Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

Concordance

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

F

F .B.L // // london clay, blackened, arsenic // // railings, pointing
f iron plate glue east // // Grow face
fa -cai thick soup.  // // XO sauce explodes to grow the fragile bone. 
ers of iron plate glue east // // Grow
face fa-cai thick soup.  // // XO sauce explodes to grow the fragile b
ty vintage, the house is flat // // in
face , no sign of the deep bay windows that // // adorn most later Lon
get sunburnt on the right side of your
face only.  As Judith had broken in a new pair of boots, we buried the
// straining at their lines.  The bows
face seaward // // Hear the marsh-birds calling // // against the cu
Hear the marsh-birds calling // // to
face the town, runs headlong for the bar, // // Breath the scents the
ll know // // exactly when to show her
face , // // the world just so.  // // A wingéd dragon, flying low, //
o // // and dangers great will bravely
face , // // the world just so.  // // True love will germinate and gr
ven now, // // I feel the heat upon my
face .  // // Twenty three years later, when my mother died // // we h
int of a sigh // // is to show him his
face , warts and all.  // //
wn too // // down, not up—as in // //
facing down the crisis // // pinning down the problem // // throwing
// on the very edge of Sheffield // //
facing the Derbyshire moors.  // // But the next war comes, and D is n
that this equation also needs some zeta
factor // // and my clear beta, gamma, delta connection // // is scr
nnection // // is screwed up by a zeta
factor // // in ways that I can neither // // control nor understand
Hard to tell, now, // // which failing
faculties to place // // at its door.  Rage too against // // the ce
s-cross, revolutions // // blossom and
fade , movements // // are born, copulate and die.  // // But for the
n forever?  // // Softness grows still,
fades away.  // // Empty spiral hardness rests // // on the sea-bed. 
mages last.  // // But now the light is
fading // // as the day slides into the mist.  // // Morning is alway
a throng // // moves north against the
fading evening light.  // // Slanting lines are forming, breaking, for
ompleted day.  // // Not until light is
fading // // has the interval passed by.  // // An uncompleted day //
// last glow // // tiny light // //
fading now // // dark night // //
// last glow // // embers warm // //
fading now // // last glow // // tiny light // // fading now // //
nd flood the plain.  // // The light is
fading now.  // // Politicians on the stump // // make promises-to-go
hings.  Hard to tell, now, // // which
failing faculties to place // // at its door.  Rage too against // /
by our local Trump.  // // The light is
failing now.  // // The surgeons trying to cut us off // // from cont
/ resonates on though the print becomes
faint ; // // just as each new generation soon finds itself // // ric
// dark night // // dream deep // //
faint light // // bird sings // // growing bright // // gadget ping
// in the light of a fire, // // and
faint starlight from space // // reflected in inky water, // // the
e beach.  We hear // // the gulls, and
faintly , far away, the churn // // of waves upon the sand.  Eastwards
oves make the world go round, and all’s
fair in gloves and war, though the course of true gloves never did run
d one bell.) // // we there did espy a
fair pretty maid // // with a comb and a glass in her hand.  // // Se
t she painted // // the walls?”  // //
Fair question.  // //
// // tendering process was not at all
fair .  // // The pledges from business are far from what’s needed.  Th
hat hangs on the wall // // who is the
fairest of all?’  // // The mirror’s reply // // with no hint of a si
or mirror on the wall // // who is the
fairest of them all?  // // (The cruel looking-glass that will never s
// // far away and long ago.  // // A
fairy , good or bad, will know // // exactly when to show her face, //
ten thousand different species rise and
fall // // and rise again.  Great populations press // // against the
Mediterranean, // // empires rise and
fall .  Battles are fought, // // wars are lost and won.  Did they rag
mptom, not a cause.  // // A // // The
fall drew blood.  // // No such obvious culprit here, // // except fo
ing into every word-filled well, // //
fall , fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // //
a voyage through deepest space:  // //
fall , fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // // And now, this boo
makes your languid pulses race:  // //
fall , fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // // That book will se
hould suck you into its embrace.  // //
Fall , fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // // That book will ta
not paying attention, I // // stumble,
fall heavily forward and land with my // // shin on a knife-edge of r
to every word-filled well, // // fall,
fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // //
age through deepest space: // // fall,
fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // // And now, this book, the
your languid pulses race: // // fall,
fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // // That book will set you
suck you into its embrace.  // // Fall,
fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // // That book will take you
no drink involved.  // // P // // The
fall is denied.  // // Anyway, the cancer can be blamed // // for man
// wrestling figures, clinched before a
fall ; // // Lutteurs—they are two, and now are one: // // no perfect
We // // As for us, the bits begin to
fall off.  // // We are not so far behind.  // // Old age ain’t no pla
get rolled over by an avalanche, // //
fall through a wormhole, or cross a mountain range?  // // Did I march
Wind,
fall // // West wind // // Autumn wind is bowling on, // // trees b
hen they come to Paris // // Manuel de
Falla and Igor Stravinsky.  // // A turn, a period of change?  // // W
suddenly vanish?  // // It hasn’t just
fallen behind.  // // Two of our cushions are missing // // from the
rovides a bridge.  The trunks // // of
fallen trees, fresh from the winter’s storms // // or long since stri
arrow sandy beach past which // // the
falling tide reveals the deep black mud // // which oozes softly up b
ielding // // rocks and stones, // //
falls back under my feet.  // // No time, no time.  // // Already I am
drink himself to death.  But for these
falls , // // no drink involved.  // // P // // The fall is denied.  /
sand three hundred and sixty:  Truro and
Falmouth // // Mevagissey; Mingoose; Mabe Burnthouse // // footpaths
er, in a two-up-two-down // // full of
family and lodgers.  Daughter born // // at the height of the Luftwaf
later, I limp into harbour.  My // //
family playing, completely oblivious.  // //
ow the fragile bone.  // // The peasant
family stir-fries four // // Butterfish cooked to no sauce.  // // Yo
, the edge of the Lake District— // //
family wanting to rest and recuperate.  // // Skiddaw is looming, invi
m a washing machine.  // // An electric
fan .  The dial of a clock.  Another dial, // // from a stand-on weigh
llow who swallowed his hat.  // // Just
fancy that—swallowed his hat!  // // He swallowed his hat to fend off
Fancy that // // There was an old fellow who swallowed his hat.  // /
eir // // was Tony Blair.  // // Nigel
Farrage // // has a mouth like a garage— // // he opens it ever so w
Square mile // //
Farringdon Without (north side) // //
plummett // // Note:  Fifty colours of
Farrow & Ball // //
the number, // // best expressed Roman
fashion :  // // CII.  // // We // // As for us, the bits begin to fal
western spiral arm (which will never be
fashionable ).  // // See the slime on it?  // // Wonder if I can get i
roach.  We turn tail and flee // // as
fast as breath allows us, not to feel safe // // until inside the hou
Wake // //
Fast asleep // // dark night // // dream deep // // faint light //
ill last and last, // // the future is
fast disappearing.  // //
way // // But we are bound for nowhere
fast // // Give me some wind to blow us away // // No wind! we wall
// Where are we going, so fierce and so
fast ?  // // I know only the wind and the rain // // the sun and the
// // just in case we were driving too
fast .  // // I was probably driving too fast // // to see the flowers
fast.  // // I was probably driving too
fast // // to see the flowers in the hedgerows.  // // We love the fl
passed.  The winter’s chill // // Lies
fast upon the land so ill.  // // Seldom now the skylark’s trill; //
but with sharp claws and barbs, // //
fastens itself inside.  // // Movement is faster, edgier, rougher.  //
stens itself inside.  // // Movement is
faster , edgier, rougher.  // // Rough softness grows // // but hardne
never left the womb // // That was the
fastness of her room.  // // Only through the mirror’s gloam // // Da
e brown.  // // Autumn fruit is growing
fat , // // trees bending, boughs reaching // // for the ground, crea
what re-imagine?  Not to rave // // at
fate , at chance, at // // what has come about, but to close // // an
in range?  // // Did I march towards my
fate , // // or did I merely hang on by my fingernails // // while th
e look to Camelot.  // // Not until the
fateful day // // When, gleaming in his knight’s array // // And gai
n.  // // The author, he whose life the
fates would squander— // // such richness in his music did he render
s a multitude of zens.  The zens of the
fathers are visited on the sons, even if living in zen.  // // Gloves
wear but wear itself.  Without wear or
favour , fools rush in, where angels wear to tread.  I’ll wear not what
jackets // // Shapeless, navy blue or
fawn , // // three-quarter length, or maybe short, // // patch pocket
aze.  Then late into the night // // I
fed it all the bits that it had missed: // // fragments around the ed
stream-floor ridges // // Now a bottom-
feeder dredges // // Through the silt of Camelot.  // // But what is
on their twice-a-day migration between
feeding grounds // // in lop-sided vees and slanting lines, // // da
we march in formation.  // // The wind
feeds us, makes us strong.  // // Occasionally, I catch glimpses // /
// as fast as breath allows us, not to
feel safe // // until inside the house.) // // The bracken spreads a
/ // is bottomless no longer.  // // I
feel something // // never felt before— // // something solid undern
// Chair with pile of clothes.  // //
Feel something…  // // Shit!  The wrong trousers!  // // “Was it there
// // and hide a secret inside.  // //
Feel the air.  Turn in the four winds.  Broadcast the secret // // to e
e some wind to blow us away // // Just
feel the breathless sun beat down // // Way-hay, blow us away // //
/ Saying “Now that I’m old, // // I do
feel the cold— // // and my breathing is rather uncertain.”  // //
/ // into the encroaching dark.  // //
Feel the earth.  Feel the water return // // to the dry ground.  Let th
come in // // the roaming bees.  // //
Feel the fire.  Spread out a green canopy // // in the warming sunligh
of the blaze.  // // Even now, // // I
feel the heat upon my face.  // // Twenty three years later, when my m
the earth, // // smell the air, // //
feel the warmth of the fire, // // listen to the lapping of the water
Epicycle // // Wake.  // //
Feel the water.  Push out below, // // tendrils into the dark and damp
ncroaching dark.  // // Feel the earth. 
Feel the water return // // to the dry ground.  Let the cooling dark /
nother day // // Another day // // to
feel your ever-present absence, still // // to find a way.  // // I h
er the door the glow is peeking, // //
feeling its way across the floor.  // // From the lamp on the landing
morning glow // // time to rise // //
feeling slow // // rub eyes // // yawn and stretch // // blue skies
tense, alert and staring.  A few // //
feet away, a sheep, cowering // // —and a lamb, sensing danger // //
n get along just fine.  // // But seven
feet !  I must admit that seems exceeding wide, // // as if to start o
t effort at defence // // drops thirty
feet into a hole.  // // Cambridge, circa 1966 // // One cold winter’
We take our boots off, // // dip our
feet into water clear and achingly cold, // // and dry them on warm r
swindle…  // // [One iamb, two anapest]
feet // // [make up an eight-syllable] beat.  // // Selec- // // tio
and stones, // // falls back under my
feet .  // // No time, no time.  // // Already I am toppling over him /
t come June // // it turns out she has
feet of clay.  // // On the continent // // My control is as strong a
for immunity— // // To indulge in the
felicity // // Of unbounded domesticity. // // (not the Pirates of P
pass // // destined for Harwich or for
Felixstowe .  // //
days were short, // // and dark night
fell as we built and lit the fire // // on the dark stones, and plant
// // Out of the pastures and onto the
fell side, still // // climbing the contours and catching my breath a
/ That book will take you o’er a stormy
fell // // with her who to her lover’s side makes haste: // // jump
Limerick // // There was an old
Fellow of Girton // // who always made love with his shirt on.  // //
inderscout.  // // Meet a dashing young
fellow rambler.  // // Marry, find a home // // on the very edge of S
s past.  // // It can’t be a student or
fellow — // // the thief’s much too cunning for that.  // // There’s o
ms // // perverse—the more because the
fellow // // was not wearing glasses.  // //
Fancy that // // There was an old
fellow who swallowed his hat.  // // Just fancy that—swallowed his hat
gate, on her way to // // recognition,
fellowships // // (Linnean Society 1904, // // Girton College 1913).
r.  // // I feel something // // never
felt before— // // something solid underneath us // // churning the
o the house.  // // I always regretted,
felt cheated by // // that twenty-minute hiatus.  // // But the fire
environmentally friendly of us, but it
felt right. // // Many art galleries in many places.  Thre
but to small // // effect.  At last we
felt we had to call // // a halt to worry, and agreed to sell // //
(useless for cold hands), // // thick
felted wool, a monk-like hood— // // and with (the most important thi
ken // // has been ploughed, the edges
fenced , the house // // demolished and rebuilt.  The trees remain.  //
estwick; Woodbastwick; Winterton // //
fences ; marshes; footbridges // // One to ten thousand:  Cambridge //
his hat!  // // He swallowed his hat to
fend off the rain.  // // What an odd game—to swallow the rain!  // //
hes, shrubs and flowers, mosses, // //
ferns and grasses waving under the sky.  // // Islands, beaches, cliff
people walk the brambled way // // And
fewer still will pause or stay // // To gaze down on the ruins gray /
orner box.  // // I love you.  // // Wi-
fi café.  Send a letter.  // // Laptop, plug in power socket.  // // Cl
o look at the case.  // // “It’s been a
fiasco , a drain on our taxes.  The // // tendering process was not at
Fibonacci series // // // Elemental
fib …  // // Earth, // // air, // // fire, // // and water.  // // N
that good night. // // … and one true
fib // // Here, // // now, // // in this // // extended // // cod
// achievement, but got // // only a
fib on a cheap pun // // … a swindle…  // // [One iamb, two anapest]
ed // // hard // // to write // // a
fib on // // achievement, but got // // only a fib on a cheap pun //
// // “Fibonacci”’s four— // // not a
Fibonacci number.  // // Time?  // // No!  // // No time // // for th
Fibonacci series // // // Elemental fib…  // // Earth, // // air, /
three, // // five, eight.  But // // “
Fibonacci ”’s four— // // not a Fibonacci number.  // // Time?  // //
l screws, // // rubber tap washers and
fibre sealing rings.  // // The jars hang from their lids, nailed to /
dding space, time, love? // // … three
fibs about fibs…  // // One, // // one, // // two, three, // // fiv
, time, love? // // … three fibs about
fibs …  // // One, // // one, // // two, three, // // five, eight. 
and of course // // extracted from my
fickle memory— // // elusive and illusive treasure, she.  // //
gain.  // // Beards are good for finger-
fiddling // // stroking, tickling, searching in—but // // there was
oss the river // // lies the lagoon, a
field flooded and then left // // to the encroaching mud.  On the far
I’m to be the battle ground.  // // The
field is ready now, the lines are drawn.  // // Whichever wins, whiche
n and the air?  // // The hedgerow, the
field , the rapeseed and the corn.  // // The five-bar gate, the muddy
rt the edge of Malham Cove, // // with
fields below and limestone crags above; // // descend the steps to re
Bar // // courts; staircases; playing
fields // // One to five hundred:  Block plan // // Sherlock Road; Sh
nder a gray and lowering sky // // The
fields that by the river lie // // Are rough and unkempt.  Buzzards f
r onward.  // // Where are we going, so
fierce and so fast?  // // I know only the wind and the rain // // th
, archive // // plummett // // Note: 
Fifty colours of Farrow & Ball // //
// houses; yards; curbs // // One to
fifty :  Ground floor // // Bedroom 2; Bathroom; Bicycle shed // // wa
// One to one million two hundred and
fifty thousand:  Low Countries // // Gelderland; Glabbeek; Gramsberge
, circa 1958 // // After the floods of
fifty -three // // they raised the ramparts: giant concrete blocks //
e start of the first world war).  // //
Fifty yards across the park at the back // // a low embankment carrie
rattle round, and link, and split, and
fight .  // // No voices in the almost-silence that I hear, // // the
meets defeat, // // the relict of the
fight will be my wound.  // // The goat // // // I am transfixed as
ng back towards their bases, // // and
fighters too.  The siren call // // is in reverse, a brief release— /
as my muse and inspiration // // This
figment of my own imagination // // is the space in which I must surv
has come, it does not pass, // // this
figment of my own imagination.  // // Maybe I should write it in a ver
relief is on the wall, // // wrestling
figures , clinched before a fall; // // Lutteurs—they are two, and now
, formulated forty years ago // // and
filed in the middens of my mind.  // // And in my mind it conjures up
rip.  // // I’ll need a ton of words to
fill each line from side to side, // // verbosely quite enough to flo
rk on the outside of the kettle.  Never
fill the kettle above the MAX level and ensure that it is always above
. // // Where ever possible
fill the kettle through the spout as this will help to reduce the amou
e the MIN level. // // Only
fill the kettle with the amount of water you need as this will save el
s trill; // // No longer do the people
fill // // The wharfs and ways of Camelot.  // // Only one remains to
// that it can make itself again, and
fill // // the world with dittoed offspring.  Yet it will // // occas
, it had been once— // // but they had
filled the gap to make a join // // with the neighbouring block, leav
in // // Jump willing into every word-
filled well; // // a book should suck you into its embrace.  // // Fa
ce.  // // Jump willing into every word-
filled well, // // fall, fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  //
te: // // jump willing into every word-
filled well.  // // That book will hold against your ear a shell // /
se: // // jump willing into every word-
filled well.  // // That book will tales of distant countries tell //
in darker wood.  Clear morning sunlight
fills // // the room we glimpse inside.  A woman leans // // upon a
or the ones from Kings.  // // If I can
filter out the rest, the aural grime, // // even I, atheist, find som
ount of limescale that builds up on the
filter . // // The amount of water can be measured by the l
ess crawls over sand and rock // // in
filtered blue light, // // carrying hardness with it.  // // Sometime
There must be moonshine // //
Fin de siècle.  // // Ethel Sargant, botanist // // (Girton student 1
t // // (well, really, just around the
final bend) // // this craven kraken creeps, and slumbers not:  // //
ist from locomotion, // // this is our
final destination.  // // These are the buffers, this is the end of th
y will // // to find a way.  // // The
final fray // // remains in memory, for good or ill, // // another d
y taste; // // rather, look forward to
final oblivion— // // when the time comes, I might add, not just yet.
en one stormy night // // it pulls the
final prop.  A hundred yards // // of man’s best effort at defence //
of the Little Man precipice, // // one
final push up the ridge to the pinnacle.  // // Now to descend, an alt
// We also need money—of course private
finance will // // jump to join in, but needs time to come through.  /
// Cash m/c // // Washing // // Plan
finances —get advisor?  G’s contact maybe // // Ring M about Xmas // /
ing young fellow rambler.  // // Marry,
find a home // // on the very edge of Sheffield // // facing the Der
// Pad of paper, ballpoint pen.  // //
Find a stamp, street-corner box.  // // I love you.  // // Wi-fi café.
ow’s still // // another day // // to
find a way.  // //
er I have the necessary skill // // to
find a way.  // // And now today // // is ending.  I suppose tomorrow
r ever-present absence, still // // to
find a way.  // // I hear you say, // // “But life is for the living,
y head, and take away my will // // to
find a way.  // // The final fray // // remains in memory, for good o
all the words their spiders’ crawls can
find .  // // — // // A writer read, a speaker heard, // // at every
s away // // And we can some direction
find // // Give me some wind to blow us away // //
/ // I’m sure that there’s one I can’t
find .  // // How could it suddenly vanish?  // // It hasn’t just falle
I think the gods themselves // // will
find in all the books that line the shelves, // // and close to home
orning I came down, // // expecting to
find it cold, but every day // // the embers beneath the ash were dar
how it goes.  // // It flows.  // // To
find its end, where must it flee?  // // To the sea.  // // Tumbling t
dale and moor to skip across // // and
find myself in wooded Janet’s Foss.  // // Upstream again to clamber G
// A line // // to show // // can’t
find , // // no.  // //
ould reach this perfect knot // // and
find ourselves at home.  // //
December sounds // // Even I, atheist,
find some of them sublime— // // Britten’s Ceremony or the ones from
y which stings.  // // Even I, atheist,
find some of them sublime, // // Britten’s Ceremony or the ones from
he aural grime, // // even I, atheist,
find some of them sublime.  // // Must just ignore the shop-committed
what’s to do?  // // Can we not // //
find some way to move, to go, // // to travel in the mind, some gentl
ne // // for any other choice.  You’ll
find // // that every single play is here // // a new production for
ut the mushy core.  // // Mango:  // //
find the flat sides of the stone // // slice alongside // // almost
write their notes, interpret what they
find .  // // The possibility of peace is now long gone.  // // In just
e year tale to tell // // —could I but
find the words to make it plain.  // // Two book-ends bracket our shar
ing to discover their relations, // //
find their denotations, connotations.  // // Roget charted their assoc
t // // tried to climb // // tried to
find // // tried to forget // // tried to hear // // tried to ignor
water’s edge, the birds are searching,
finding .  // // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring // //
g, I must have mislaid them when // //
finding my way through the scree so much earlier.  // // Later, much l
ep // // along the beach.  Each // //
finds its own reach up the foreshore, // // the banked sand and shing
// // just as each new generation soon
finds itself // // rich rediscovering Bach’s counterpoint— // // fre
il // // an accidental spiral sequence
finds // // that it can make itself again, and fill // // the world
he next two months // // are clear and
fine and bitter cold.  // // Every step, // // your foot upon the cru
o.  Ah, I have a whim // // to build a
fine bridge clear across a great river, where // // trees, grass and
m, you see, // // I can get along just
fine .  // // But seven feet!  I must admit that seems exceeding wide,
// // Heatherwick’s sure to produce a
fine plan.  // // We also need money—of course private finance will //
em in again.  // // Beards are good for
finger -fiddling // // stroking, tickling, searching in—but // // the
e, // // or did I merely hang on by my
fingernails // // while the tornado raged around me?  // // Or was it
// to the stains already covering your
fingers // // and your palms.  Sometimes you must stop // // to dise
I am lost.  The one behind // // will
finish me completely // // and for ever.  // //
unconstrained.  // // Unused parts from
finished or abandoned projects, // // pieces half-constructed or half
hen it began rolling out its own // //
finite but unbounded space-time continuum // // —cool!  // // There a
// there was an old man called Michael
Finnegan — // // crowds stopped by his strange shenanigan // // calle
Liffey whose recirculation keeps // //
Finnegan going (despite it’s his wake)— // // Beethoven’s music is ju
// There was an old man called Michael
Finnegan .  // // He grew whiskers on his chin—but // // the wind came
// there was an old man called Michael
Finnegan .  // // The wind came up and blew him in again.  // //
// there was an old man called Michael
Finnegan — // // thought his profile needed broadening // // thought
// We take the path beside the wood—the
fir // // and silver birch along the dunes that run // // between th
we sometimes venture.  // // Beyond the
fir -trees lies // // a bracken-covered heath.  The summer fronds //
ur teeth // // into the maelstrom, the
fire and brimstone // // that will be the twentieth century— // // f
of the earth, // // in the light of a
fire , // // and faint starlight from space // // reflected in inky w
y and earth // // and rock and air; no
fire and no gold, // // no gems nor coins nor jewels; just the old //
Periodical // // Earth, air, // //
fire and water: just the four— // // but the chemists need many more
l fib…  // // Earth, // // air, // //
fire , // // and water.  // // Need just a few more.  // // How about
at twenty-minute hiatus.  // // But the
fire bore us no grudge, // // and welcomed us back into its glow.  //
the spring rain.  Throw open // // the
fire -coloured temptations, welcome in // // the roaming bees.  // //
// Evening.  A great dark cloud // //
fire -edged, blots out the setting sun.  // // Later, the clouds amass:
eded a lavatory, and I had to leave the
fire for a while // // to take him to the house.  // // I always regr
lace until at home // // the small gas
fire has warmed the room // // against the cold outside.  // // (But
You’d think he’d expire from swallowing
fire .  // // He swallowed the fire to burn the string.  // // What a s
others too I love—Earth, Water, Air—but
Fire // // is something else again.  // // A memory // // (nineteen-
pace is the earth, // // time lives in
fire , // // leaving us the water and the air.  // //
the air, // // feel the warmth of the
fire , // // listen to the lapping of the water, // // and gaze into
Fire // // My sign is Aries.  Though it seems a poor // // fit for m
// // the sky is dark, but the raging
fire // // of the sun marks passing time.  // // Far down below, the
dark night fell as we built and lit the
fire // // on the dark stones, and planted fireworks // // in the da
slowly, // // will burn for ever.  The
fire once begun // // would last for days and days.  Each morning I c
, a candle: // // heat till it catches
fire , // // pour out the blue flame.  // // After lunch, a walk // /
; // // strangely, though, not sex but
fire ).  // // See this: // // the large, dilapidated country house //
/ // the roaming bees.  // // Feel the
fire .  Spread out a green canopy // // in the warming sunlight.  Soak u
oor // // fit for me, it is at least a
Fire .  // // The others too I love—Earth, Water, Air—but Fire // // i
wallowing fire.  // // He swallowed the
fire to burn the string.  // // What a strange thing, to swallow some
chopped and sawed and dug and then set
fire to // // the produce of our labours.  // // A box or holly root,
// He swallowed the rain to put out the
fire .  // // You’d think he’d expire from swallowing fire.  // // He s
ation fires.  // // Pots are thrown and
fired , // // crops are watered.  // // Seasons and years are counted
plore the earth, // // and send signal
fires // // blazing into the air.  // // Our space is the earth, //
e banks is marked // // with smears of
fires , burnt and black.  // // The bogeys go: click-clack click-clack
e are times // // when the imagination
fires .  // // Pots are thrown and fired, // // crops are watered.  //
house was lit // // by gas, with open
fires the only heat.  // // The lino on the hall floor had been laid /
// // on the dark stones, and planted
fireworks // // in the dark edges beyond the flickering light.  // //
Place the cordless base on a level
firm surface. // // Where ever possible fill the kettle th
ways make sure that the lid is properly
firmly closed. // // Place the kettle on the cordless base
/ against the sky, a line of those same
firs // // looks vaguely oriental.  // // Since then, of course, the
// // Towards the river is a group of
firs // // —the kind you sometimes see in lines across // // the Suf
lic slices the beef granule.  // // The
first boilers of iron plate glue east // // Grow face fa-cai thick so
or kitchen lights—CS 60W screw???—check
first // // Cash m/c // // Washing // // Plan finances—get advisor?
il seven years later, the year that her
first // // grandchild arrived?  I can’t quite recall.  Nor can I now
Chatterley ban // // and the Beatles’
first LP; // // strangely, though, not sex but fire).  // // See this
almost a half-century ago // // when I
first met your daughter // // I have known fragments, snatches— // /
// // At the end of summer, and in the
first mists // // or wild winds of autumn, on the wild Suffolk heath,
Lockdown // // Here’s a
first -rate opportunity— // // Isolation for immunity— // // To indul
// legs itch // // must get on // //
first scratch // // clothes on // // spell broken // // sleep gone
// Too bad.  // // Polarity // // //
First the bad news, then the good: // // it's cancer; but it hasn’t s
r comes, and D is now called up.  // //
First to Hunmanby on the north-east Yorkshire coast // // for the req
he beginning was the third.  // // (The
first two were duds; the bits // // are somewhere back there, along w
ys go: click-clack click-clack.  // //
First we go to the front to see // // the engine, wheels bigger than
re // // (well before the start of the
first world war).  // // Fifty yards across the park at the back // /
rn nineteen-seventeen (dark days of the
first world war) // // in Sheffield, steel town.  // // Mother once r
imal, machine.  // // An owl, a leaping
fish , a fox afar— // // night-time noises permeate the air.  // // So
d, steel town.  // // Mother once ran a
fish -and-chip shop.  // // A young rambler, you take part // // in th
nd whole, netsuke-like.  // // Bird and
fish are two, and now are one: // // no perfectability except our own
.  // // The impregnable fortress makes
fish cake.  // // Fried kind’s of seafood in monolith // // Do the cr
he genes around.  // // The plants, the
fish , the dinosaurs, the apes // // advance across the generations.  E
/ Generations and generations // // of
fishermen and trading sailors // // ply back and forth overhead.  Was
s Aries.  Though it seems a poor // //
fit for me, it is at least a Fire.  // // The others too I love—Earth,
, the rapeseed and the corn.  // // The
five -bar gate, the muddy track on the tarmac road.  // // The walled p
n suite // // In other news // // //
Five days after Charlie Hebdo, I learn // // that something is growin
, // // one, // // two, three, // //
five , eight.  But // // “Fibonacci”’s four— // // not a Fibonacci nu
taircases; playing fields // // One to
five hundred:  Block plan // // Sherlock Road; Sherlock Court; Sherloc
ailways; borders; deserts // // One to
five million:  Gulf of St Lawrence // // Shickshock Mountains; Shippe
Upscale down // // One to forty-
five million:  Pacific Ocean // // Marianas Trench, Macquarie Ridge,
// as stealing a library book.  // //
Five of our cushions are missing.  // // How can we counter-attack?  //
s ugly.  No such thought would cross my
five - // // or eight- or ten-year-old imagination.  // // It stands w
he merry wives of windsor, four; // //
five othello; six for king lear; // // seven hamlet; eight macbeth; n
/ see its secret: // // the apple is a
five -pointed fruit.  // //
Clerihews // //
Five politicians…  // // Margaret Thatcher // // observed that her na
phone boxes; inns // // One to twenty
five thousand:  The Broads // // Westwick; Woodbastwick; Winterton //
Selec- // // tions will do // // for
five , three and two.  // // But for the two ones I must cheat.  // //
ond the flickering light.  // // Nearly-
five -year-old Colin // // needed a lavatory, and I had to leave the f
of May // // she says “Now’s the time—
fix the day.  // // You dance to my tune, // // I’ll lead.”  But come
r, but it’s cracked // // And won’t be
fixed and always did refract // // The one before it into at least tw
uncompleted day // // is not yet to be
fixed — // // but each interval passing by // // may be notched on a
otched on a stick.  // // Not yet to be
fixed // // while the long night’s images last, // // but notched on
l translation is not raisins // // but
flagons .  Flagons might indeed // // distract me, or Suliman, from hi
tay me not with raisins nor // // with
flagons , for I am well of love.  // // Apples may perhaps be comfortin
ion is not raisins // // but flagons. 
Flagons might indeed // // distract me, or Suliman, from his pilaf.  /
Mad.  // // He’d adore such a grand and
flamboyant adventure—to // // jump on the bandwagon he’ll be glad.”  /
catches fire, // // pour out the blue
flame .  // // After lunch, a walk // // through the summer’s brown br
/ twigs catch // // smoke curls // //
flame unfurls // // smoke grows // // smoke curls // // smoke billo
twigs catch // // strike match // //
flame unfurls // // twigs catch // // smoke curls // // flame unfur
// move apart // // flames leap // //
flames creep // // growing bright // // flames leap // // sparks ta
// move apart // // eyes smart // //
flames creep // // move apart // // flames leap // // flames creep
otatoes roast // // embers warm // //
flames gone // // last glow // // embers warm // // fading now //
atoes roast // // warm as toast // //
flames gone // // potatoes roast // // embers warm // // flames gon
um— // // and see her consigned to the
flames .  // // (I completely understand why people have // // funeral
/ flames creep // // move apart // //
flames leap // // flames creep // // growing bright // // flames le
ames creep // // growing bright // //
flames leap // // sparks take flight // // growing bright // // thr
e awake by what the thunder said // //
flashes silhouette the trees against the blind.  // // A storm is ragi
awake by what the thunder said, // //
flashes silhouette the trees against the blind.  // // Under canvas //
oast to coast // // dark forest // //
flashing stream // // bright sea // // rugged moor // // sharp moun
sky.  // // Ahead, another line, // //
flat and sharp and natural too: // // pale sky encounters dark sea.  /
k and forth and to and fro, // // in a
flat calm air.  A winter storm // // brings wild mountains of water c
orian terrace house // // stuccoed and
flat -fronted.  // // No electricity— // // gas lighting from the thir
Of eighteen sixty vintage, the house is
flat // // in face, no sign of the deep bay windows that // // adorn
shy core.  // // Mango: // // find the
flat sides of the stone // // slice alongside // // almost pole to a
e needed broadening // // thought he’d
flaunt a bushy grin—but // // the wind came up and blew it in again. 
time, the bug’s not spread by rats and
fleas // // but by their piss and snot and sweat and spittle.  // //
// at our approach.  We turn tail and
flee // // as fast as breath allows us, not to feel safe // // until
.  // // To find its end, where must it
flee ?  // // To the sea.  // // Tumbling through rocks with rainbow sp
fore Columbus.  // // He is a leader of
Flemish weavers, pointing the rest // // towards their major source o
sform the coloured flower into coloured
flesh // // and hide a secret inside.  // // Feel the air.  Turn in th
replaced, // // the soft and sensuous
flesh joins love’s embrace.  // // Mother and child are two, and now a
coat, // // and sometimes at the bare
flesh of // // the back of your hand as you reach past to pilfer //
e made // // in twenty-ten, of all the
flesh reviewed // // in magazines, on billboards high displayed, //
is that doesn’t love a wall.  // // Out
flew the web and floated wide; // // The mirror crack’d from side to
ond, // // and Barden Bridge—and now I
flick my wand // // some miles of dale and moor to skip across // //
/ // the trout that dart and pause and
flicker under // // the bubbling brooks, that chatter and meander; //
rks // // in the dark edges beyond the
flickering light.  // // Nearly-five-year-old Colin // // needed a la
/ // the Prince of Crim Tartary // //
flies into the night.  // // The paraffin stove // // casts patterns
tle snore // // puts all the ghosts to
flight .  // //
// throw on timber // // sparks take
flight // // glowing embers // // throw on timber // // let it burn
t // // flames leap // // sparks take
flight // // growing bright // // throw on timber // // sparks take
the bay // // a seal watches us, then
flips away, // // dives deep, leaving behind a swirling wake.  // //
side, // // verbosely quite enough to
float or sink a battle-ship.  // // But perhaps instead I will go the
off by a mile.  // // Tony Blair // //
floated on air // // when Maggie’s encomium // // came to be known t
ove a wall.  // // Out flew the web and
floated wide; // // The mirror crack’d from side to side.  // // I lo
rs // // cutting down the roses // //
floating down the river // // whistling down the wind // // not as i
r I’m lying awake or sleeping // // or
floating half in half out, I’m sure // // it’ll last forever, the lig
gh to overflow // // the river Don and
flood the plain.  // // The light is fading now.  // // Politicians on
e river // // lies the lagoon, a field
flooded and then left // // to the encroaching mud.  On the far bank
// Suffolk, circa 1958 // // After the
floods of fifty-three // // they raised the ramparts: giant concrete
ards; curbs // // One to fifty:  Ground
floor // // Bedroom 2; Bathroom; Bicycle shed // // walls; doors; dr
I want some more!  // // A spoon to the
floor — // // clatter!  // // No!  Another more!  // // This stuff to
king, // // feeling its way across the
floor .  // // From the lamp on the landing it’s spilling, seeping //
only heat.  // // The lino on the hall
floor had been laid // // in nineteen thirty three, the newsprint sai
ledges, // // While between the stream-
floor ridges // // Now a bottom-feeder dredges // // Through the sil
re!  More!  More!  // // A plate to the
floor — // // shatter!  // //
Another more!  // // This stuff to the
floor — // // splatter!  // // I said more!  More!  More!  // // A pla
of bark, criss-cross // // the forest
floor , streams and all.  // // A seven-mile climb // // brings us to
/ descend the steps to reach the valley
floor — // // to leave behind, for now, the wilder moor.  // // The tr
it had to be bolted // // down to the
floor , to prevent it going walkabout, // // a perambulation whenever
rger bolts and nuts and washers, // //
flooring nails, staples, cuphooks, clouts // // masonry nails, screw-
ay?  // // Across what carpets, rugs or
floors ?  // // I cannot say.  // // The houses, and their rooms and ha
/ paint from woodwork, // // lino from
floors .  // // (Under the lino, newspaper // // dated 1933 // // the
ces.  Three solid days in the Uffizi in
Florence .  Walking in the drizzle the long approach road to the Krölle
l chicken, // // Olive dish dried meat
floss stir fries a leaf mustard.  // // The small bowl of wedding rece
day // // throw half away // // more
flour , water, mix well // // mollycoddle for one day // // put in po
Ode to the yeast wind // //
flour , water, mix well // // mollycoddle for one day // // throw hal
day // // throw half away // // more
flour , water, mix well // // mollycoddle for one day // // throw hal
day // // throw half away // // more
flour , water, mix well // // mollycoddle for one day // // throw hal
// I cannot now recall.  // // Cities
flourish and decay.  In forgotten corners, // // artists create and s
erfish cooked to no sauce.  // // Young
flourishing bowl bowl shrimp // // Do a boiler burn the duck head.  //
lt, // // form and reform each ebb and
flow , each moonphase // // and each season (the navigation buoys must
oem eludes me // // No time // // for
flow // // or rhyme, // // no.  // // Words go // // from mind //
g to cut us off // // from continental
flow // // seem more like butchers working rough.  // // The light is
ed for the occasion, // // we read the
flower -borne messages // // and talked to relatives not seen for year
the air.  // // Transform the coloured
flower into coloured flesh // // and hide a secret inside.  // // Fee
tingling, too.  // // Around them, the
flowers bloom and wither // // and bloom again.  They’ve been there /
at river, where // // trees, grass and
flowers can stretch shore to shore.  // // Of bridges traversing the T
rs in the hedgerows.  // // We love the
flowers in the hedgerows // // no matter what the season of the year.
ably driving too fast // // to see the
flowers in the hedgerows.  // // We love the flowers in the hedgerows
ky.  // // Trees and bushes, shrubs and
flowers , mosses, // // ferns and grasses waving under the sky.  // //
to messenger.  // // I love you.  // //
Flowing Nile.  Send a letter.  // // New papyrus, brush and ink.  // //
orrents, // // tarns, and streams slow-
flowing , under the sky.  // // Trees and bushes, shrubs and flowers, m
.  // // Objective // // Yellow liquid
flows .  // // Subjective/objective // // Tap left open.  // // Oh bug
me, if you will, how it goes.  // // It
flows .  // // To find its end, where must it flee?  // // To the sea. 
across meadows, // // from a spring it
flows to the sea.  // //
// // Are rough and unkempt.  Buzzards
fly // // Above the weedy hedgerows, by // // The once-proud towers
// some cryptic rune.  // // The senses
fly .  // // It’s Jan, not June.  // // Back home soon // // warm and
ucous song:  // // A thousand geese are
flying into night.  // //
world just so.  // // A wingéd dragon,
flying low, // // will seek a human sacrifice, // // far away and lo
nes // // High overhead, the geese are
flying out // // on their twice-a-day migration between feeding groun
ck-clack.  // // At night, the glow and
flying sparks.  // // Grass on the lineside banks is marked // // wit
e, below, // // left and right.  // //
Focus in, // // each ray // // trapped on its way // // from the su
// above, below, left and right, // //
focus in each ray.  // // Trapped on its way from the sun, // // brig
s cut us off from looking at // // the
focus of her gaze: does he not want // // to tell?  // // This painti
the engine’s noisy roar, // // coaches
follow along the track: // // the bogeys go: click-clack click-clack
— // // there was no chance for her to
follow him.  // // There was a week of waiting while they fought it ou
o beta using this equation, // // then
follow that suggestion // // to make the beta, gamma, delta link.  //
We walked across England, once.  If you
follow the west-to-east coast-to-coast walk devised by Wainwright, you
and Wensleydale // // they passed the
following day.  // // Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, // // and s
// Most of the steps are small, // //
following , if not a line, // // at least some vague direction.  // //
erse, a brief release— // // until the
following night at least.  // // Odysseus' sirens, of course // // ca
tilla CD* // // Please choose from the
following nine // // options: if you want the tempest // // please
a healthy handle on the case.  // // *
following the example of the chemists and their sort // // ** becaus
Suliman’s pilaf // // is real comfort
food .  But comfort me not // // with apples, nor with pilaf.  I can't
t wear itself.  Without wear or favour,
fools rush in, where angels wear to tread.  I’ll wear not what men say
er cold.  // // Every step, // // your
foot upon the crust, you think // // ‘This time, it will hold my weig
wick; Winterton // // fences; marshes;
footbridges // // One to ten thousand:  Cambridge // // Petty Cury; P
ough passages or corridors // // light-
footed did I make my way?  // // Across what carpets, rugs or floors? 
ear that the hour // // for soft pussy-
footing is past.  // // It can’t be a student or fellow— // // the th
ontal space, // // we must** resort to
footnotes just to keep a healthy handle on the case. // // * followin
issey; Mingoose; Mabe Burnthouse // //
footpaths ; phone boxes; inns // // One to twenty five thousand:  The B
—needs emptying.  // // That knocking? 
Footsteps in the next room?  // // Don’t be silly, that’s just the plu
rling wake.  // // Nearer, the lapwings
forage up the beach.  // // At water’s edge the oyster-catchers, gulls
// and weathered hills, created by some
force // // beyond imagination; and of course // // extracted from m
d or pushed?  // // Did I leap a chasm,
ford a raging torrent, // // get rolled over by an avalanche, // //
Each // // finds its own reach up the
foreshore , // // the banked sand and shingle, perhaps // // (when th
on, but of, // // sand.  All along the
foreshore , // // the remains of trees // // that once grew on the hi
facts.  // // Geological time // // is
foreshortened .  This is now, here, // // real human time.  // //
llen with spring melt.  But an old pine
forest // // always provides a bridge.  The trunks // // of fallen t
est // // by lake and stream // // by
forest and moor // // from sea to mountain to sea // //
h mountain // // wide sea // // close
forest // // by lake and stream // // by forest and moor // // from
er lake // // purple moor // // green
forest // // clear stream // // grey mountain // // jagged mountain
Coast to coast // // dark
forest // // flashing stream // // bright sea // // rugged moor //
tripped of bark, criss-cross // // the
forest floor, streams and all.  // // A seven-mile climb // // brings
llion-year mountain // // hundred-year
forest // // hundred-million-year sea // // ten-thousand-year lake /
stream // // smooth lake // // dense
forest // // rough moor // // million-year moor // // ten-million-y
d crown—quite unlike // // the planted
forest , serried ranks of Christmas pine // // which begins a mile dow
ake // // resting lake // // rustling
forest // // tumbling mountain // // running stream // // rambling
ing the many-coloured earths.  // // In
forests and in open spaces // // there are times // // when the imag
/ // The winding trails // // through
forests waking to the spring // // intersect or fork.  Some of these
hardness rests // // on the sea-bed. 
Forever ?  // // Another, rougher softness, // // but with sharp claws
nence the rule.  // // Change will last
forever .  // // At intervals along the south horizon // // container
you ate straight off the bush are saved
forever ).  // // At the end of summer, and in the first mists // // o
r rough softness.  // // Can this go on
forever ?  // // Empty again, in harsher light.  // // Another softness
ckberries // // of my childhood remain
forever perfect, // // forever simultaneously sweet and tart, // //
hildhood remain forever perfect, // //
forever simultaneously sweet and tart, // // sharp on my mind’s tongu
lf, trumpet-like.  // // Can this go on
forever ?  // // Softness grows still, fades away.  // // Empty spiral
river, // // Tending her cabbage patch
forever , // // The hermit of Shalott.  // //
in half out, I’m sure // // it’ll last
forever , the light that’s leaking // // under the door.  // //
Build speed.  // // Build power.  // //
Forge ahead.  // // Spread.  // // Reach.  // // Slacken.  // // Settl
mb // // tried to find // // tried to
forget // // tried to hear // // tried to ignore // // tried to lea
me now half-remembered, some long since
forgotten — // // but nothing that resembles a narrative.  // // Born
.  // // Cities flourish and decay.  In
forgotten corners, // // artists create and sometimes destroy.  Did I
l or mechanical purpose // // now half-
forgotten .  Electrical components.  // // A pair of cast-iron supports
1 back: frustration // // Damn—I had
forgotten // // that this equation also needs some zeta factor // //
aking to the spring // // intersect or
fork .  Some of these meeting-points // // are signposted with names a
banks of shingle shift and melt, // //
form and reform each ebb and flow, each moonphase // // and each seas
in bag for Mon // // Did I submit tax
form ??  // // Check L’s dob—70 next b/day?  // // Dentist appointment—
grows steady and purposeful.  // // We
form into rows and columns across the deep.  // // Without knowing wha
winds // // a billion random patterns
form —until // // an accidental spiral sequence finds // // that it c
for any line.  // // With a terse verse
form , you see, // // I can get along just fine.  // // But seven feet
my mother died // // we had the proper
formal funeral.  // // (She had chosen the music for the ceremony //
purpose of the wind; // // we march in
formation .  // // The wind feeds us, makes us strong.  // // Occasiona
vening light.  // // Slanting lines are
forming , breaking, forming // // ordered chaos with a raucous song:  /
/ Slanting lines are forming, breaking,
forming // // ordered chaos with a raucous song:  // // A thousand ge
d it starts to snow.  // // A snowdrift
forms against the wire brush // // of David’s thick black hair, // /
gh glasses, darkly.  // // —A fragment,
formulated forty years ago // // and filed in the middens of my mind.
, delta.  // // The way is clear.  This
formulation // // both lays the problem out and then reveals // // t
/ for all of us, such beauty brought he
forth ; // // and at the end, almost with dying breath, // // a swan-
ft, // // pushing the shingle back and
forth and to and fro, // // in a flat calm air.  A winter storm // /
// // Where tender shoots may venture
forth // // On weed-o’er-run Shalott?  // // She who hath this garden
and trading sailors // // ply back and
forth overhead.  Was I carried for trade?  // // Or in payment of taxe
s up an incense.  // // The impregnable
fortress makes fish cake.  // // Fried kind’s of seafood in monolith /
wered Camelot.  // // Then, as winds of
fortune blow, // // It was arranged that she should go // // And tak
Upscale down // // One to
forty -five million:  Pacific Ocean // // Marianas Trench, Macquarie R
entury ago and // // three hundred and
forty miles // // to the south-west: // // marked by a bolt embedded
Interval // // There is a
forty -one year tale to tell // // —could I but find the words to make
darkly.  // // —A fragment, formulated
forty years ago // // and filed in the middens of my mind.  // // And
eckham house // // that we bought some
forty years ago.  // // One of the legs had rotted half away.  // // B
the cold outside.  // // (But that was
forty years ago // // —these days his hair is white all through.) //
tention, I // // stumble, fall heavily
forward and land with my // // shin on a knife-edge of rock that prot
// // Probe.  // // Grow.  // // Push
forward .  // // Build speed.  // // Build power.  // // Forge ahead.  /
Zigzag // // 2
forward : inspiration // // Alpha, beta, gamma, delta.  // // The way
not be to my taste; // // rather, look
forward to final oblivion— // // when the time comes, I might add, no
/ // and find myself in wooded Janet’s
Foss .  // // Upstream again to clamber Gordale Scar // // and rest, a
le(with double cream) // // // // Dr
Foster went to Gloucester // // for a summer spin— // // and liked a
There was a week of waiting while they
fought it out.  // // There was a lull— // // But he was dead:  // //
// empires rise and fall.  Battles are
fought , // // wars are lost and won.  Did they rage around me // //
wilder moor.  // // The treasures to be
found along my path // // are elemental: water, sky and earth // //
itself and four-inch rings surely to be
found // // elsewhere in the garage).  // // The bench was once // /
// expresses change.  Some variant has
found // // how good sex is—to mix the genes around.  // // The plant
As I have visited other places, I have
found other treasures, and regret not having had the chance to show so
Colourless green ideas
found sleeping furiously // // // The garlic slices the beef granule
wn tangled thread, // // would we have
found some common course, // // or bend or hitch or bead?  // // Some
ered on the ground // // waiting to be
found .  // // Waiting for declension, conjugation, // // other morpho
, air, // // fire and water: just the
four — // // but the chemists need many more.  // // The top of the ta
e.  // // The peasant family stir-fries
four // // Butterfish cooked to no sauce.  // // Young flourishing bo
ed half away.  // // But a new piece of
four by two turned it into // // a perfect workbench—the cuts and hol
hful— // // The eye of the little god,
four cornered.  // // Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.  //
ine; // // the merry wives of windsor,
four ; // // five othello; six for king lear; // // seven hamlet; eig
g Shakespeareline. // // * pronounced ’
four hundred’ // //
in diameter (the pole // // itself and
four -inch rings surely to be found // // elsewhere in the garage).  //
rraced fronts.  // // One of a block of
four , it had been once— // // but they had filled the gap to make a j
five, eight.  But // // “Fibonacci”’s
four — // // not a Fibonacci number.  // // Time?  // // No!  // // No
who’s sneaking our cushions away // //
Four of our cushions are missing.  // // It’s getting beyond a bad jok
ived) I divided each drawer // // into
four or more sections, with plywood strips // // carefully cut and gl
nside.  // // Feel the air.  Turn in the
four winds.  Broadcast the secret // // to earth, as far away as it wi
m will // // simply erase them.  // //
Four years ago a storm demolished // // the dunes on the beach across
chine.  // // An owl, a leaping fish, a
fox afar— // // night-time noises permeate the air.  // // Someone sn
Type right // // The quick brown
fox jumps over the lazy dog // //
p.  // // XO sauce explodes to grow the
fragile bone.  // // The peasant family stir-fries four // // Butterf
Bach’s counterpoint— // // frescos are
fragile , but Piero’s perspective will // // live on long after his co
a little croaker with no result.  // //
Fragile crab of incense taste mushroom // // Do the black boiler hair
ed bed next door: // // someone else’s
fragile life is there.  // //
ed bed next door: // // someone else’s
fragile life is there.  // // Each new doctor asks the same once more,
// through glasses, darkly.  // // —A
fragment , formulated forty years ago // // and filed in the middens o
Fragment // // I could not see what he saw; but I saw him see // //
all the bits that it had missed:  // //
fragments around the edges of the blaze.  // // Even now, // // I fee
Fragments of a life // // We walked across England, once.  If y
t met your daughter // // I have known
fragments , snatches— // // some now half-remembered, some long since
—does he know what it is she sees?  The
frame // // he chose has cut us off from looking at // // the focus
some distant point outside the picture
frame .  // // What does she see?  Is there something there?  // // Som
// // under the channel and then from
France to Belgium.  // // But we don’t notice them at all: the journey
ke in 1896, in order to make proper San
Francisco bread, prospectors would carry with them their sourdough sta
ine years long.) // // Béla Bartók and
Frank Bridge // // are still at college // // Sergei Prokofiev and C
// // to find a way.  // // The final
fray // // remains in memory, for good or ill, // // another day.  //
e way we came.  // // All verse is born
free .  // //
A poem for
free // // The night mail rattles north to the border // // (bringin
discovering Bach’s counterpoint— // //
frescos are fragile, but Piero’s perspective will // // live on long
/ Hanging garden.  Send a letter.  // //
Fresh clay tablet, stylus, scribe.  // // Entrust to messenger.  // //
ge.  The trunks // // of fallen trees,
fresh from the winter’s storms // // or long since stripped of bark,
ce in which I must survive, // // with
Frida as my muse and inspiration— // // that reality in which I live.
should write it in a verse // // with
Frida as my muse and inspiration // // This figment of my own imagina
ut Aix was as far as he went.  // // In
Friday Market square // // Jacob van Artevelde makes an expansive ges
All done with mirrors // // One
Friday morning when we set sail // // and our ship not far from land
gnable fortress makes fish cake.  // //
Fried kind’s of seafood in monolith // // Do the crispy bean curd of
one more.  // // Now it happens my old
friend is crowned mayor of London, he // // goes by the rubrik of Bor
orland.  It wasn’t very environmentally
friendly of us, but it felt right. // // Many art gallerie
mpanions, pray?  // // Old friends, new
friends did I meet?  // // I cannot say.  // // And when we parted, di
ack to Sheffield again.  // // How many
friends have you outlived?  Eventually // // the Sheffield ties becom
ing cloud // // more meetings with old
friends // // more talks, more silences // // more sleeps, more slee
ho were my companions, pray?  // // Old
friends , new friends did I meet?  // // I cannot say.  // // And when
// // Olive dish dried meat floss stir
fries a leaf mustard.  // // The small bowl of wedding reception stews
le bone.  // // The peasant family stir-
fries four // // Butterfish cooked to no sauce.  // // Young flourish
nky darkness, keeping // // at bay the
frights night has in store.  // // Whether I’m lying awake or sleeping
g the shingle back and forth and to and
fro , // // in a flat calm air.  A winter storm // // brings wild mou
// a bracken-covered heath.  The summer
fronds // // rise far above our heads.  In this bright green // // w
efully cut and glued.  And labelled the
front — // // Nails: tacks, panel pins, ovals and round; // // Screws
e back // // of the one immediately in
front .  // // The wind is angry, howling and shrieking.  // // It push
click-clack.  // // First we go to the
front to see // // the engine, wheels bigger than me— // // a great
terrace house // // stuccoed and flat-
fronted .  // // No electricity— // // gas lighting from the thirties;
// // adorn most later London terraced
fronts .  // // One of a block of four, it had been once— // // but th
to melt // // the topmost layer.  The
frost returns // // to make a crust.  The next two months // // are
// // Gordon Brown // // replaced his
frown // // with a one-sided smile // // that was off by a mile.  //
ret: // // the apple is a five-pointed
fruit .  // //
// at war with the bracken.  // // No
fruit here—the thorns will catch // // at your sleeve, at the tails o
// // towards the brown.  // // Autumn
fruit is growing fat, // // trees bending, boughs reaching // // for
// stands out, a clump of pears whose
fruit // // is hard as stone.  (But when stewed overnight // // in t
// Winds bowling through trees // //
fruit -laden boughs bent to earth // // apples in the grass // //
chops // // Veg—broccoli?  // // Some
fruit // // Present for C—book?  // // Coat to cleaners // // Pay ne
Why is it that // // this latter-day
fruit so often disappoints?  // // Did I just dream the taste?  // //
may perhaps be comforting // // as any
fruit , though Suliman’s pilaf // // is real comfort food.  But comfor
eta, gamma, delta link. // // 1 back: 
frustration // // Damn—I had forgotten // // that this equation also
ury and a bit.  There is an area about 2
ft square of brush marks in a darker paint, made by a house-painter cl
t on, // // we generated quantities of
fuel // // and built a roaring blaze.  Then late into the night // /
ere, with my eyesight?  // // Yes, with
fuel to burn.  // // If the lines be blurred just right, // // You ma
zac, and called “Post-Balzac”.  It is a
full -length bronze cape, upright and rounded as if on the shoulders of
r // // through box and holly grown to
full maturity // // to an iron-gated pointed arch // // piercing the
ps instead I will go the whole hog, the
full nine yards: turn the paper onto its side and write each line //
to mother, in a two-up-two-down // //
full of family and lodgers.  Daughter born // // at the height of the
eart aglow // // will sit and spin, so
full of grace, // // far away and long ago.  // // A fairy, good or b
ast hall // // of city station, noisy,
full // // of people rushing there and back.  // // The bogeys go: c
we have to guess.  // // The woods are
full of streams, // // swollen with spring melt.  But an old pine for
because the margin is too narrow for a
full report // // Turns out† that the seventh layer consists mostly o
/ // as if to start out on a voyage, a
full round-Britain trip.  // // I’ll need a ton of words to fill each
for hidden treasure, long beaks buried
full // // to probe deep down beneath the shining mud.  // //
ple spread!  Quick, guys, an ecstasy of
fumbling , // // building the clumsy barriers just in time // // to k
ough.  // // I’ll give it some taxpayer
funding , and get old saint // // George of the Chancel to throw in so
etely understand why people have // //
funeral pyres.) Later we scatter the ashes // // in a wild part of t
er died // // we had the proper formal
funeral .  // // (She had chosen the music for the ceremony // // —a S
Colourless green ideas found sleeping
furiously // // // The garlic slices the beef granule.  // // The fi
efunct household gadgets, // // broken
furniture , shelves no longer // // serving any useful purpose.  // //
t is not so.  // // Seen from here, the
future is changed // // utterly.  And I have the scars // // to prov
t // // will last and last, // // the
future is fast disappearing.  // //
to wander into // // a better place, a
future that // // revives, replenishes, makes good // // the damaged
.  // // Nothing remains // // but the
fuzzy end of the lollipop and the squeezed out tube of toothpaste //