Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines


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.


n many places.  Three solid days in the
Uffizi in Florence.  Walking in the drizzle the long approach road to
er will describe the house itself // as
ugly .  No such thought would cross my five- // or eight- or ten-year-o
ay but one preceding.”  // —James Joyce,
Ulysses .  //
e I can // think of resuming my journey
unaided —I // just have to check on my map for the best way back.  // Re
excise officer takes to // dropping by
unannounced .  // Catch them at it – // there must be moonshine.  //
ty— // To indulge in the felicity // Of
unbounded domesticity. // (not the Pirates of Penzance – apologies to
began rolling out its own // finite but
unbounded space-time continuum // —cool!  // There are some lovely spir
the cold— // and my breathing is rather
uncertain .”  //
ng // has the interval passed by.  // An
uncompleted day // is not yet to be fixed— // but each interval passin
Morning is always the morning // of an
uncompleted day.  // Not until light is fading // has the interval pass
f the bench // is piled uncontained and
unconstrained .  // Unused parts from finished or abandoned projects, //
the remainder of the bench // is piled
uncontained and unconstrained.  // Unused parts from finished or abando
ouse in Peckham, the walls stripped and
undecorated , but with marks and signs accumulated over a century and a
to conquer.  // Spiders’ webs among the
undergrowth .  // Look closely: precise angular spirals // strung aroun
Chomsky looked for deeper motivation //
underneath their surface combinations.  // Now Brin and Page build inde
/ never felt before— // something solid
underneath us // churning the water, // disturbing our roll, // gettin
he apple said // Of course we’d like to
understand // the stars and planets overhead // as well as actions clo
to speak // tried to think // tried to
understand // tried to write // tried to write a poem //
nsigned to the flames.  // (I completely
understand why people have // funeral pyres.) Later we scatter the as
ways that I can neither // control nor
understand .  // Yet here’s a thought.  Just maybe I can // circle round
, thoughts tragic or tender— // of love
unfinished or of peaceful earth, // the mill-girl’s beauty or the maid
turned // across the rest, looking with
unfocussed eyes // into the distance down the street.  I could not see
// twigs catch // smoke curls // flame
unfurls // smoke grows // smoke curls // smoke billows // smoke grows
// twigs catch // strike match // flame
unfurls // twigs catch // smoke curls // flame unfurls // smoke grows
(the apple said), // to comprehend the
universe // both in the large and in the small, // to learn (for bette
ehind.  // This is the heat-death of the
universe ; // the restaurant has closed, // and that was the last sylla
that by the river lie // Are rough and
unkempt .  Buzzards fly // Above the weedy hedgerows, by // The once-pr
t with small, clear plastic drawers // —
unlabelled , but the nuts and bolts and washers // are visible within. 
supports // a wild, tufted crown—quite
unlike // the planted forest, serried ranks of Christmas pine // which
after his arrival, // was buried in an
unmarked grave.  // There were no victors: only victims.  //
are missing.  // The culprit must now be
unmasked .  // It’s becoming quite clear that the hour // for soft pussy
ear, and take a lurch // at some acute,
unmeasured angle.  // Last September, meeting you.  // The world looks d
Unnatural disasters // Pribble and prabble: as // Nigel’s marauding an
he house’s existence.  We left the room
unpainted for the best part of the 22 years we lived there, and it was
nd gave and lost, // we let each thread
unroll behind, // laying down the past— // until the day, just nine mo
ithin its arms // a walled garden, left
untended // for maybe thirty years.  A winding path // leads from the
piled uncontained and unconstrained.  //
Unused parts from finished or abandoned projects, // pieces half-const
ow // The rule: we should not // begin
unwrapping till it’s // light enough to see.  // Below the bulges, // n
ead // goes head over heels // on hard,
unyielding // rocks and stones, // falls back under my feet.  // No tim
om we glimpse inside.  A woman leans //
upon a table in the window, looks // out into sunlight, over grass, to
st so // Far away and long ago, // once
upon a time and place, // the world just so, // a pretty maiden, heart
blaze.  // Even now, // I feel the heat
upon my face.  // Twenty three years later, when my mother died // we h
itter cold.  // Every step, // your foot
upon the crust, you think // ‘This time, it will hold my weight.’  // B
assed.  The winter’s chill // Lies fast
upon the land so ill.  // Seldom now the skylark’s trill; // No longer
aintly, far away, the churn // of waves
upon the sand.  Eastwards we turn, // along the open beach, in rich se
ely, gestures wide.  // The sun and wind
upon the trees outside…  // I try to listen, but my musing strays.  // H
ears, decades, centuries // have I lain
upon this sandy seafloor?  // I cannot now recall.  // Up there are stor
zac”.  It is a full-length bronze cape,
upright and rounded as if on the shoulders of its owner, but actually
Upscale down // One to forty-five million:  Pacific Ocean // Marianas
ing they might be in.  // Turn the place
upside down.  // Bedroom again, more drawers and cupboards.  // Chair wi
find myself in wooded Janet’s Foss.  //
Upstream again to clamber Gordale Scar // and rest, and breathe some m
kinds of loving.  // Did I love enough? 
use every day?  // Days for seeing you in different ways.  // Days enoug
eat twice daily.  // (Not by the sun // —
use moontime // instead).  //
y back.  // Reading a map now, I have to
use spectacles.  // Carry them with me wherever I wander… but // help! 
has made.  // Those that they choose to
use // to inform or confuse, // elate or validate or grieve— // these
again?  // No.  No.  No.  No.  // Dammit,
used them yesterday.  Must be somewhere.  // Start again, from the begi
iture, shelves no longer // serving any
useful purpose.  // The clutter covering the remainder of the bench //
ngth, or maybe short, // patch pockets (
useless for cold hands), // thick felted wool, a monk-like hood— // an
all of the containers // once had other
uses .  The plastic boxes // were made for slides or toothpowder, tins
udith sees something in the shapes, and
using a charcoal stick, makes some small additions.  And it becomes a
do is make connection // alpha to beta
using this equation, // then follow that suggestion // to make the bet
Using your Kettle // Place the cordless base on a level firm sur
h apples, for I am well of love.  // The
usual translation is not raisins // but flagons.  Flagons might indeed
een from here, the future is changed //
utterly .  And I have the scars // to prove it.  // Blitz.  The heavy bo