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.

R

l’skiye Ostrova; Kirgiz Step; Karakoram
Ra // countries; seas // One to ten million:  Middle East // Bam Posht
n, // the cropped grass, the sheep- and
rabbit -droppings, // the bare rocks and the ridge, knife-edge against
/ whose music makes your languid pulses
race : // fall, fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // That book wi
ngular spirals // strung around precise
radial anchor lines.  // Across the channel, tidal creeks // meandering
vet, bone, calamine // lichen, brinjal,
radicchio , citron, calluna // brassica, hay, pelt, dove tale, pigeon /
ky, // lying abed beneath the cobwebbed
rafters , // warm and dry.  // On waters of the creek as smooth as satin
the two ones I must cheat.  // Rage, //
rage // against // the dying // of the light.  Do not // go gentle int
ht, // wars are lost and won.  Did they
rage around me // where I stood for all men to see?  // I cannot now re
// except for age, pure and simple.  No
rage — // just a sort of passive acceptance.  // Set against this, a cer
/ But for the two ones I must cheat.  //
Rage , // rage // against // the dying // of the light.  Do not // go g
ing faculties to place // at its door. 
Rage too against // the cessation of treatment— // but that is a sympt
by my fingernails // while the tornado
raged around me?  // Or was it just a hedge, backwards?  // Yesterday I
re bluebell woods // more curlews, more
ragged , slanting lines of geese // more travels, journeys, voyages, ex
trees against the blind.  // A storm is
raging as I lie abed, // whipped wide awake by what the thunder said. 
ng of space // the sky is dark, but the
raging fire // of the sun marks passing time.  // Far down below, the e
r pushed?  // Did I leap a chasm, ford a
raging torrent, // get rolled over by an avalanche, // fall through a
rived to send us on our way.  // British
Rail announced that it would sink // a hole to build the Channel Tunne
of the train.  // Childhood journeys by
rail come back // to my memory, patterns of clickety-clack.  // But tha
y-clack.  // But that was then.  Now the
rail joints are welded, and the dominant sound // is continuous and hi
L // london clay, blackened, arsenic //
railings , pointing, down pipe, clunch, setting plaster // string, cord
is’s vanity project has // gone off the
rails .  I’m not such a mug.  // I’ve cancelled his buses, no more will
Long ago // The
railway line passes near.  // After the engine’s noisy roar, // coaches
éens pass by.  // In the end, it was the
railway // that contrived to send us on our way.  // British Rail annou
he back // a low embankment carries the
railway track.  // (Down the slope to the end of the street and right,
am Posht; Badiyat ash Sham; Bisharin //
railways ; borders; deserts // One to five million:  Gulf of St Lawrenc
amberwell.  // (Two weeks later, British
Rail’s plans // were scrapped and redesigned.  The house still stands.
th.  // Seconds later, over the drumming
rain , // a sharp wall of sound.  // Later still, after the storm has pa
in the grass.  // What do they know, the
rain and the air?  //
on the road.  // What do they know, the
rain and the air?  // The drystone wall slanting across the moor, // th
inst the sky.  // What do they know, the
rain and the air?  // The glistening mud left by the ebb-tide.  // The m
gliding gull.  // What do they know, the
rain and the air?  // The hedgerow, the field, the rapeseed and the cor
n and the air // What do they know, the
rain and the air?  // The roof, the ridgetiles, the leaves in the leade
The
rain and the air // What do they know, the rain and the air?  // The ro
ain.  // What an odd game—to swallow the
rain !  // He swallowed the rain to put out the fire.  // You’d think he’
lightning bolts // more days of sun or
rain or passing cloud // more meetings with old friends // more talks,
wide awake by what the thunder said.  //
Rain rattles on the rooftiles overhead // and beats against the window
ht is dimming now.  // Further north the
rain teems down // enough to overflow // the river Don and flood the p
o go // the clouds are low and spitting
rain .  // The light is dimming now.  // Further north the rain teems dow
o fast?  // I know only the wind and the
rain // the sun and the clouds by day, // the stars and the darkness b
buds into the waxing light, the spring
rain .  Throw open // the fire-coloured temptations, welcome in // the r
o swallow the rain!  // He swallowed the
rain to put out the fire.  // You’d think he’d expire from swallowing f
// He swallowed his hat to fend off the
rain .  // What an odd game—to swallow the rain!  // He swallowed the rai
d, or what it meant // I cannot say.  //
Rainbow -bright, or black and white, // or autumn hues, or shades of gr
// coda to our past // good lives, the
rainbow spans the sky.  //
the sea.  // Tumbling through rocks with
rainbow spray, // coursing the straits and the hollows, // meandering
bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  //
Raindrops slanting across the glass.  // We jump at a sudden sound-blas
// with no arms, one leg, no tail, but
raised high, // and head thrown back, I can dance.  //
After the floods of fifty-three // they
raised the ramparts: giant concrete blocks // on piles all along the
ments // curl around, leaving two small
raised triangles // of city herbage in city clag // —a handful of tree
The well of love //
Raisins are all very well in their place // —in muesli, say, or maybe
f love.  // The usual translation is not
raisins // but flagons.  Flagons might indeed // distract me, or Sulim
from his pilaf.  // But stay me not with
raisins nor // with flagons, for I am well of love.  // Apples may perh
eaten path // Between two beds of clean-
raked earth // Where tender shoots may venture forth // On weed-o’er-r
Thatcher // observed that her natu- //
ral son and heir // was Tony Blair.  // Nigel Farrage // has a mouth li
nd other plants.  // On one // a stately
ram , great curved horns // stands tense, alert and staring.  A few //
oute which is // known as the Allerdale
Ramble , traversing a // difficult scree but then joining an easier //
erscout.  // Meet a dashing young fellow
rambler .  // Marry, find a home // on the very edge of Sheffield // fac
ce ran a fish-and-chip shop.  // A young
rambler , you take part // in the mass trespass on Kinderscout.  // Meet
ople round the world—and I, // roaming,
rambling , drifting under the sky.  //
tumbling mountain // running stream //
rambling moor // changing sea // blue sea // silver lake // purple moo
steep snow-covered slopes rise up // to
rampart rock walls, knife-edge against // the deep blue sky.  We take
loods of fifty-three // they raised the
ramparts : giant concrete blocks // on piles all along the shingle bea
of time.  // Afternoon in winter, on the
ramparts // looking seaward, sun behind us, low, // yellow light-beams
n Sheffield, steel town.  // Mother once
ran a fish-and-chip shop.  // A young rambler, you take part // in the
st compete for life.  // Another billion
random changes: all // —or almost all—are duds.  Nevertheless // ten th
nation // (and beginning—for G) // From
random junctures in primeval winds // a billion random patterns form—u
unctures in primeval winds // a billion
random patterns form—until // an accidental spiral sequence finds // t
Random walk // Looking backwards, I can see // mistily, the shape of t
through a wormhole, or cross a mountain
range ?  // Did I march towards my fate, // or did I merely hang on by m
r across the valley sound.  // The hills
ranged all around // —they little care.  // Voices far across the valle
f was counting their instantiations, //
ranking , taking logs and drawing lines.  // Chomsky looked for deeper m
ccasionally, I catch glimpses // of the
ranks ahead.  // But mostly, I can see // only the back // of the one i
and closer.  // And the noise.  // A few
ranks ahead, I see them // rearing up, up, turning over // and hear th
e unlike // the planted forest, serried
ranks of Christmas pine // which begins a mile down the road // and in
he air?  // The hedgerow, the field, the
rapeseed and the corn.  // The five-bar gate, the muddy track on the ta
// mostly carries suburban trains; more
rarely , // carriages decked in the blue and gold livery // of the Comp
Lockdown // Here’s a first-
rate opportunity— // Isolation for immunity— // To indulge in the feli
fter death would not be to my taste; //
rather , look forward to final oblivion— // when the time comes, I migh
ven if my audience hear it spoken aloud
rather than seeing it on the page they will certainly know it.  //
o feel the cold— // and my breathing is
rather uncertain.”  //
Rationale // That scratching?  A poltergeist behind the skirting?  // D
.  // This time, the bug’s not spread by
rats and fleas // but by their piss and snot and sweat and spittle.  //
the duck-weed-smothered edges // Skinny
rats sniff out the ledges, // While between the stream-floor ridges //
hin my head, what do they care?  // They
rattle round, and link, and split, and fight.  // No voices in the almo
y except our own.  // But Henri’s pieces
rattle too and shake // our sense of part and whole, netsuke-like.  //
A poem for free // The night mail
rattles north to the border // (bringing the cheque and the postal ord
awake by what the thunder said.  // Rain
rattles on the rooftiles overhead // and beats against the window with
etimes at night, // a heavy goods train
rattles the windows and plates // on the shelves.  Later, the local ru
eaking, forming // ordered chaos with a
raucous song:  // A thousand geese are flying into night.  //
nstruct and // what re-imagine?  Not to
rave // at fate, at chance, at // what has come about, but to close //
iam Walton not yet born.  // But Maurice
Ravel has just joined // the Société des Apaches // (or Bunch of Hooli
ys, moors and dales, meadows, // hills,
ravines descending, under the sky.  // Oceans, rivers, narrow channels,
// Responses muted, though the sense is
raw , // to questions orderly, while exuding care.  // Voices from the c
// left and right.  // Focus in, // each
ray // trapped on its way // from the sun.  // Bright // spot // turn /
below, left and right, // focus in each
ray .  // Trapped on its way from the sun, // bright spot, turn white ho
// in the warming sunlight.  Soak up the
rays and the air.  // Transform the coloured flower into coloured flesh
rk sea.  // On the sand, a scattering of
razor shells // that would be sharp if our toes were bare.  // Behind u
to the ‘OFF’ position. // To
re -boil the kettle, switch it on again.  If the appliance has just swi
t burn, // what reconstruct and // what
re -imagine?  Not to rave // at fate, at chance, at // what has come ab
sea-winds bring // as the rising waters
reach and lift them // Hear the marsh-birds calling // echoes of the d
he next bend, another sandy beach // to
reach by boat.  That place we call Japan: // against the sky, a line o
us, in the wood, // tall straight pines
reach for the sky, // dark trunks against the blue, // shed long thin
lesh of // the back of your hand as you
reach past to pilfer // the clusters beyond, adding scratches // to th
ld power.  // Forge ahead.  // Spread.  //
Reach .  // Slacken.  // Settle.  // Pause.  // Start.  // Tiptoe.  // Retrac
uld scan, adds an extra list.  // As we*
reach the sixth and seventh periods, short of horizontal space, // we
ne crags above; // descend the steps to
reach the valley floor— // to leave behind, for now, the wilder moor. 
fore the alotted time: // that we could
reach this perfect knot // and find ourselves at home.  //
ed to make // tried to mend // tried to
reach // tried to recall // tried to see // tried to sleep // tried to
along the beach.  Each // finds its own
reach up the foreshore, // the banked sand and shingle, perhaps // (wh
// the world around her, far as she can
reach .  // Who is this now, who dares me eat a peach?  // Time’s warring
, // nailed across two angled branches,
reached // by clambering the branches by the trunk // or (better) by t
s growing fat, // trees bending, boughs
reaching // for the ground, creaking // under the weight.  // Wander th
latest growths are long and barbed, //
reaching out to colonise the heath, // at war with the bracken.  // No
list of the actinoids // ‡ by means of
reactors or colliders or other toys //
ders’ crawls can find.  // — // A writer
read , a speaker heard, // at every word a choice has made.  // Those th
ium, // dressed for the occasion, // we
read the flower-borne messages // and talked to relatives not seen for
eck on my map for the best way back.  //
Reading a map now, I have to use spectacles.  // Carry them with me whe
and a day // in Norfolk where the sign
reads slow you down.  //
In Norfolk // In Norfolk the sign
reads slow you down // just in case we were driving too fast.  // I was
o be the battle ground.  // The field is
ready now, the lines are drawn.  // Whichever wins, whichever meets def
which // we can then haul up behind us,
ready // to defend against the next attack.  // Towards the river is a
lycoddle for one day // put in pouch //
ready to go // // // Recipe for starting a sourdough starter.  //   /
nsigned to passing time.  // For all the
real and everlasting moments, // there will be time.  //
any fruit, though Suliman’s pilaf // is
real comfort food.  But comfort me not // with apples, nor with pilaf.
n and I go down to the basement // —the
real crematorium— // and see her consigned to the flames.  // (I comple
direction to determine // whether some
real delta integration // is possible at all.  I have to try.  //
s foreshortened.  This is now, here, //
real human time.  //
One time, though, the hollow holds // a
real live snake, standing up and hissing // at our approach.  We turn
ess are far from what’s needed.  The //
real public benefit’s not even there.”  // Sadiq says “The Boris’s vani
ches by the trunk // or (better) by the
real rope-ladder, which // we can then haul up behind us, ready // to
born, copulate and die.  // But for the
real turn, the cataclysm // which will both inspire and destroy // so
t in the hope of a rescuer?  // Slowly I
realise the pain is subsiding, the // leg was not broken, and after a
ida as my muse and inspiration— // that
reality in which I live.  //
Reality // That
reality in which I live // is likely different from the one you know. 
Reality // That reality in which I live // is likely different from th
ll these transient trials pass?  // It’s
really hard to know.  // We have no crystal ball, no glass.  // The ligh
m the sofa just outside the door.  // It
really is very annoying— // I hope we don’t lose any more.  // Three of
e deep down in my abysmal gut // (well,
really , just around the final bend) // this craven kraken creeps, and
Ninety-six and counting // How little I
really know of your life!  // From the moment almost a half-century ago
Irritation.  Nuisance.  // Pain? no, not
really .  // Objective // Yellow liquid flows.  // Subjective/objective /
ts create and sometimes destroy.  Did I
really // spring from the hands of the great Praxiteles?  // I cannot n
o strong a word.  // I’m sure it doesn’t
really want // to kill me.  // Like the asteroid // barrelling onwards,
se.  // A few ranks ahead, I see them //
rearing up, up, turning over // and hear them crashing down.  // What i
does it come to my mind?  // A couple of
reasons .  One, that it had to be bolted // down to the floor, to preve
open sore, renew our sense of // time,
rebuild the day.  //
ges fenced, the house // demolished and
rebuilt .  The trees remain.  //
ood for all men to see?  // I cannot now
recall .  // Cities flourish and decay.  In forgotten corners, // artist
ard to avert shipwreck?  // I cannot now
recall .  // Generations and generations // of fishermen and trading sai
f the great Praxiteles?  // I cannot now
recall .  // No matter!  Now, in a stranger place, a colder clime, // wi
t // grandchild arrived?  I can’t quite
recall .  Nor can I now // picture it clearly.  So why does it come to
was I a trophy of war?  // I cannot now
recall .  // On the lands bordering the Mediterranean, // empires rise a
d to mend // tried to reach // tried to
recall // tried to see // tried to sleep // tried to speak // tried to
on this sandy seafloor?  // I cannot now
recall .  // Up there are storms and calms, // earthquake-waves and volc
ing // becomes a trickle.  On the soft,
receding // Hear the marsh-birds calling // water’s edge, the birds ar
ent ways.  // Days enough for giving and
receiving .  // Did I give enough?  // I cannot say.  //
f mustard.  // The small bowl of wedding
reception stews bean bubble, // The taro rolls up an incense.  // The i
put in pouch // ready to go // // //
Recipe for starting a sourdough starter.  //   // In the California gol
y speaks; // Joyce has his Liffey whose
recirculation keeps // Finnegan going (despite it’s his wake)— // Beet
garden // in Reigate, on her way to //
recognition , fellowships // (Linnean Society 1904, // Girton College 1
s tendril // before you can back out to
reconnoitre // another part of the bush.  Take care not to spill // yo
ich propel // your thoughts, destroy or
reconstruct a case: // jump willing into every word-filled well.  // Th
we salvage from it, what burn, // what
reconstruct and // what re-imagine?  Not to rave // at fate, at chance
Recorded syllables // Together and together and together, // Indeed th
d, // and that was the last syllabub of
recorded time.  // From the bottom of the barrel // the sound of scrapi
low a hook.  // He swallowed the hook to
recover the net.  // You’d scarcely bet he’d swallow a net.  // He swall
District— // family wanting to rest and
recuperate .  // Skiddaw is looming, inviting explorers—a // challenge I
a, they will emerge // a startling deep
red , and taste delicious.) // Another tree, perhaps a beech, but green
winter sky.  // It’s Jan, not June.  // A
red balloon, // way up high, // with crescent moon // from cold immune
vil deposes poor Boris, and // gets the
Red Margaret to look at the case.  // “It’s been a fiasco, a drain on o
hey lingered long in Leicestershire; //
red was the evening sky.  // By Derby town they settled down // on purp
mountains of water crashing down // to
redefine the contours of the shore.  // Around the river mouth the tide
itish Rail’s plans // were scrapped and
redesigned .  The house still stands.) //
ew generation soon finds itself // rich
rediscovering Bach’s counterpoint— // frescos are fragile, but Piero’s
e relocated every spring, the charts //
redrawn ).  // The line of pebble-dunes protects // a calmer green oasis
ay as it will go.  Let the browns // and
reds and golds replace the greens.  Now throw the canopy too // to the
the margins waders // scutter, scavenge—
redshank , // godwit, curlew—long // beaks probing deep // beneath the
ps.  The beach is good // for all.  The
redshanks , godwits, curlews search // for hidden treasure, long beaks
through the spout as this will help to
reduce the amount of limescale that builds up on the filter. //
e, // and faint starlight from space //
reflected in inky water, // the cool night air // slows down time.  //
Reflections // High up above, at the edges of the air // and the begin
of shingle shift and melt, // form and
reform each ebb and flow, each moonphase // and each season (the navig
ed // And won’t be fixed and always did
refract // The one before it into at least two.  //
order).  // Rhythmic verses with echoed
refrain // in the rhythmic clattering noise of the train.  // Childhood
f the lodgers— // Polish serviceman and
refugee — // is worth another try.  A son.  // Council house the other s
ing // retreating back the way it came,
regains // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // the channel, turns
aces, I have found other treasures, and
regret not having had the chance to show some of them to her.  Just fo
/ to take him to the house.  // I always
regretted , felt cheated by // that twenty-minute hiatus.  // But the fi
y 1904, // Girton College 1913).  // The
Reigate lab, of course // has a source // of pure water: a still.  //
0s) // builds a lab in her garden // in
Reigate , on her way to // recognition, fellowships // (Linnean Society
Tide // each new beginning //
reiterates a pattern // as old as the hills // each iteration // shift
acquiring a newer model, donated // the
reject to us for our new home.  Or was it // not until seven years lat
sideration // and making an approximate
relation // by tying beta up with mu and lambda.  // I can’t see clearl
lute, while the good // is good only in
relation to the bad.  // The chances are said // to be good.  That’s go
strations, // waiting to discover their
relations , // find their denotations, connotations.  // Roget charted t
flower-borne messages // and talked to
relatives not seen for years.  // It had to be, but it was not the memo
he siren call // is in reverse, a brief
release — // until the following night at least.  // Odysseus' sirens, o
er wins, whichever meets defeat, // the
relict of the fight will be my wound.  // I am transfixed as a horned g
tability except our own.  // In Pompidou
relief is on the wall, // wrestling figures, clinched before a fall; /
(the navigation buoys must needs // be
relocated every spring, the charts // redrawn).  // The line of pebble-
e // demolished and rebuilt.  The trees
remain .  //
Suffolk blackberries // of my childhood
remain forever perfect, // forever simultaneously sweet and tart, // s
ificent, but could not be allowed // to
remain in occupation of that space.  // And so, for two successive summ
ul purpose.  // The clutter covering the
remainder of the bench // is piled uncontained and unconstrained.  // U
e.  // Should I start crawling the miles
remaining , or // should I stay put in the hope of a rescuer?  // Slowly
The last word has been had.  // Nothing
remains // but the fuzzy end of the lollipop and the squeezed out tube
// to find a way.  // The final fray //
remains in memory, for good or ill, // another day.  // I cannot say //
sand.  All along the foreshore, // the
remains of trees // that once grew on the hill above, // and bits of b
wharfs and ways of Camelot.  // Only one
remains to shiver // On the island in the river, // Tending her cabbag
ayed?  // I think he’d add a note to his
remark — // in truth, how cheesy is the sometime chalk.  //
l tell.  // Those are not the moments to
remember : // they can be consigned to passing time.  // For all the rea
n fragments, snatches— // some now half-
remembered , some long since forgotten— // but nothing that resembles a
eless trenches death at twenty three //
reminds us of so much we’ll never see.  // Life and death are two, and
erhaps if we asked him politely // he’d
remorsefully put them all back.  // Six of our cushions are missing.  //
aze down on the ruins gray // That scar
remote Shalott.  // In the duck-weed-smothered edges // Skinny rats sni
onder if I can get it to do // anything
remotely interesting?  //
hot yellow bits // way out here in the
remoter backwaters // of the western spiral arm (which will never be f
r— // such richness in his music did he
render // for all of us, such beauty brought he forth; // and at the e
me about, but to close // an open sore,
renew our sense of // time, rebuild the day.  //
birds calling // in places it has lost,
reoccupation // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // of the mudfla
/ Then we get on with our lives: // the
repainting can wait.  // I go to work.  // Judith, artist, // models in
ct.  // Slacken.  // Settle.  // Pause.  //
Repeat twice daily.  // (Not by the sun // —use moontime // instead).  /
o.  Let the browns // and reds and golds
replace the greens.  Now throw the canopy too // to the winds, let it w
the hottest Currie.  // Gordon Brown //
replaced his frown // with a one-sided smile // that was off by a mile
// In hard cast bronze all hardness now
replaced , // the soft and sensuous flesh joins love’s embrace.  // Moth
better place, a future that // revives,
replenishes , makes good // the damaged present, this dark night?  // No
is the fairest of all?’  // The mirror’s
reply // with no hint of a sigh // is to show him his face, warts and
use the margin is too narrow for a full
report // Turns out† that the seventh layer consists mostly of ones th
e north-east Yorkshire coast // for the
requisite square-bashing.  And then when he ships out, // back to moth
r // should I stay put in the hope of a
rescuer ?  // Slowly I realise the pain is subsiding, the // leg was not
ng since forgotten— // but nothing that
resembles a narrative.  // Born nineteen-seventeen (dark days of the fi
ons.  Each // sentient being touches and
reshapes // the world around her, far as she can reach.  // Who is this
aster, // casts in plaster or cement or
resin , // draws in pencil or pen or charcoal, // paints in oils on har
screwing up your courage // putting up
resistance // throwing up earthworks // zipping up your jacket // tyin
Gathering dark // Maybe, for some, the
resolution lies // in their cups.  Thomas certainly did his level best
n’s music is just bloody marvellous, //
resonates on though the print becomes faint; // just as each new gener
short of horizontal space, // we must**
resort to footnotes just to keep a healthy handle on the case. // * fo
es from the curtained bed next door.  //
Responses muted, though the sense is raw, // to questions orderly, whi
am again to clamber Gordale Scar // and
rest , and breathe some more the cool clear air.  // Beyond the scree th
the Lake District— // family wanting to
rest and recuperate.  // Skiddaw is looming, inviting explorers—a // ch
one young man half-turned // across the
rest , looking with unfocussed eyes // into the distance down the stree
a memory that Judith treasures for the
rest of her life. //
ered // in silent contemplation.  // The
rest of the world is dark.  //
from Kings.  // If I can filter out the
rest , the aural grime, // even I, atheist, find some of them sublime. 
leader of Flemish weavers, pointing the
rest // towards their major source of trade:  // England.  // Back the w
e swallowed the net to trap the hat.  //
Restart for that.  //
the heat-death of the universe; // the
restaurant has closed, // and that was the last syllabub of recorded t
moor // sharp mountain // still lake //
resting lake // rustling forest // tumbling mountain // running stream
l, fades away.  // Empty spiral hardness
rests // on the sea-bed.  Forever?  // Another, rougher softness, // bu
er, // Blow up a little croaker with no
result .  // Fragile crab of incense taste mushroom // Do the black boil
en, and after a while I can // think of
resuming my journey unaided—I // just have to check on my map for the
ttle.  // Pause.  // Start.  // Tiptoe.  //
Retrace .  // Shrink.  // Drop back.  // Build speed.  // Build power.  // P
/ Build power.  // Pull in.  // Merge.  //
Retract .  // Slacken.  // Settle.  // Pause.  // Repeat twice daily.  // (N
gins // Hear the marsh-birds calling //
retreating back the way it came, regains // Breath the scents the sea-
to Barnard Castle?  // Three score, out/
return // Can I go there, with my eyesight?  // Yes, with fuel to burn.
ged present, this dark night?  // Not to
return to old // ways—that age // has passed.  What should // we salva
dark.  // Feel the earth.  Feel the water
return // to the dry ground.  Let the cooling dark // settle around and
, expecting // tea on the table when he
returns from work // in a Sheffield steel mill.  // Daughter moves away
o melt // the topmost layer.  The frost
returns // to make a crust.  The next two months // are clear and fine
dy beach past which // the falling tide
reveals the deep black mud // which oozes softly up between our toes. 
n // both lays the problem out and then
reveals // the parts of a solution.  // All we need to do is make conne
.  // That waft of scent?  A malodourous
revenant ?  // Don’t be silly, that’s just the bin—needs emptying.  // Th
be she // is pensive, dreaming, lost in
reverie .  // And the artist who is showing us the scene // —does he kno
sions and reversions, // reversings and
reversals —these as well.  // But we shall leave such counterpoints behi
fighters too.  The siren call // is in
reverse , a brief release— // until the following night at least.  // Od
he bridge.  // If we could trace them in
reverse , // each our own tangled thread, // would we have found some c
isions and revisions and reversions, //
reversings and reversals—these as well.  // But we shall leave such cou
ng tide.  // Decisions and revisions and
reversions , // reversings and reversals—these as well.  // But we shall
made // in twenty-ten, of all the flesh
reviewed // in magazines, on billboards high displayed, // each model
ss // on evening tide.  // Decisions and
revisions and reversions, // reversings and reversals—these as well.  /
nto // a better place, a future that //
revives , replenishes, makes good // the damaged present, this dark nig
n all the arts // currents criss-cross,
revolutions // blossom and fade, movements // are born, copulate and d
eludes me // No time // for flow // or
rhyme , // no.  // Words go // from mind // like snow.  // A line // to s
its end with such a strong and obvious
rhyme // that even if my audience hear it spoken aloud rather than see
ic verses with echoed refrain // in the
rhythmic clattering noise of the train.  // Childhood journeys by rail
the noise // that it made as it spun, a
rhythmic staccato juddering // with a touch of syncopation.  //
ng the cheque and the postal order).  //
Rhythmic verses with echoed refrain // in the rhythmic clattering nois
ach new generation soon finds itself //
rich rediscovering Bach’s counterpoint— // frescos are fragile, but Pi
ds we turn, // along the open beach, in
rich sea air.  // Look up, look up, my love—the sky is calling.  // Dark
life the fates would squander— // such
richness in his music did he render // for all of us, such beauty brou
s, crags, beaches // more boat or cycle
rides // more walks, more bluebell woods // more curlews, more ragged,
it-droppings, // the bare rocks and the
ridge , knife-edge against the sky.  // What do they know, the rain and
fic Ocean // Marianas Trench, Macquarie
Ridge , Mendocino Seascarp // the shape of the world // One to thirty m
Man precipice, // one final push up the
ridge to the pinnacle.  // Now to descend, an alternative route which i
dges, // While between the stream-floor
ridges // Now a bottom-feeder dredges // Through the silt of Camelot. 
the rain and the air?  // The roof, the
ridgetiles , the leaves in the leaded gully.  // The street between the
in the morning sun // below and to the
right .  And rising left // the Cape Cod house’s painted clapboard side
// just so // above, below, // left and
right .  // Focus in, // each ray // trapped on its way // from the sun.
light just so // above, below, left and
right , // focus in each ray.  // Trapped on its way from the sun, // br
ronmentally friendly of us, but it felt
right . // Many art galleries in many places.  Three solid d
undred and One // The century turns.  //
Right on cue, Queen Victoria dies.  // (Next time around, in the digita
by Wainwright, you get sunburnt on the
right side of your face only.  As Judith had broken in a new pair of b
the slope to the end of the street and
right , // the line bridges over the road.) Sometimes at night, // a h
Type
right // The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog //
breach the wall.  And when it hits just
right // the spray rises a mile into the air // (or so it seems to me)
// and two seemed to twist into one, //
right there, beneath the bridge.  // If we could trace them in reverse,
o burn.  // If the lines be blurred just
right , // You may go there with your eyesight.  //
ances—get advisor?  G’s contact maybe //
Ring M about Xmas // Ring Tony D about works in basement // Tickets fo
ut, under and over.  // Complete another
ring .  // Sleep.  //
s contact maybe // Ring M about Xmas //
Ring Tony D about works in basement // Tickets for Once Sat night—chec
meter (the pole // itself and four-inch
rings surely to be found // elsewhere in the garage).  // The bench was
// rubber tap washers and fibre sealing
rings .  // The jars hang from their lids, nailed to // the shelf above.
matchstick, tallow, vardo // cromarty,
ringwold or savage ground // smoked trout, wevet, bone, calamine // li
iles // Ormeaux on Bastille; Ormeaux on
Rioja ; Ormeaux on Lagoon // taps; pipes // One to one // You are here
different species rise and fall // and
rise again.  Great populations press // against their boundaries.  The v
eless // ten thousand different species
rise and fall // and rise again.  Great populations press // against th
bordering the Mediterranean, // empires
rise and fall.  Battles are fought, // wars are lost and won.  Did the
en-covered heath.  The summer fronds //
rise far above our heads.  In this bright green // we wander, hacking
here to stay // morning glow // time to
rise // feeling slow // rub eyes // yawn and stretch // blue skies //
r side // the steep snow-covered slopes
rise up // to rampart rock walls, knife-edge against // the deep blue
nd when it hits just right // the spray
rises a mile into the air // (or so it seems to me), to crash back dow
ring // In the saltmarsh channels water
rises // Hear the marsh-birds calling // to the edges of the sea-grass
ituation, and promptly, busily, without
rising from her seat, makes everyone shuffle up in order to allow Judi
ing sun // below and to the right.  And
rising left // the Cape Cod house’s painted clapboard side.  // At cent
he scents the sea-winds bring // as the
rising waters reach and lift them // Hear the marsh-birds calling // e
hop to seek supplies // becomes a daily
ritual .  // After the floods of fifty-three // they raised the ramparts
ds across a gentle slope // towards the
river .  A line of ancient oaks // (one blasted trunk is hollow through
teems down // enough to overflow // the
river Don and flood the plain.  // The light is fading now.  // Politici
urn the duck head.  // The prefecture of
river drives meal chicken, // Olive dish dried meat floss stir fries a
against the next attack.  // Towards the
river is a group of firs // —the kind you sometimes see in lines acros
lowering sky // The fields that by the
river lie // Are rough and unkempt.  Buzzards fly // Above the weedy h
softly up between our toes.  Across the
river // lies the lagoon, a field flooded and then left // to the encr
e of town and on // the mile across the
river meadows // to Grantchester.  As we walk back // against the wind
he contours of the shore.  // Around the
river mouth the tides run strong.  // Channels and banks of shingle shi
mains to shiver // On the island in the
river , // Tending her cabbage patch forever, // The hermit of Shalott.
path // against the stream, back up the
river Wharfe, // to Bolton Abbey, and the Strid beyond, // and Barden
uild a fine bridge clear across a great
river , where // trees, grass and flowers can stretch shore to shore.  /
ing down the roses // floating down the
river // whistling down the wind // not as in // screwing up your cour
s descending, under the sky.  // Oceans,
rivers , narrow channels, torrents, // tarns, and streams slow-flowing,
screw-eyes, picture hooks // wallplugs,
rivets , self-tapping metal screws, // rubber tap washers and fibre sea
as pine // which begins a mile down the
road // and into whose dense interior // we sometimes venture.  // Beyo
inary suburban junction.  // Narrow side
road curves to join // a bend on a bigger road.  The pavements // curl
it snows on Boxing Day.  // The country
road not cleared for days // —and then of course it snows again.  // On
to five hundred:  Block plan // Sherlock
Road ; Sherlock Court; Sherlock Close // houses; yards; curbs // One to
and right, // the line bridges over the
road .) Sometimes at night, // a heavy goods train rattles the windows
ge // Petty Cury; Park Parade; Pretoria
Road // streets; alleys; cycle paths // One to two thousand:  Jesus Col
ad curves to join // a bend on a bigger
road .  The pavements // curl around, leaving two small raised triangle
bar gate, the muddy track on the tarmac
road .  // The walled paddock and the orchard, // the apple on the tree,
alking in the drizzle the long approach
road to the Kröller-Müller museum outside Amsterdam.  The Hermitage in
white-painted sign spreadeagled on the
road .  // What do they know, the rain and the air?  // The drystone wall
tland // Dufftown; Deeside; Dumfries //
roads ; villages // One to sixty three thousand three hundred and sixty
ipods, phones speak out— // add to the
road’s cacophony.  // Through air and ether people mutter, shout, // vo
ipods, phones speak out— // add to the
road’s cacophony.  // Voices coming from the room next door: // thesis
coloured temptations, welcome in // the
roaming bees.  // Feel the fire.  Spread out a green canopy // in the wa
eople, people round the world—and I, //
roaming , rambling, drifting under the sky.  //
asses near.  // After the engine’s noisy
roar , // coaches follow along the track: // the bogeys go: click-clac
rated quantities of fuel // and built a
roaring blaze.  Then late into the night // I fed it all the bits that
arm as toast // flames gone // potatoes
roast // embers warm // flames gone // last glow // embers warm // fad
m as toast // smoulder down // potatoes
roast // warm as toast // flames gone // potatoes roast // embers warm
For
Robert Graves // For Robert Graves, the naked and the nude // were cha
For Robert Graves // For
Robert Graves, the naked and the nude // were chalk and cheese; so wha
achingly cold, // and dry them on warm
rock .  //
elemental: water, sky and earth // and
rock and air; no fire and no gold, // no gems nor coins nor jewels; ju
Sculpting the vortex // Jacob’s
Rock Drill pierces through the brain // and splits apart Edwardian dis
tness.  // Softness crawls over sand and
rock // in filtered blue light, // carrying hardness with it.  // Somet
land with my // shin on a knife-edge of
rock that protrudes from the // edge of the path, not yet blunted or b
ling // echoes of the distant sea-swell
rock them // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // straining at the
ow-covered slopes rise up // to rampart
rock walls, knife-edge against // the deep blue sky.  We take our boot
ad over heels // on hard, unyielding //
rocks and stones, // falls back under my feet.  // No time, no time.  //
heep- and rabbit-droppings, // the bare
rocks and the ridge, knife-edge against the sky.  // What do they know,
heirs // is a one-way invitation to the
rocks .  // But me, now, I'm just lucky.  //
lee?  // To the sea.  // Tumbling through
rocks with rainbow spray, // coursing the straits and the hollows, //
aches, clifftops, creeks and inlets, //
rocky shorelines tumbling under the sky.  // Sea-birds, pond-birds, dip
rray // And gaily singing on his way //
Rode bold Sir Lancelot.  // Years have passed.  The winter’s chill // L
rn in Washington, close to a version of
Rodin’s Balzac, and called “Post-Balzac”.  It is a full-length bronze
// temple columns spaced, // lightning
rods earthed.  // On the dark side of the earth, // in the light of a f
ind their denotations, connotations.  //
Roget charted their associations.  // Zipf was counting their instantia
/ churning the water, // disturbing our
roll , // getting higher and closer.  // And the noise.  // A few ranks a
blow us away // The sails clatter as we
roll // Give me some wind to blow us away // Horizon’s clear from end
straight up // the Mediterranean waves
roll on.  // How many years, decades, centuries // have I lain upon thi
a chasm, ford a raging torrent, // get
rolled over by an avalanche, // fall through a wormhole, or cross a mo
o set out with the best of intent // In
rollicking verse // On a galloping horse— // But Aix was as far as he
g to be a disaster // but then it began
rolling out its own // finite but unbounded space-time continuum // —c
eception stews bean bubble, // The taro
rolls up an incense.  // The impregnable fortress makes fish cake.  // F
vident in the number, // best expressed
Roman fashion:  // CII.  // We // As for us, the bits begin to fall off.
The Lieder // a
rondeau // In any season, some young man will wander // along the bywa
they know, the rain and the air?  // The
roof , the ridgetiles, the leaves in the leaded gully.  // The street be
he thunder said.  // Rain rattles on the
rooftiles overhead // and beats against the window with the wind.  // W
Winds moaning round the corners and the
rooftops , // rushing wild clouds across the sky, // lying abed beneath
me // the small gas fire has warmed the
room // against the cold outside.  // (But that was forty years ago //
:  Jesus College // The Chimney; Cranmer
Room ; Café Bar // courts; staircases; playing fields // One to five hu
/ That knocking?  Footsteps in the next
room ?  // Don’t be silly, that’s just the plumbing—a pipe heating up.  /
ndon, we’ve // just thirty three—surely
room for one more.  // Now it happens my old friend is crowned mayor of
and evermore // voices coming from the
room next door.  // For and against, and more, against and for; // deba
’s cacophony.  // Voices coming from the
room next door: // thesis and antithesis, debate // about it and about
sis can wait.  // Voices coming from the
room next door:  // Thesis and Antithesis debate.  // His voice is livel
tually empty. // The sitting
room of our house in Peckham, the walls stripped and undecorated, but
he womb // That was the fastness of her
room .  // Only through the mirror’s gloam // Dared she look to Camelot.
of a 68 // Dialectic // In the lecture
room // Small hour // December sounds // What the thunder said // Unde
of the house’s existence.  We left the
room unpainted for the best part of the 22 years we lived there, and i
d.  Clear morning sunlight fills // the
room we glimpse inside.  A woman leans // upon a table in the window,
I cannot say.  // The houses, and their
rooms and halls // and whether it was night or day; // the gardens, an
oduce of our labours.  // A box or holly
root , smouldering slowly, // will burn for ever.  The fire once begun
by the trunk // or (better) by the real
rope -ladder, which // we can then haul up behind us, ready // to defen
and meander; // of Ellen, Norna, or of
Rosamunde .  // Sorrow, longing, dreams pervade the path // in any seaso
g down the barriers // cutting down the
roses // floating down the river // whistling down the wind // not as
forty years ago.  // One of the legs had
rotted half away.  // But a new piece of four by two turned it into //
ad joke.  // Destroying our comfort’s as
rotten // as stealing a library book.  // Five of our cushions are miss
ay.  // It seems that there must be some
rotter // who’s sneaking our cushions away // Four of our cushions are
The fields that by the river lie // Are
rough and unkempt.  Buzzards fly // Above the weedy hedgerows, by // T
tream // smooth lake // dense forest //
rough moor // million-year moor // ten-million-year mountain // hundre
// leaves for another home.  // Another
rough softness.  // Can this go on forever?  // Empty again, in harsher
Movement is faster, edgier, rougher.  //
Rough softness grows // but hardness cannot grow.  // Rough softness is
s grows // but hardness cannot grow.  //
Rough softness is too big, // leaves for another home.  // Another roug
flow // seem more like butchers working
rough .  // The light is going now.  // How will these transient trials p
inside.  // Movement is faster, edgier,
rougher .  // Rough softness grows // but hardness cannot grow.  // Rough
/ on the sea-bed.  Forever?  // Another,
rougher softness, // but with sharp claws and barbs, // fastens itself
d with names and distances // that only
roughly match the map.  At others, though, // we have to guess.  // The
hers // are visible within.  // Gathered
round about, a motley crew // of categories in boxes, jars and tins:  /
doured thing.  Gloves make the world go
round , and all’s fair in gloves and war, though the course of true glo
head, what do they care?  // They rattle
round , and link, and split, and fight.  // No voices in the almost-sile
as if to start out on a voyage, a full
round -Britain trip.  // I’ll need a ton of words to fill each line from
s grows, hardness grows too, // spirals
round itself, trumpet-like.  // Can this go on forever?  // Softness gro
// Nails: tacks, panel pins, ovals and
round ; // Screws: small, size 6, size 8, large.  // Beside it stands an
; // East Hills aglow.  // Winds moaning
round the corners and the rooftops, // rushing wild clouds across the
a thought.  Just maybe I can // circle
round the tentacles of zeta // by striking gamma from consideration //
vering under the sky.  // People, people
round the world—and I, // roaming, rambling, drifting under the sky.  /
a full-length bronze cape, upright and
rounded as if on the shoulders of its owner, but actually empty.
n my haversack.  // Climb by the obvious
route from the valley, with // Derwent behind me and scrambles ahead o
acle.  // Now to descend, an alternative
route which is // known as the Allerdale Ramble, traversing a // diffi
with the neighbouring block, leaving a
row of nine.  // In nineteen sixty nine the house was lit // by gas, wi
steady and purposeful.  // We form into
rows and columns across the deep.  // Without knowing what it is, // we
glow // time to rise // feeling slow //
rub eyes // yawn and stretch // blue skies // legs itch // must get on
, rivets, self-tapping metal screws, //
rubber tap washers and fibre sealing rings.  // The jars hang from thei
wned mayor of London, he // goes by the
rubrik of Boris the Mad.  // He’d adore such a grand and flamboyant adv
est // flashing stream // bright sea //
rugged moor // sharp mountain // still lake // resting lake // rustlin
I make my way?  // Across what carpets,
rugs or floors?  // I cannot say.  // The houses, and their rooms and ha
ll pause or stay // To gaze down on the
ruins gray // That scar remote Shalott.  // In the duck-weed-smothered
long // —impermanence’s permanence the
rule .  // Change will last forever.  // At intervals along the south hor
Light and shadow // The
rule : we should not // begin unwrapping till it’s // light enough to
es // on the shelves.  Later, the local
rumour states // that the train is carrying nuclear waste; at the time
Becalmed //
Run all the sails up the mast // Way-hay, blow us away // But we are b
/ and silver birch along the dunes that
run // between the marshes and the sea.  The sun // is low ahead of us
hoots may venture forth // On weed-o’er-
run Shalott?  // She who hath this garden laid // —Nurturing the waywar
ugh the course of true gloves never did
run smooth.  No glove lost.  // We have nothing to wear but wear itself
re.  // Around the river mouth the tides
run strong.  // Channels and banks of shingle shift and melt, // form a
y.  // The crescent moon // some cryptic
rune .  // The senses fly.  // It’s Jan, not June.  // Back home soon // w
rustling forest // tumbling mountain //
running stream // rambling moor // changing sea // blue sea // silver
behind the wall, level with the top, //
running the gauntlet of the winter storm.  // The tide is high, and eve
arsh-birds calling // to face the town,
runs headlong for the bar, // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring //
ng // mud.  // Cold and clear.  The tide
runs out, the creek // is draining back again towards the sea.  // Alon
// Sonnet // Cold and clear.  The tide
runs out, the creek // is draining back towards the sea.  // Along the
itself.  Without wear or favour, fools
rush in, where angels wear to tread.  I’ll wear not what men say.  //
starter.  //   // In the California gold
rush of 1849, and again in the Klondike in 1896, in order to make prop
at home?  // It’s a level that the tide
rushes past // on its way up and again // on its way down.  // It’s a l
city station, noisy, full // of people
rushing there and back.  // The bogeys go: click-clack click-clack.  //
round the corners and the rooftops, //
rushing wild clouds across the sky, // lying abed beneath the cobwebbe
Sounds // Triolets // On
Rushup Edge // On the top deck of a 68 // Dialectic // In the lecture
untain // still lake // resting lake //
rustling forest // tumbling mountain // running stream // rambling moo