man ?  No, this is about // a century and a half before Columbus.  // He
ain.  // Skirting the back of the Little
Man precipice, // one final push up the ridge to the pinnacle.  // Now
a rondeau // In any season, some young
man will wander // along the byways, thoughts tragic or tender— // of
s a bullet, stray.  // There was a young
man writhing in the splinters of the shattered window pane.  // There w
e’s Yard in Cambridge when it was still
managed by Jim Ede (he would pick up a Brancusi stone head, or a small
to-pole // scoop out the mushy core.  //
Mango : // find the flat sides of the stone // slice alongside // almos
ically.  The kettle can be switched off
manually by putting the switch to the ‘OFF’ position. // To
er to enrol, when they come to Paris //
Manuel de Falla and Igor Stravinsky.  // A turn, a period of change?  //
f place we know but little // across so
many alien lands and seas // some people have some nasty new disease. 
of us, but it felt right. //
Many art galleries in many places.  Three solid days in the Uffizi in
to our hands).  She introduced me to so
many artists.  As I have visited other places, I have found other trea
w the evanescent airs // moistening the
many -coloured earths.  // In forests and in open spaces // there are ti
ll.  // Between the endpoints there were
many days // —or should have been—for many kinds of loving.  // Did I l
well for wind: we care not a tittle.  //
Many die—thus limiting their needs.  // This time, the bug’s not spread
d too.  Back to Sheffield again.  // How
many friends have you outlived?  Eventually // the Sheffield ties beco
e many days // —or should have been—for
many kinds of loving.  // Did I love enough? use every day?  // Days fo
Babylon by candlelight // How
many miles to Barnard Castle?  // Three score, out/return // Can I go t
s bleeding into seasons.  // Just not so
many more.  //
just the four— // but the chemists need
many more.  // The top of the table is sparse, but every second period
voices, ipods, phones speak out.  // So
many people talking: can we doubt // that somewhere herein lies some
ht. // Many art galleries in
many places.  Three solid days in the Uffizi in Florence.  Walking in
ich will both inspire and destroy // so
many poets and other artists // which will drag us // kicking and scre
tar.  // To the sharp senses, nature has
many sharp lines.  //
even if living in zen.  // Gloves are a
many -splendoured thing.  Gloves make the world go round, and all’s fai
Anyway, the cancer can be blamed // for
many things.  Hard to tell, now, // which failing faculties to place /
absurd.  // In the beginning there were
many words: // sitting, lying all around // in bags or scattered on th
the Mediterranean waves roll on.  // How
many years, decades, centuries // have I lain upon this sandy seafloor
the final prop.  A hundred yards // of
man’s best effort at defence // drops thirty feet into a hole.  // One
istances // that only roughly match the
map .  At others, though, // we have to guess.  // The woods are full of
y unaided—I // just have to check on my
map for the best way back.  // Reading a map now, I have to use spectac
map for the best way back.  // Reading a
map now, I have to use spectacles.  // Carry them with me wherever I wa
s // Pribble and prabble: as // Nigel’s
marauding and // taking two toeholds in // Essex and Kent, // Emily Th
take on the purpose of the wind; // we
march in formation.  // The wind feeds us, makes us strong.  // Occasion
le, or cross a mountain range?  // Did I
march towards my fate, // or did I merely hang on by my fingernails //
Five politicians… // … and one poet //
Margaret Thatcher // observed that her natu- // ral son and heir // wa
deposes poor Boris, and // gets the Red
Margaret to look at the case.  // “It’s been a fiasco, a drain on our t
emists and their sort // ** because the
margin is too narrow for a full report // Turns out† that the seventh
ain towards the sea.  // Along the muddy
margins , in the lee // of the sea-wall, around the bladder-wrack, // l
ning back towards the sea.  // Along the
margins waders // scutter, scavenge—redshank, // godwit, curlew—long /
o forty-five million:  Pacific Ocean //
Marianas Trench, Macquarie Ridge, Mendocino Seascarp // the shape of t
ut much attention to metre, until I can
mark its end with such a strong and obvious rhyme // that even if my a
t of water can be measured by the level
mark on the outside of the kettle.  Never fill the kettle above the MA
through, and can be climbed // inside)
mark out the sandy/grassy bank that is // the cliff.  A narrow sandy b
nd forty miles // to the south-west:  //
marked by a bolt embedded in // the Newlyn harbour wall.  // One day, a
arks.  // Grass on the lineside banks is
marked // with smears of fires, burnt and black.  // The bogeys go: cl
Aix was as far as he went.  // In Friday
Market square // Jacob van Artevelde makes an expansive gesture // tow
alls stripped and undecorated, but with
marks and signs accumulated over a century and a bit.  There is an are
re is an area about 2ft square of brush
marks in a darker paint, made by a house-painter cleaning his brush af
dark, but the raging fire // of the sun
marks passing time.  // Far down below, the earth // is mostly water.  /
l, but // was no great shakes // in the
marriage stakes.  //
Meet a dashing young fellow rambler.  //
Marry , find a home // on the very edge of Sheffield // facing the Derb
ter moves away to teach, and then // to
marry me.  Son develops // schizophrenia.  // After G’s death, a chance
nes.  The bows face seaward // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // against the current pushing strongly townward. 
ns, changes in the harbour; // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // at the bar the waves are washing over.  // Breat
and the sandbanks.  Listing // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // boats are stranded at their stations, waiting /
waters reach and lift them // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // echoes of the distant sea-swell rock them // Br
its steady, slow accretion // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // in places it has lost, reoccupation // Breath t
ther lingering turn, begins // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // retreating back the way it came, regains // Bre
the creek a gentle trickle // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // the drying sand with muddy spots bespeckled.  //
the boats around once more // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // to face the town, runs headlong for the bar, //
tmarsh channels water rises // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // to the edges of the sea-grass—pauses, // Breath
kle.  On the soft, receding // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // water’s edge, the birds are searching, finding.
tidal creeks // meandering through the
marsh // carve out sections of bank // leaving sharp cliffs of compact
oat listing on the mudflat.  // The salt-
marsh , the sedge and the samphire, // the oyster-catcher, the egret, t
s // a calmer green oasis, band of salt-
marsh // where barn-owls hunt their prey.  But not for long // —imperm
along the dunes that run // between the
marshes and the sea.  The sun // is low ahead of us, the sky is clear.
ick; Woodbastwick; Winterton // fences;
marshes ; footbridges // One to ten thousand:  Cambridge // Petty Cury;
shingle beach.  // The mile south to the
Martello tower, // we walk along the banked-up track // behind the wal
e)— // Beethoven’s music is just bloody
marvellous , // resonates on though the print becomes faint; // just as
ing nails, staples, cuphooks, clouts //
masonry nails, screw-eyes, picture hooks // wallplugs, rivets, self-ta
young rambler, you take part // in the
mass trespass on Kinderscout.  // Meet a dashing young fellow rambler. 
Becalmed // Run all the sails up the
mast // Way-hay, blow us away // But we are bound for nowhere fast //
// tiny light // twigs catch // strike
match // flame unfurls // twigs catch // smoke curls // flame unfurls
ames and distances // that only roughly
match the map.  At others, though, // we have to guess.  // The woods a
Bonfire // Dark night // strike
match // tiny light // twigs catch // strike match // flame unfurls //
lunch, setting plaster // string, cord,
matchstick , tallow, vardo // cromarty, ringwold or savage ground // sm
axiteles?  // I cannot now recall.  // No
matter !  Now, in a stranger place, a colder clime, // with no arms, on
love the flowers in the hedgerows // no
matter what the season of the year.  // At any time or season of the ye
// through box and holly grown to full
maturity // to an iron-gated pointed arch // piercing the wall, built
// William Walton not yet born.  // But
Maurice Ravel has just joined // the Société des Apaches // (or Bunch
ettle.  Never fill the kettle above the
MAX level and ensure that it is always above the MIN level. //
xed— // but each interval passing by //
may be notched on a stick.  // Not yet to be fixed // while the long ni
When the kettle has boiled the water
may be poured out through the spout. //
This
may be the end // The dance // On the continent // In her very own mon
the lines be blurred just right, // You
may go there with your eyesight.  //
the appliance has just switched off you
may have to wait a few minutes before switching back on. //
came up and blew it in again.  // Beards
may need some clipping, shortening // left alone they easily win—but /
agons, for I am well of love.  // Apples
may perhaps be comforting // as any fruit, though Suliman’s pilaf // i
e continent // In her very own month of
May // she says “Now’s the time—fix the day.  // You dance to my tune,
lean-raked earth // Where tender shoots
may venture forth // On weed-o’er-run Shalott?  // She who hath this ga
wipe us out in // ten or a thousand or
maybe a million years, // it seems to be acting // not in its own best
kicking and screaming of course // but
maybe also wailing and gnashing our teeth // into the maelstrom, the f
sters sway, // the clouds scud past, //
maybe catch // close enough to make you jump, or far away, // the thud
out our paths, or creeping through, //
maybe chancing on a hidden hollow which // will make a temporary home,
l in their place // —in muesli, say, or
maybe Christmas cake, // or more appropriately, Suliman’s pilaf.  // Bu
r some seconds.  // No, more than that. 
Maybe for a day— // even more maybe—for a year and a day // in Norfolk
an that.  Maybe for a day— // even more
maybe —for a year and a day // in Norfolk where the sign reads slow you
Gathering dark //
Maybe , for some, the resolution lies // in their cups.  Thomas certain
erstand.  // Yet here’s a thought.  Just
maybe I can // circle round the tentacles of zeta // by striking gamma
aint it for you if I had the art, // Or
maybe I should write it in a verse.  // But now the dawn has come, it d
this figment of my own imagination.  //
Maybe I should write it in a verse // with Frida as my muse and inspir
No.  // Other pocket?  // No.  // Jacket,
maybe ?  // No.  // But which jacket yesterday?  Ah, that one.  // But no. 
her window, warming // in the sun?  Or
maybe nothing—maybe she // is pensive, dreaming, lost in reverie.  // A
Plan finances—get advisor?  G’s contact
maybe // Ring M about Xmas // Ring Tony D about works in basement // T
arming // in the sun?  Or maybe nothing—
maybe she // is pensive, dreaming, lost in reverie.  // And the artist
ue or fawn, // three-quarter length, or
maybe short, // patch pockets (useless for cold hands), // thick felte
ng long ago, that icon of // a time and
maybe social group // —and then, when that one died, one more.  // Wher
ed, did we say // our last goodbyes, or
maybe they // just slipped away— // I cannot say.  //
/ a walled garden, left untended // for
maybe thirty years.  A winding path // leads from the glazed back door
East Hills // Hills?  Well, dunes //
maybe two or three metres above // mean sea level.  // And where’s that
Now it happens my old friend is crowned
mayor of London, he // goes by the rubrik of Boris the Mad.  // He’d ad
// the sky behind the trees beyond the
meadow , // tall grasses glowing in the morning sun // below and to the
s and the hollows, // meandering across
meadows , // from a spring it flows to the sea.  //
// Mountains, valleys, moors and dales,
meadows , // hills, ravines descending, under the sky.  // Oceans, river
own and on // the mile across the river
meadows // to Grantchester.  As we walk back // against the wind it st
head.  // The prefecture of river drives
meal chicken, // Olive dish dried meat floss stir fries a leaf mustard
s // maybe two or three metres above //
mean sea level.  // And where’s that, when it’s at home?  // It’s a leve
not to spill // your precious hoard (I
mean the ones you will deliver // for tomorrow’s blackberry-and-apple
/ the bubbling brooks, that chatter and
meander ; // of Ellen, Norna, or of Rosamunde.  // Sorrow, longing, drea
oursing the straits and the hollows, //
meandering across meadows, // from a spring it flows to the sea.  //
// Across the channel, tidal creeks //
meandering through the marsh // carve out sections of bank // leaving
e-starred list of the actinoids // ‡ by
means of reactors or colliders or other toys //
ipped away.  // What it said, or what it
meant // I cannot say.  // Rainbow-bright, or black and white, // or au
ain // on its way down.  // It’s a level
measured // a century ago and // three hundred and forty miles // to t
// The amount of water can be
measured by the level mark on the outside of the kettle.  Never fill t
rives meal chicken, // Olive dish dried
meat floss stir fries a leaf mustard.  // The small bowl of wedding rec
nstructed, // for some architectural or
mechanical purpose // now half-forgotten.  Electrical components.  // A
rn out not to be churches.  // Wonderful
mechanisms in the civic belltower— // a giant musical box.  // There on
w recall.  // On the lands bordering the
Mediterranean , // empires rise and fall.  Battles are fought, // wars
of a mile or more // straight up // the
Mediterranean waves roll on.  // How many years, decades, centuries //
in the mass trespass on Kinderscout.  //
Meet a dashing young fellow rambler.  // Marry, find a home // on the v
n just a few days’ time, these two will
meet // and clash — and I’m to be the battle ground.  // The field is r
tch to cast?  // No, I’m glad we did not
meet // before the alotted time: // that we could reach this perfect k
pray?  // Old friends, new friends did I
meet ?  // I cannot say.  // And when we parted, did we say // our last g
ng // intersect or fork.  Some of these
meeting -points // are signposted with names and distances // that only
icking up the pieces // wrapping up the
meeting // shutting up shop //
e, unmeasured angle.  // Last September,
meeting you.  // The world looks different now.  //
of sun or rain or passing cloud // more
meetings with old friends // more talks, more silences // more sleeps,
are drawn.  // Whichever wins, whichever
meets defeat, // the relict of the fight will be my wound.  // I am tra
// leave the pith and pips.  // Papaya,
melon : // pole-to-pole // scoop out the mushy core.  // Mango: // find
full of streams, // swollen with spring
melt .  But an old pine forest // always provides a bridge.  The trunks
Channels and banks of shingle shift and
melt , // form and reform each ebb and flow, each moonphase // and each
brief hour // the air is warm enough to
melt // the topmost layer.  The frost returns // to make a crust.  The
shaped, still half-covered // in slowly
melting ice.  On the far side // the steep snow-covered slopes rise up
d of course // extracted from my fickle
memory — // elusive and illusive treasure, she.  //
a way.  // The final fray // remains in
memory , for good or ill, // another day.  // I cannot say // whether I
t Fire // is something else again.  // A
memory // (nineteen-sixty-one or so—my teens—already // between the en
ood journeys by rail come back // to my
memory , patterns of clickety-clack.  // But that was then.  Now the rai
es of New Yorkers, like lambs.  It is a
memory that Judith treasures for the rest of her life. //
rs.  // It had to be, but it was not the
memory we needed.  // So three months later, we met again // on a Suffo
gels wear to tread.  I’ll wear not what
men say.  //
rage around me // where I stood for all
men to see?  // I cannot now recall.  // Cities flourish and decay.  In
ed to love // tried to make // tried to
mend // tried to reach // tried to recall // tried to see // tried to
an // Marianas Trench, Macquarie Ridge,
Mendocino Seascarp // the shape of the world // One to thirty million:
id I march towards my fate, // or did I
merely hang on by my fingernails // while the tornado raged around me?
d speed.  // Build power.  // Pull in.  //
Merge .  // Retract.  // Slacken.  // Settle.  // Pause.  // Repeat twice da
attactive girl be?  // I have heard the
mermaids singing, each to each.  // I do not think that they will sing
ss two; or three for cymbelline; // the
merry wives of windsor, four; // five othello; six for king lear; // s
sirens, of course // can offer no such
message .  Theirs // is a one-way invitation to the rocks.  // But me, n
e occasion, // we read the flower-borne
messages // and talked to relatives not seen for years.  // It had to b
nt, new quill pen, and ink.  // Employ a
messenger .  // I love you.  // Curtained parlour.  Send a letter.  // Scen
ew papyrus, brush and ink.  // Command a
messenger .  // I love you.  // Draughty hall.  Now send a letter.  // Parc
y tablet, stylus, scribe.  // Entrust to
messenger .  // I love you.  // Flowing Nile.  Send a letter.  // New papyr
we needed.  // So three months later, we
met again // on a Suffolk shingle beach.  // In November the days were
of a Greek hotel // in summer, where we
met and all was well; // the end, the moment life just seemed to drain
most a half-century ago // when I first
met your daughter // I have known fragments, snatches— // some now hal
tins // for cocoa or throat lozenges or
metal polish, // jars for all sorts of jams and pickles.  Washers // a
ooks // wallplugs, rivets, self-tapping
metal screws, // rubber tap washers and fibre sealing rings.  // The ja
and hammers and screwed-on wood- // and
metal -working vices added to those // caused by generations of kitchen
and carry on without much attention to
metre , until I can mark its end with such a strong and obvious rhyme /
lls?  Well, dunes // maybe two or three
metres above // mean sea level.  // And where’s that, when it’s at home
undred and sixty:  Truro and Falmouth //
Mevagissey ; Mingoose; Mabe Burnthouse // footpaths; phone boxes; inns
win—but // there was an old man called
Michael Finnegan— // crowds stopped by his strange shenanigan // calle
ginagain // There was an old man called
Michael Finnegan.  // He grew whiskers on his chin—but // the wind came
t in—but // there was an old man called
Michael Finnegan.  // The wind came up and blew him in again.  //
g in—but // there was an old man called
Michael Finnegan— // thought his profile needed broadening // thought
gone; // learning his lesson, the great
Michelangelo // makes his work lasting by carving in stone— // me, I’m
ted forty years ago // and filed in the
middens of my mind.  // And in my mind it conjures up a vision // of th
5 months pregnant at the time.  A tiny
middle -aged New York woman, sitting on a bench seat, observes the situ
countries; seas // One to ten million: 
Middle East // Bam Posht; Badiyat ash Sham; Bisharin // railways; bord
is the beginning and // the bit in the
middle is // as long as a piece of string.  //
some wind to blow us away // Adrift the
middle of the sea // Way-hay, blow us away // And there is nothing her
nal oblivion— // when the time comes, I
might add, not just yet.  //
’t have put them.  // Move anything they
might be behind or under.  // Look inside anything they might be in.  //
or under.  // Look inside anything they
might be in.  // Turn the place upside down.  // Bedroom again, more dra
have crossed, // some passing chance of
might -have-been, // a different stitch to cast?  // No, I’m glad we did
is not raisins // but flagons.  Flagons
might indeed // distract me, or Suliman, from his pilaf.  // But stay m
death, a chance // for something new: 
migrate south // to London, two grandchildren, // and a world to explo
are flying out // on their twice-a-day
migration between feeding grounds // in lop-sided vees and slanting li
walk to the edge of town and on // the
mile across the river meadows // to Grantchester.  As we walk back //
rest floor, streams and all.  // A seven-
mile climb // brings us to a hidden jewel lake, // soup-spoon-shaped,
nks of Christmas pine // which begins a
mile down the road // and into whose dense interior // we sometimes ve
Square
mile // Farringdon Without (north side) //
it hits just right // the spray rises a
mile into the air // (or so it seems to me), to crash back down— // yo
s hair is white all through.) // ‘Every
mile is two’? no, hardly thus.  // Some miles are ten, while others sw
Dance // A quarter of a
mile or more // straight up // the Mediterranean waves roll on.  // How
p to the tops // of your gumboots.  The
mile or two // to the village shop to seek supplies // becomes a daily
les all along the shingle beach.  // The
mile south to the Martello tower, // we walk along the banked-up track
a one-sided smile // that was off by a
mile .  // Tony Blair // floated on air // when Maggie’s encomium // cam
Distance chart // Cambridge–Camden 59
miles //
mile is two’? no, hardly thus.  // Some
miles are ten, while others swiftly pass.  //
Bridge—and now I flick my wand // some
miles of dale and moor to skip across // and find myself in wooded Jan
as come.  // Should I start crawling the
miles remaining, or // should I stay put in the hope of a rescuer?  //
Babylon by candlelight // How many
miles to Barnard Castle?  // Three score, out/return // Can I go there,
tury ago and // three hundred and forty
miles // to the south-west: // marked by a bolt embedded in // the New
Notes to a life //
Milk // Sausages or chops // Veg—broccoli?  // Some fruit // Present fo
and liked a lass from Lancashire; // so
milk -white was her skin.  // In Cheddar Gorge the chaffinches // were t
turns from work // in a Sheffield steel
mill .  // Daughter moves away to teach, and then // to marry me.  Son d
unfinished or of peaceful earth, // the
mill -girl’s beauty or the maiden’s death, // the trout that dart and p
the shape of the world // One to thirty
million :  Eurasia // Kuril’skiye Ostrova; Kirgiz Step; Karakoram Ra //
ilways; borders; deserts // One to five
million :  Gulf of St Lawrence // Shickshock Mountains; Shippegan Islan
ram Ra // countries; seas // One to ten
million :  Middle East // Bam Posht; Badiyat ash Sham; Bisharin // rail
Upscale down // One to forty-five
million :  Pacific Ocean // Marianas Trench, Macquarie Ridge, Mendocino
e Sable // bays; harbours // One to one
million two hundred and fifty thousand:  Low Countries // Gelderland;
h lake // dense forest // rough moor //
million -year moor // ten-million-year mountain // hundred-year forest
rough moor // million-year moor // ten-
million -year mountain // hundred-year forest // hundred-million-year s
ntain // hundred-year forest // hundred-
million -year sea // ten-thousand-year lake // thousand-year stream //
out in // ten or a thousand or maybe a
million years, // it seems to be acting // not in its own best interes
and ensure that it is always above the
MIN level. // Only fill the kettle with the amount of water
it clearly.  So why does it come to my
mind ?  // A couple of reasons.  One, that it had to be bolted // down t
s ago // and filed in the middens of my
mind .  // And in my mind it conjures up a vision // of the image that i
in the middens of my mind.  // And in my
mind it conjures up a vision // of the image that inspired it: a scatt
// or rhyme, // no.  // Words go // from
mind // like snow.  // A line // to show // can’t find, // no.  //
way to move, to go, // to travel in the
mind , some gentle // way to wander into // a better place, a future th
.  // Objective // In my groin and in my
mind’s eye:  // A tube inside a tube inside a tube // —only the last li
aneously sweet and tart, // sharp on my
mind’s tongue.  Why is it that // this latter-day fruit so often disap
Isaac’s head.  // His inspiration is not
mine // (the apple said).  //
ixty:  Truro and Falmouth // Mevagissey;
Mingoose ; Mabe Burnthouse // footpaths; phone boxes; inns // One to tw
nd of the bench in the garage sits // a
miniature wooden eight-drawered chest // given to me (budding carpente
ic variations, // awaiting Dr Johnson’s
ministrations , // waiting to discover their relations, // find their d
// It changes direction from minute to
minute ; // gives me siblings to chase or criss-cross // over and under
gretted, felt cheated by // that twenty-
minute hiatus.  // But the fire bore us no grudge, // and welcomed us b
the wind.  // It changes direction from
minute to minute; // gives me siblings to chase or criss-cross // over
switched off you may have to wait a few
minutes before switching back on. // When the kettle has bo
d from side to side.  // I look into the
mirror , but it’s cracked // And won’t be fixed and always did refract
t flew the web and floated wide; // The
mirror crack’d from side to side.  // I look into the mirror, but it’s
not think that they will sing to me.  //
Mirror mirror on the wall // who is the fairest of them all?  // (The c
nk that they will sing to me.  // Mirror
mirror on the wall // who is the fairest of them all?  // (The cruel lo
Post truth // ‘Oh
Mirror that hangs on the wall // who is the fairest of all?’  // The mi
er hand.  // See the pretty girl in that
mirror there— // Who can that attactive girl be?  // I have heard the m
All done with
mirrors // One Friday morning when we set sail // and our ship not far
stness of her room.  // Only through the
mirror’s gloam // Dared she look to Camelot.  // Not until the fateful
l // who is the fairest of all?’  // The
mirror’s reply // with no hint of a sigh // is to show him his face, w
r hair belly.  // The day boiler duck is
miscellaneous .  //
// help!  They are missing, I must have
mislaid them when // finding my way through the scree so much earlier.
ss: // watch now: if you blink you will
miss // the instant jagged challenge passing between them // or down t
ht // I fed it all the bits that it had
missed : // fragments around the edges of the blaze.  // Even now, // I
llen behind.  // Two of our cushions are
missing // from the sofa just outside the door.  // It really is very a
brary book.  // Five of our cushions are
missing .  // How can we counter-attack?  // Perhaps if we asked him poli
any more.  // Three of our cushions are
missing .  // I don’t know quite what to say.  // It seems that there mus
erever I wander… but // help!  They are
missing , I must have mislaid them when // finding my way through the s
shions away // Four of our cushions are
missing .  // It’s getting beyond a bad joke.  // Destroying our comfort’
our cushions // One of our cushions is
missing — // I’m sure that there’s one I can’t find.  // How could it su
em all back.  // Six of our cushions are
missing .  // The culprit must now be unmasked.  // It’s becoming quite c
is fading // as the day slides into the
mist .  // Morning is always the morning.  //
the stick // as the day slides into the
mist .  // The long night’s images last.  // But now the light is fading
aid.  // The previous occupant, known as
Mister Gray, // (easier than his proper name of Gouriet) // had come a
walk // Looking backwards, I can see //
mistily , the shape of things: // the steps which, added up, construct
// Working all day at her loom, // Her
mistress never left the womb // That was the fastness of her room.  //
At the end of summer, and in the first
mists // or wild winds of autumn, on the wild Suffolk heath, // the wi
variant has found // how good sex is—to
mix the genes around.  // The plants, the fish, the dinosaurs, the apes
/ throw half away // more flour, water,
mix well // mollycoddle for one day // put in pouch // ready to go //
Ode to the yeast wind // flour, water,
mix well // mollycoddle for one day // throw half away // more flour,
/ throw half away // more flour, water,
mix well // mollycoddle for one day // throw half away // more flour,
/ throw half away // more flour, water,
mix well // mollycoddle for one day // throw half away // more flour,
er, babouche // borrowed light, dimpse,
mizzle , skylight // ammonite, mahogany, archive // plummett // Note: 
rizontal; // East Hills aglow.  // Winds
moaning round the corners and the rooftops, // rushing wild clouds acr
ly // when my mother, acquiring a newer
model , donated // the reject to us for our new home.  Or was it // not
, on billboards high displayed, // each
model posed in languid attitude, // in birthday suit and little else a
// I go to work.  // Judith, artist, //
models in clay or plaster, // casts in plaster or cement or resin, //
e waters // blow the evanescent airs //
moistening the many-coloured earths.  // In forests and in open spaces
elt, dove tale, pigeon // mouse’s back,
mole’s or elephant’s breath // peignoir, charlotte’s locks, nancy’s bl
away // more flour, water, mix well //
mollycoddle for one day // put in pouch // ready to go // // // Reci
yeast wind // flour, water, mix well //
mollycoddle for one day // throw half away // more flour, water, mix w
away // more flour, water, mix well //
mollycoddle for one day // throw half away // more flour, water, mix w
away // more flour, water, mix well //
mollycoddle for one day // throw half away // more flour, water, mix w
I really know of your life!  // From the
moment almost a half-century ago // when I first met your daughter //
e met and all was well; // the end, the
moment life just seemed to drain // away from you, in those last days
Another senior
moment // Pocket.  // No.  No?  No.  // Other pocket?  // No.  // Jacket,
ll be time // time for all the timeless
moments , taken // out of time.  // Afternoon in winter, on the ramparts
me.  // For all the real and everlasting
moments , // there will be time.  //
// time will tell.  // Those are not the
moments to remember: // they can be consigned to passing time.  // For
to Glasgow 6th-7th // Camera in bag for
Mon // Did I submit tax form??  // Check L’s dob—70 next b/day?  // Dent
to produce a fine plan.  // We also need
money —of course private finance will // jump to join in, but needs tim
or cold hands), // thick felted wool, a
monk -like hood— // and with (the most important thing) // those wooden
ish cake.  // Fried kind’s of seafood in
monolith // Do the crispy bean curd of boiler, // Blow up a little cro
Vagrant
monosyllables // Let he who is without zen… but there is a multitude o
, wheels bigger than me— // a great big
monster , steaming, black.  // The bogeys go: click-clack click-clack. 
to build the Channel Tunnel link.  // A
monstrous hole, quite big enough to eat // the park and all the houses
o life should now appear // as it did a
month gone, // BC (Before Capricorn).  // But of course that is not so.
// On the continent // In her very own
month of May // she says “Now’s the time—fix the day.  // You dance to
turns // to make a crust.  The next two
months // are clear and fine and bitter cold.  // Every step, // your f
n the past— // until the day, just nine
months gone, // when both lines crossed an edge, // and two seemed to
s not the memory we needed.  // So three
months later, we met again // on a Suffolk shingle beach.  // In Novemb
ng as there are no seats; she is 4 or 5
months pregnant at the time.  A tiny middle-aged New York woman, sitti
The moon in June // A crescent
moon , // a winter sky.  // It’s Jan, not June.  // A red balloon, // way
lloon, // way up high, // with crescent
moon // from cold immune.  // Let snow lie, // it’s Jan, not June.  // A
The
moon in June // A crescent moon, // a winter sky.  // It’s Jan, not Jun
ome soon // warm and dry.  // A crescent
moon .  // It’s Jan, not June.  //
, // the deep blue sky.  // The crescent
moon // some cryptic rune.  // The senses fly.  // It’s Jan, not June.  /
form and reform each ebb and flow, each
moonphase // and each season (the navigation buoys must needs // be re
// Catch them at it – // there must be
moonshine .  //
There must be
moonshine // Fin de siècle.  // Ethel Sargant, botanist // (Girton stud
twice daily.  // (Not by the sun // —use
moontime // instead).  //
mountain // running stream // rambling
moor // changing sea // blue sea // silver lake // purple moor // gree
nd-year stream // narrow stream // open
moor // deep lake // high mountain // wide sea // close forest // by l
// by lake and stream // by forest and
moor // from sea to mountain to sea //
ea // blue sea // silver lake // purple
moor // green forest // clear stream // grey mountain // jagged mounta
// smooth lake // dense forest // rough
moor // million-year moor // ten-million-year mountain // hundred-year
flashing stream // bright sea // rugged
moor // sharp mountain // still lake // resting lake // rustling fores
se forest // rough moor // million-year
moor // ten-million-year mountain // hundred-year forest // hundred-mi
/ The drystone wall slanting across the
moor , // the heather and the bracken, the moss, the lichen, // the cro
// to leave behind, for now, the wilder
moor .  // The treasures to be found along my path // are elemental: wat
flick my wand // some miles of dale and
moor to skip across // and find myself in wooded Janet’s Foss.  // Upst
tening mud left by the ebb-tide.  // The
moored boat listing on the mudflat.  // The salt-marsh, the sedge and t
, under the sky.  // Mountains, valleys,
moors and dales, meadows, // hills, ravines descending, under the sky.
e of Sheffield // facing the Derbyshire
moors .  // But the next war comes, and D is now called up.  // First to
into the mist.  // Morning is always the
morning .  //
Cape Cod
Morning // Almost accidental, but carefully composed: // the sky behin
day // brighter now // here to stay //
morning glow // time to rise // feeling slow // rub eyes // yawn and s
// would last for days and days.  Each
morning I came down, // expecting to find it cold, but every day // th
// as the day slides into the mist.  //
Morning is always the morning.  //
Morning //
Morning is always the morning // of an uncompleted day.  // Not until l
Morning // Morning is always the morning // of an uncompleted day.  //
Morning // Morning is always the
morning // of an uncompleted day.  // Not until light is fading // has
meadow, // tall grasses glowing in the
morning sun // below and to the right.  And rising left // the Cape Co
ed window bay // in darker wood.  Clear
morning sunlight fills // the room we glimpse inside.  A woman leans /
All done with mirrors // One Friday
morning when we set sail // and our ship not far from land // (Navigat
g for declension, conjugation, // other
morphologic variations, // awaiting Dr Johnson’s ministrations, // wai
or, // the heather and the bracken, the
moss , the lichen, // the cropped grass, the sheep- and rabbit-dropping
/ Trees and bushes, shrubs and flowers,
mosses , // ferns and grasses waving under the sky.  // Islands, beaches
the timing that disturbs.  The line //
mostly carries suburban trains; more rarely, // carriages decked in th
glimpses // of the ranks ahead.  // But
mostly , I can see // only the back // of the one immediately in front.
ns out† that the seventh layer consists
mostly of ones that do not exist // but need‡ to be synthesised.  Some
ime.  // Far down below, the earth // is
mostly water.  // From across the waters // blow the evanescent airs //
machine was already elderly // when my
mother , acquiring a newer model, donated // the reject to us for our n
sensuous flesh joins love’s embrace.  //
Mother and child are two, and now are one: // no perfectability except
e.  // Twenty three years later, when my
mother died // we had the proper formal funeral.  // (She had chosen th
And then when he ships out, // back to
mother , in a two-up-two-down // full of family and lodgers.  Daughter
ld war) // in Sheffield, steel town.  //
Mother once ran a fish-and-chip shop.  // A young rambler, you take par
Iken Hall // Later, my
mother will describe the house itself // as ugly.  No such thought wou
dilapidated country house // that is my
mother’s next big venture after // producing six of us.  // L-shaped th
on // spell broken // sleep gone // in
motion // sun on skin // door open // breathe in.  // Now begin.  //
ing lines.  // Chomsky looked for deeper
motivation // underneath their surface combinations.  // Now Brin and P
ible within.  // Gathered round about, a
motley crew // of categories in boxes, jars and tins: // the larger bo
one snoring in the tent next door, // a
motorcycle coursing up the lane.  // Night-time noises permeate the air
clear stream // grey mountain // jagged
mountain // choppy sea // swirling stream // smooth lake // dense fore
/ million-year moor // ten-million-year
mountain // hundred-year forest // hundred-million-year sea // ten-tho
// green forest // clear stream // grey
mountain // jagged mountain // choppy sea // swirling stream // smooth
// fall through a wormhole, or cross a
mountain range?  // Did I march towards my fate, // or did I merely han
ing lake // rustling forest // tumbling
mountain // running stream // rambling moor // changing sea // blue se
m // bright sea // rugged moor // sharp
mountain // still lake // resting lake // rustling forest // tumbling
am // by forest and moor // from sea to
mountain to sea //
tream // open moor // deep lake // high
mountain // wide sea // close forest // by lake and stream // by fores
alm air.  A winter storm // brings wild
mountains of water crashing down // to redefine the contours of the sh
ion:  Gulf of St Lawrence // Shickshock
Mountains ; Shippegan Island; Cape Sable // bays; harbours // One to on
world for wandering, under the sky.  //
Mountains , valleys, moors and dales, meadows, // hills, ravines descen
less.  // Lone expedition to conquer the
mountaintop .  // Bottle of water and lunch in my haversack.  // Climb by
hildren: // a wooden board on which are
mounted // battery box, switches, lights, buzzers, plugs // and connec
assica, hay, pelt, dove tale, pigeon //
mouse’s back, mole’s or elephant’s breath // peignoir, charlotte’s loc
s Tony Blair.  // Nigel Farrage // has a
mouth like a garage— // he opens it ever so wide // and you can see al
tours of the shore.  // Around the river
mouth the tides run strong.  // Channels and banks of shingle shift and
// Places I wouldn’t have put them.  //
Move anything they might be behind or under.  // Look inside anything t
grows // eyes smart // smoke billows //
move apart // eyes smart // flames creep // move apart // flames leap
apart // eyes smart // flames creep //
move apart // flames leap // flames creep // growing bright // flames
urse the second.  // Of course we should
move slowly for some seconds.  // No, more than that.  Maybe for a day—
, and agreed to sell // for demolition,
move to Camberwell.  // (Two weeks later, British Rail’s plans // were
o do?  // Can we not // find some way to
move , to go, // to travel in the mind, some gentle // way to wander in
t a draught from the door.  // That tiny
movement in the corner?  The hem of an emerging apparition?  // Don’t b
and barbs, // fastens itself inside.  //
Movement is faster, edgier, rougher.  // Rough softness grows // but ha
to Schubert’s Trout Quintet // the slow
movement is of course the second.  // Of course we should move slowly f
cross, revolutions // blossom and fade,
movements // are born, copulate and die.  // But for the real turn, the
in a Sheffield steel mill.  // Daughter
moves away to teach, and then // to marry me.  Son develops // schizop
s are calling each to each: a throng //
moves north against the fading evening light.  // Slanting lines are fo
r down.  // The whistle blows, the train
moves on, // the guard’s van trundles at the back.  // The bogeys go: 
learn (for better or for worse) // what
moves us all.  // From me you’ll learn before a book.  // Don’t waste yo
ric twentieth-century American poet, //
Mr Ogden Nash, and carry on without much attention to metre, until I c
imate relation // by tying beta up with
mu and lambda.  // I can’t see clearly:  I’ll need to wander // some wa
// Mr Ogden Nash, and carry on without
much attention to metre, until I can mark its end with such a strong a
// finding my way through the scree so
much earlier.  // Later, much later, I limp into harbour.  My // family
, large.  // Beside it stands another of
much later age: // a plastic chest with small, clear plastic drawers /
gh the scree so much earlier.  // Later,
much later, I limp into harbour.  My // family playing, completely obl
e is lively, gestures wide.  // There is
much sense in what he says.  // No voices in the almost-silence that I
e is lively, gestures wide— // there is
much sense in what he says, // through these ideas he makes a worthy g
be a student or fellow— // the thief’s
much too cunning for that.  // There’s only one possible answer: // thi
ath at twenty three // reminds us of so
much we’ll never see.  // Life and death are two, and now are one: // n
to probe deep down beneath the shining
mud .  //
obing deep // beneath the // shining //
mud .  // Cold and clear.  The tide runs out, the creek // is draining b
nk // leaving sharp cliffs of compacted
mud .  // Evening.  A great dark cloud // fire-edged, blots out the sett
the rain and the air?  // The glistening
mud left by the ebb-tide.  // The moored boat listing on the mudflat.  /
ded and then left // to the encroaching
mud .  On the far bank // of the next bend, another sandy beach // to r
the falling tide reveals the deep black
mud // which oozes softly up between our toes.  Across the river // li
// the thud as one more apple hits the
muddy grass.  // Winds bowling through trees // fruit-laden boughs bent
ack again towards the sea.  // Along the
muddy margins, in the lee // of the sea-wall, around the bladder-wrack
h-birds calling // the drying sand with
muddy spots bespeckled.  // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // Th
and the corn.  // The five-bar gate, the
muddy track on the tarmac road.  // The walled paddock and the orchard,
tide.  // The moored boat listing on the
mudflat .  // The salt-marsh, the sedge and the samphire, // the oyster-
he scents the sea-winds bring // of the
mudflats and the sandbanks.  Listing // Hear the marsh-birds calling /
are all very well in their place // —in
muesli , say, or maybe Christmas cake, // or more appropriately, Sulima
// gone off the rails.  I’m not such a
mug .  // I’ve cancelled his buses, no more will I pay for—and // now on
e the long approach road to the Kröller-
Müller museum outside Amsterdam.  The Hermitage in Leningrad in Soviet
t he who is without zen… but there is a
multitude of zens.  The zens of the fathers are visited on the sons, e
he saw…  // Inspired?  Why should such a
mundane scene // so briefly glimpsed, make my muse suggest // just thr
ich I must survive, // with Frida as my
muse and inspiration— // that reality in which I live.  //
write it in a verse // with Frida as my
muse and inspiration // This figment of my own imagination // is the s
e scene // so briefly glimpsed, make my
muse suggest // just three alliterative lines—at best // a semi-stanza
ong approach road to the Kröller-Müller
museum outside Amsterdam.  The Hermitage in Leningrad in Soviet days. 
esult.  // Fragile crab of incense taste
mushroom // Do the black boiler hair belly.  // The day boiler duck is
melon: // pole-to-pole // scoop out the
mushy core.  // Mango: // find the flat sides of the stone // slice alo
ium.  // This time Judith has chosen the
music , // a Beethoven string quartet.  // Afterwards Colin and I go dow
would squander— // such richness in his
music did he render // for all of us, such beauty brought he forth; //
formal funeral.  // (She had chosen the
music for the ceremony // —a Schubert piano piece.) // Standing around
(despite it’s his wake)— // Beethoven’s
music is just bloody marvellous, // resonates on though the print beco
hold against your ear a shell // whose
music makes your languid pulses race: // fall, fall into the writer’s
isms in the civic belltower— // a giant
musical box.  // There once was a poet in Ghent // Who set out with the
ees outside…  // I try to listen, but my
musing strays.  // His voice is lively, gestures wide.  // There is much
dish dried meat floss stir fries a leaf
mustard .  // The small bowl of wedding reception stews bean bubble, //
e curtained bed next door.  // Responses
muted , though the sense is raw, // to questions orderly, while exuding
ophony.  // Through air and ether people
mutter , shout, // voices, ipods, phones speak out.  // So many people t
ignore the shop-committed crime, // the
muzakal banality which stings.  // Even I, atheist, find some of them s