Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

Concordance

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

M

advisor?  G’s contact maybe // // Ring
M about Xmas // // Ring Tony D about works in basement // // Tickets
CS 60W screw???—check first // // Cash
m /c // // Washing // // Plan finances—get advisor?  G’s contact maybe
ion to the rocks.  // // But me, now, I'
m just lucky.  // //
d Falmouth // // Mevagissey; Mingoose;
Mabe Burnthouse // // footpaths; phone boxes; inns // // One to twen
r king lear; // // seven hamlet; eight
macbeth ; nine // // for any other choice.  You’ll find // // that ev
nate.  A pump and valves from a washing
machine .  // // An electric fan.  The dial of a clock.  Another dial,
e air // // with voices human, animal,
machine .  // // An owl, a leaping fish, a fox afar— // // night-time
e air // // with voices human, animal,
machine .  // // In hospital // // Voices from the curtained bed next
od vibrations // // The Bendix washing
machine was already elderly // // when my mother, acquiring a newer m
nder bent to work; // // chrome coffee
machines .  // // At the bar three people sit // // all six eyes lower
Pacific Ocean // // Marianas Trench,
Macquarie Ridge, Mendocino Seascarp // // the shape of the world //
// // goes by the rubrik of Boris the
Mad .  // // He’d adore such a grand and flamboyant adventure—to // //
e.  The other, the noise // // that it
made as it spun, a rhythmic staccato juddering // // with a touch of
quare of brush marks in a darker paint,
made by a house-painter cleaning his brush after painting some woodwor
er uses.  The plastic boxes // // were
made for slides or toothpowder, tins // // for cocoa or throat lozeng
chalk and cheese; so what would he have
made // // in twenty-ten, of all the flesh reviewed // // in magazin
old Fellow of Girton // // who always
made love with his shirt on.  // // Saying “Now that I’m old, // // I
eard, // // at every word a choice has
made .  // // Those that they choose to use // // to inform or confuse
and gnashing our teeth // // into the
maelstrom , the fire and brimstone // // that will be the twentieth ce
en, of all the flesh reviewed // // in
magazines , on billboards high displayed, // // each model posed in la
Blair // // floated on air // // when
Maggie’s encomium // // came to be known to ’im. // // … and one poe
// // that covers the heath.  // // On
magic carpet // // the Prince of Crim Tartary // // flies into the n
e.  // // The box and holly // // were
magnificent , but could not be allowed // // to remain in occupation o
mpse, mizzle, skylight // // ammonite,
mahogany , archive // // plummett // // Note:  Fifty colours of Farro
bbage-bed— // // She was once a lady’s
maid // // In gracious, towered Camelot.  // // Then, as winds of for
The Lady’s
Maid // // Under a gray and lowering sky // // The fields that by th
// // we there did espy a fair pretty
maid // // with a comb and a glass in her hand.  // // See the pretty
// the world just so, // // a pretty
maiden , heart aglow // // will sit and spin, so full of grace, // //
h, // // the mill-girl’s beauty or the
maiden’s death, // // the trout that dart and pause and flicker under
A poem for free // // The night
mail rattles north to the border // // (bringing the cheque and the p
pointing the rest // // towards their
major source of trade:  // // England.  // // Back the way we came.  //
e all the junk inside. // // grey John
Major // // surely had a wager // // that he could without worry //
ost layer.  The frost returns // // to
make a crust.  The next two months // // are clear and fine and bitte
— // // but they had filled the gap to
make a join // // with the neighbouring block, leaving a row of nine.
ng on a hidden hollow which // // will
make a temporary home, until // // the next adventure.  // // (One ti
a solution.  // // All we need to do is
make connection // // alpha to beta using this equation, // // then
g as can be // // and stable—they will
make for me.  // // But when my support // // is caught badly short /
l // // —could I but find the words to
make it plain.  // // Two book-ends bracket our shared domain:  // //
piral sequence finds // // that it can
make itself again, and fill // // the world with dittoed offspring.  Y
ndane scene // // so briefly glimpsed,
make my muse suggest // // just three alliterative lines—at best //
or corridors // // light-footed did I
make my way?  // // Across what carpets, rugs or floors?  // // I cann
// // Politicians on the stump // //
make promises-to-go // // inspired by our local Trump.  // // The lig
in in the Klondike in 1896, in order to
make proper San Francisco bread, prospectors would carry with them the
e electricity. // // Always
make sure that the lid is properly firmly closed. // // Pl
/ then follow that suggestion // // to
make the beta, gamma, delta link. // // 1 back: frustration // // D
s are a many-splendoured thing.  Gloves
make the world go round, and all’s fair in gloves and war, though the
ve // // tried to love // // tried to
make // // tried to mend // // tried to reach // // tried to recall
// [One iamb, two anapest] feet // // [
make up an eight-syllable] beat.  // // Selec- // // tions will do //
// maybe catch // // close enough to
make you jump, or far away, // // the thud as one more apple hits the
he says, // // through these ideas he
makes a worthy guide; // // his voice is lively, gestures wide.  // /
arket square // // Jacob van Artevelde
makes an expansive gesture // // towards the setting sun.  // // Go w
h the scents the sea-winds bring // //
makes another lingering turn, begins // // Hear the marsh-birds calli
, busily, without rising from her seat,
makes everyone shuffle up in order to allow Judith to sit down.  They
ncense.  // // The impregnable fortress
makes fish cake.  // // Fried kind’s of seafood in monolith // // Do
uture that // // revives, replenishes,
makes good // // the damaged present, this dark night?  // // Not to
// // with her who to her lover’s side
makes haste: // // jump willing into every word-filled well.  // // T
s lesson, the great Michelangelo // //
makes his work lasting by carving in stone— // // me, I’m not looking
the shapes, and using a charcoal stick,
makes some small additions.  And it becomes a scene, a group of people
ing.  // // It pushes us harder, // //
makes us grow broader and taller, // // sweeps spray from our tops, /
in formation.  // // The wind feeds us,
makes us strong.  // // Occasionally, I catch glimpses // // of the r
n wild boar’s head.  // // If Aristotle
makes you choke // // eat me instead.  // // My ancestor caused Eve t
nst your ear a shell // // whose music
makes your languid pulses race: // // fall, fall into the writer’s we
ing gamma from consideration // // and
making an approximate relation // // by tying beta up with mu and lam
// // is just the egg’s // // way of
making // // another egg // // then what I should // // not be doin
Place the kettle on the cordless base
making sure it is positioned correctly. // // Plug in and
he turn on the zero, not the one // //
making the twentieth century only // // ninety-nine years long.) //
usband transforms into // // Yorkshire
male , expecting // // tea on the table when he returns from work //
.  // // Then back to skirt the edge of
Malham Cove, // // with fields below and limestone crags above; // /
n, // // a gentler walk, to bare bleak
Malham Tarn.  // // Then back to skirt the edge of Malham Cove, // //
e tail end of my colon: // // probably
malignant .  // // ‘Malignant’ seems too strong a word.  // // I’m sure
lon: // // probably malignant.  // // ‘
Malignant ’ seems too strong a word.  // // I’m sure it doesn’t really
e window.  // // That waft of scent?  A
malodourous revenant?  // // Don’t be silly, that’s just the bin—needs
splits apart Edwardian disdain.  // //
Man and drill are two, and now are one: // // no perfectability excep
easily win—but // // there was an old
man called Michael Finnegan— // // crowds stopped by his strange shen
Beginagain // // There was an old
man called Michael Finnegan.  // // He grew whiskers on his chin—but /
comfort in—but // // there was an old
man called Michael Finnegan.  // // The wind came up and blew him in a
earching in—but // // there was an old
man called Michael Finnegan— // // thought his profile needed broaden
g into // // one window; but one young
man half-turned // // across the rest, looking with unfocussed eyes /
// boldness and vision—I know just the
man .  // // He has built me some buses which boosted my ego—the // //
the setting sun.  // // Go west, young
man ?  No, this is about // // a century and a half before Columbus.  /
// // Skirting the back of the Little
Man precipice, // // one final push up the ridge to the pinnacle.  //
ondeau // // In any season, some young
man will wander // // along the byways, thoughts tragic or tender— //
bullet, stray.  // // There was a young
man writhing in the splinters of the shattered window pane.  // // The
e’s Yard in Cambridge when it was still
managed by Jim Ede (he would pick up a Brancusi stone head, or a small
// // scoop out the mushy core.  // //
Mango : // // find the flat sides of the stone // // slice alongside
ically.  The kettle can be switched off
manually by putting the switch to the ‘OFF’ position. // //
o enrol, when they come to Paris // //
Manuel de Falla and Igor Stravinsky.  // // A turn, a period of change
ace we know but little // // across so
many alien lands and seas // // some people have some nasty new disea
s, but it felt right. // //
Many art galleries in many places.  Three solid days in the Uffizi in
to our hands).  She introduced me to so
many artists.  As I have visited other places, I have found other trea
e evanescent airs // // moistening the
many -coloured earths.  // // In forests and in open spaces // // ther
// // Between the endpoints there were
many days // // —or should have been—for many kinds of loving.  // //
for wind: we care not a tittle.  // //
Many die—thus limiting their needs.  // // This time, the bug’s not sp
o.  Back to Sheffield again.  // // How
many friends have you outlived?  Eventually // // the Sheffield ties
ny days // // —or should have been—for
many kinds of loving.  // // Did I love enough? use every day?  // //
Babylon by candlelight // // How
many miles to Barnard Castle?  // // Three score, out/return // // Ca
eeding into seasons.  // // Just not so
many more.  // //
the four— // // but the chemists need
many more.  // // The top of the table is sparse, but every second per
ces, ipods, phones speak out.  // // So
many people talking: can we doubt // // that somewhere herein lies s
// // Many art galleries in
many places.  Three solid days in the Uffizi in Florence.  Walking in
will both inspire and destroy // // so
many poets and other artists // // which will drag us // // kicking
// // To the sharp senses, nature has
many sharp lines.  // //
n if living in zen.  // // Gloves are a
many -splendoured thing.  Gloves make the world go round, and all’s fai
ay, the cancer can be blamed // // for
many things.  Hard to tell, now, // // which failing faculties to pla
urd.  // // In the beginning there were
many words: // // sitting, lying all around // // in bags or scatter
Mediterranean waves roll on.  // // How
many years, decades, centuries // // have I lain upon this sandy seaf
final prop.  A hundred yards // // of
man’s best effort at defence // // drops thirty feet into a hole.  //
nces // // that only roughly match the
map .  At others, though, // // we have to guess.  // // The woods are
aided—I // // just have to check on my
map for the best way back.  // // Reading a map now, I have to use spe
for the best way back.  // // Reading a
map now, I have to use spectacles.  // // Carry them with me wherever
Pribble and prabble: as // // Nigel’s
marauding and // // taking two toeholds in // // Essex and Kent, //
e on the purpose of the wind; // // we
march in formation.  // // The wind feeds us, makes us strong.  // //
or cross a mountain range?  // // Did I
march towards my fate, // // or did I merely hang on by my fingernail
erihews // // Five politicians…  // //
Margaret Thatcher // // observed that her natu- // // ral son and he
ses poor Boris, and // // gets the Red
Margaret to look at the case.  // // “It’s been a fiasco, a drain on o
ts and their sort // // ** because the
margin is too narrow for a full report // // Turns out† that the seve
towards the sea.  // // Along the muddy
margins , in the lee // // of the sea-wall, around the bladder-wrack,
back towards the sea.  // // Along the
margins waders // // scutter, scavenge—redshank, // // godwit, curle
rty-five million:  Pacific Ocean // //
Marianas Trench, Macquarie Ridge, Mendocino Seascarp // // the shape
ut much attention to metre, until I can
mark its end with such a strong and obvious rhyme // // that even if
t of water can be measured by the level
mark on the outside of the kettle.  Never fill the kettle above the MA
ough, and can be climbed // // inside)
mark out the sandy/grassy bank that is // // the cliff.  A narrow san
miles // // to the south-west:  // //
marked by a bolt embedded in // // the Newlyn harbour wall.  // // On
.  // // Grass on the lineside banks is
marked // // with smears of fires, burnt and black.  // // The bogeys
was as far as he went.  // // In Friday
Market square // // Jacob van Artevelde makes an expansive gesture //
alls stripped and undecorated, but with
marks and signs accumulated over a century and a bit.  There is an are
re is an area about 2ft square of brush
marks in a darker paint, made by a house-painter cleaning his brush af
, but the raging fire // // of the sun
marks passing time.  // // Far down below, the earth // // is mostly
/ // was no great shakes // // in the
marriage stakes.  // //
a dashing young fellow rambler.  // //
Marry , find a home // // on the very edge of Sheffield // // facing
moves away to teach, and then // // to
marry me.  Son develops // // schizophrenia.  // // After G’s death,
The bows face seaward // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // against the current pushing strongly townwa
changes in the harbour; // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // at the bar the waves are washing over.  //
the sandbanks.  Listing // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // boats are stranded at their stations, waiti
ers reach and lift them // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // echoes of the distant sea-swell rock them /
steady, slow accretion // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // in places it has lost, reoccupation // //
lingering turn, begins // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // retreating back the way it came, regains //
creek a gentle trickle // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // the drying sand with muddy spots bespeckled
boats around once more // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // to face the town, runs headlong for the bar
sh channels water rises // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // to the edges of the sea-grass—pauses, // /
On the soft, receding // // Hear the
marsh -birds calling // // water’s edge, the birds are searching, find
al creeks // // meandering through the
marsh // // carve out sections of bank // // leaving sharp cliffs of
listing on the mudflat.  // // The salt-
marsh , the sedge and the samphire, // // the oyster-catcher, the egre
// a calmer green oasis, band of salt-
marsh // // where barn-owls hunt their prey.  But not for long // //
g the dunes that run // // between the
marshes and the sea.  The sun // // is low ahead of us, the sky is cl
Woodbastwick; Winterton // // fences;
marshes ; footbridges // // One to ten thousand:  Cambridge // // Pett
gle beach.  // // The mile south to the
Martello tower, // // we walk along the banked-up track // // behind
// // Beethoven’s music is just bloody
marvellous , // // resonates on though the print becomes faint; // //
nails, staples, cuphooks, clouts // //
masonry nails, screw-eyes, picture hooks // // wallplugs, rivets, sel
ng rambler, you take part // // in the
mass trespass on Kinderscout.  // // Meet a dashing young fellow rambl
ecalmed // // Run all the sails up the
mast // // Way-hay, blow us away // // But we are bound for nowhere
light // // twigs catch // // strike
match // // flame unfurls // // twigs catch // // smoke curls // /
and distances // // that only roughly
match the map.  At others, though, // // we have to guess.  // // The
Bonfire // // Dark night // // strike
match // // tiny light // // twigs catch // // strike match // //
h, setting plaster // // string, cord,
matchstick , tallow, vardo // // cromarty, ringwold or savage ground /
?  // // I cannot now recall.  // // No
matter !  Now, in a stranger place, a colder clime, // // with no arms
the flowers in the hedgerows // // no
matter what the season of the year.  // // At any time or season of th
// through box and holly grown to full
maturity // // to an iron-gated pointed arch // // piercing the wall
William Walton not yet born.  // // But
Maurice Ravel has just joined // // the Société des Apaches // // (o
ettle.  Never fill the kettle above the
MAX level and ensure that it is always above the MIN level. // /
// but each interval passing by // //
may be notched on a stick.  // // Not yet to be fixed // // while the
When the kettle has boiled the water
may be poured out through the spout. // //
This
may be the end // // The dance // // In her very own month of May //
lines be blurred just right, // // You
may go there with your eyesight.  // //
the appliance has just switched off you
may have to wait a few minutes before switching back on. // //
up and blew it in again.  // // Beards
may need some clipping, shortening // // left alone they easily win—b
s, for I am well of love.  // // Apples
may perhaps be comforting // // as any fruit, though Suliman’s pilaf
e dance // // In her very own month of
May // // she says “Now’s the time—fix the day.  // // You dance to m
-raked earth // // Where tender shoots
may venture forth // // On weed-o’er-run Shalott?  // // She who hath
e us out in // // ten or a thousand or
maybe a million years, // // it seems to be acting // // not in its
king and screaming of course // // but
maybe also wailing and gnashing our teeth // // into the maelstrom, t
ay, // // the clouds scud past, // //
maybe catch // // close enough to make you jump, or far away, // //
our paths, or creeping through, // //
maybe chancing on a hidden hollow which // // will make a temporary h
their place // // —in muesli, say, or
maybe Christmas cake, // // or more appropriately, Suliman’s pilaf.  /
me seconds.  // // No, more than that. 
Maybe for a day— // // even more maybe—for a year and a day // // in
hat.  Maybe for a day— // // even more
maybe —for a year and a day // // in Norfolk where the sign reads slow
// // // // // // // // // //
Maybe , for some, the resolution lies // // in their cups.  Thomas cer
tion // // Yet here’s a thought.  Just
maybe I can // // circle round the tentacles of zeta // // by striki
it for you if I had the art, // // Or
maybe I should write it in a verse.  // // But now the dawn has come,
s figment of my own imagination.  // //
Maybe I should write it in a verse // // with Frida as my muse and in
Other pocket?  // // No.  // // Jacket,
maybe ?  // // No.  // // But which jacket yesterday?  Ah, that one.  //
window, warming // // in the sun?  Or
maybe nothing—maybe she // // is pensive, dreaming, lost in reverie. 
Plan finances—get advisor?  G’s contact
maybe // // Ring M about Xmas // // Ring Tony D about works in basem
ng // // in the sun?  Or maybe nothing—
maybe she // // is pensive, dreaming, lost in reverie.  // // And the
r fawn, // // three-quarter length, or
maybe short, // // patch pockets (useless for cold hands), // // thi
ong ago, that icon of // // a time and
maybe social group // // —and then, when that one died, one more.  //
did we say // // our last goodbyes, or
maybe they // // just slipped away— // // I cannot say.  // //
walled garden, left untended // // for
maybe thirty years.  A winding path // // leads from the glazed back
Hills // // Hills?  Well, dunes // //
maybe two or three metres above // // mean sea level.  // // And wher
Now it happens my old friend is crowned
mayor of London, he // // goes by the rubrik of Boris the Mad.  // //
// the sky behind the trees beyond the
meadow , // // tall grasses glowing in the morning sun // // below an
d the hollows, // // meandering across
meadows , // // from a spring it flows to the sea.  // //
// Mountains, valleys, moors and dales,
meadows , // // hills, ravines descending, under the sky.  // // Ocean
and on // // the mile across the river
meadows // // to Grantchester.  As we walk back // // against the wi
.  // // The prefecture of river drives
meal chicken, // // Olive dish dried meat floss stir fries a leaf mus
maybe two or three metres above // //
mean sea level.  // // And where’s that, when it’s at home?  // // It’
to spill // // your precious hoard (I
mean the ones you will deliver // // for tomorrow’s blackberry-and-ap
/ the bubbling brooks, that chatter and
meander ; // // of Ellen, Norna, or of Rosamunde.  // // Sorrow, longi
ing the straits and the hollows, // //
meandering across meadows, // // from a spring it flows to the sea.  /
Across the channel, tidal creeks // //
meandering through the marsh // // carve out sections of bank // //
arred list of the actinoids // // ‡ by
means of reactors or colliders or other toys // //
d away.  // // What it said, or what it
meant // // I cannot say.  // // Rainbow-bright, or black and white,
// on its way down.  // // It’s a level
measured // // a century ago and // // three hundred and forty miles
// // The amount of water can be
measured by the level mark on the outside of the kettle.  Never fill t
s meal chicken, // // Olive dish dried
meat floss stir fries a leaf mustard.  // // The small bowl of wedding
ucted, // // for some architectural or
mechanical purpose // // now half-forgotten.  Electrical components. 
ut not to be churches.  // // Wonderful
mechanisms in the civic belltower— // // a giant musical box.  // //
call.  // // On the lands bordering the
Mediterranean , // // empires rise and fall.  Battles are fought, //
e or more // // straight up // // the
Mediterranean waves roll on.  // // How many years, decades, centuries
he mass trespass on Kinderscout.  // //
Meet a dashing young fellow rambler.  // // Marry, find a home // //
n just a few days’ time, these two will
meet // // and clash — and I’m to be the battle ground.  // // The fi
to cast?  // // No, I’m glad we did not
meet // // before the alotted time: // // that we could reach this p
?  // // Old friends, new friends did I
meet ?  // // I cannot say.  // // And when we parted, did we say // /
/ // intersect or fork.  Some of these
meeting -points // // are signposted with names and distances // // t
ng up the pieces // // wrapping up the
meeting // // shutting up shop // //
nmeasured angle.  // // Last September,
meeting you.  // // The world looks different now.  // //
un or rain or passing cloud // // more
meetings with old friends // // more talks, more silences // // more
drawn.  // // Whichever wins, whichever
meets defeat, // // the relict of the fight will be my wound.  // //
leave the pith and pips.  // // Papaya,
melon : // // pole-to-pole // // scoop out the mushy core.  // // Man
of streams, // // swollen with spring
melt .  But an old pine forest // // always provides a bridge.  The tr
Channels and banks of shingle shift and
melt , // // form and reform each ebb and flow, each moonphase // //
f hour // // the air is warm enough to
melt // // the topmost layer.  The frost returns // // to make a cru
ed, still half-covered // // in slowly
melting ice.  On the far side // // the steep snow-covered slopes ris
course // // extracted from my fickle
memory — // // elusive and illusive treasure, she.  // //
// // The final fray // // remains in
memory , for good or ill, // // another day.  // // I cannot say // /
/ // is something else again.  // // A
memory // // (nineteen-sixty-one or so—my teens—already // // betwee
journeys by rail come back // // to my
memory , patterns of clickety-clack.  // // But that was then.  Now the
es of New Yorkers, like lambs.  It is a
memory that Judith treasures for the rest of her life. // //
// // It had to be, but it was not the
memory we needed.  // // So three months later, we met again // // on
gels wear to tread.  I’ll wear not what
men say.  // //
around me // // where I stood for all
men to see?  // // I cannot now recall.  // // Cities flourish and dec
ve // // tried to make // // tried to
mend // // tried to reach // // tried to recall // // tried to see
/ // Marianas Trench, Macquarie Ridge,
Mendocino Seascarp // // the shape of the world // // One to thirty
march towards my fate, // // or did I
merely hang on by my fingernails // // while the tornado raged around
// Build power.  // // Pull in.  // //
Merge .  // // Retract.  // // Slacken.  // // Settle.  // // Pause.  //
active girl be?  // // I have heard the
mermaids singing, each to each.  // // I do not think that they will s
wo; or three for cymbelline; // // the
merry wives of windsor, four; // // five othello; six for king lear;
ens, of course // // can offer no such
message .  Theirs // // is a one-way invitation to the rocks.  // // B
casion, // // we read the flower-borne
messages // // and talked to relatives not seen for years.  // // It
new quill pen, and ink.  // // Employ a
messenger .  // // I love you.  // // Curtained parlour.  Send a letter.
apyrus, brush and ink.  // // Command a
messenger .  // // I love you.  // // Draughty hall.  Now send a letter.
blet, stylus, scribe.  // // Entrust to
messenger .  // // I love you.  // // Flowing Nile.  Send a letter.  //
eeded.  // // So three months later, we
met again // // on a Suffolk shingle beach.  // // In November the da
Greek hotel // // in summer, where we
met and all was well; // // the end, the moment life just seemed to d
a half-century ago // // when I first
met your daughter // // I have known fragments, snatches— // // some
// // for cocoa or throat lozenges or
metal polish, // // jars for all sorts of jams and pickles.  Washers
// // wallplugs, rivets, self-tapping
metal screws, // // rubber tap washers and fibre sealing rings.  // /
hammers and screwed-on wood- // // and
metal -working vices added to those // // caused by generations of kit
and carry on without much attention to
metre , until I can mark its end with such a strong and obvious rhyme /
Well, dunes // // maybe two or three
metres above // // mean sea level.  // // And where’s that, when it’s
ed and sixty:  Truro and Falmouth // //
Mevagissey ; Mingoose; Mabe Burnthouse // // footpaths; phone boxes; i
—but // // there was an old man called
Michael Finnegan— // // crowds stopped by his strange shenanigan //
gain // // There was an old man called
Michael Finnegan.  // // He grew whiskers on his chin—but // // the w
—but // // there was an old man called
Michael Finnegan.  // // The wind came up and blew him in again.  // /
—but // // there was an old man called
Michael Finnegan— // // thought his profile needed broadening // //
; // // learning his lesson, the great
Michelangelo // // makes his work lasting by carving in stone— // //
forty years ago // // and filed in the
middens of my mind.  // // And in my mind it conjures up a vision //
5 months pregnant at the time.  A tiny
middle -aged New York woman, sitting on a bench seat, observes the situ
tries; seas // // One to ten million: 
Middle East // // Bam Posht; Badiyat ash Sham; Bisharin // // railwa
the beginning and // // the bit in the
middle is // // as long as a piece of string.  // //
wind to blow us away // // Adrift the
middle of the sea // // Way-hay, blow us away // // And there is not
oblivion— // // when the time comes, I
might add, not just yet.  // //
ave put them.  // // Move anything they
might be behind or under.  // // Look inside anything they might be in
under.  // // Look inside anything they
might be in.  // // Turn the place upside down.  // // Bedroom again,
crossed, // // some passing chance of
might -have-been, // // a different stitch to cast?  // // No, I’m gla
ot raisins // // but flagons.  Flagons
might indeed // // distract me, or Suliman, from his pilaf.  // // Bu
th, a chance // // for something new: 
migrate south // // to London, two grandchildren, // // and a world
flying out // // on their twice-a-day
migration between feeding grounds // // in lop-sided vees and slantin
k to the edge of town and on // // the
mile across the river meadows // // to Grantchester.  As we walk back
floor, streams and all.  // // A seven-
mile climb // // brings us to a hidden jewel lake, // // soup-spoon-
of Christmas pine // // which begins a
mile down the road // // and into whose dense interior // // we some
Square
mile // // Farringdon Without (north side) // //
its just right // // the spray rises a
mile into the air // // (or so it seems to me), to crash back down— /
ir is white all through.) // // ‘Every
mile is two’? no, hardly thus.  // // Some miles are ten, while other
Dance // // // A quarter of a
mile or more // // straight up // // the Mediterranean waves roll on
the tops // // of your gumboots.  The
mile or two // // to the village shop to seek supplies // // becomes
all along the shingle beach.  // // The
mile south to the Martello tower, // // we walk along the banked-up t
ne-sided smile // // that was off by a
mile .  // // Tony Blair // // floated on air // // when Maggie’s enc
stance chart // // Cambridge–Camden 59
miles // //
is two’? no, hardly thus.  // // Some
miles are ten, while others swiftly pass.  // //
dge—and now I flick my wand // // some
miles of dale and moor to skip across // // and find myself in wooded
ome.  // // Should I start crawling the
miles remaining, or // // should I stay put in the hope of a rescuer?
Babylon by candlelight // // How many
miles to Barnard Castle?  // // Three score, out/return // // Can I g
ago and // // three hundred and forty
miles // // to the south-west: // // marked by a bolt embedded in //
Notes to a life // //
Milk // // Sausages or chops // // Veg—broccoli?  // // Some fruit /
liked a lass from Lancashire; // // so
milk -white was her skin.  // // In Cheddar Gorge the chaffinches // /
s from work // // in a Sheffield steel
mill .  // // Daughter moves away to teach, and then // // to marry me
nished or of peaceful earth, // // the
mill -girl’s beauty or the maiden’s death, // // the trout that dart a
shape of the world // // One to thirty
million :  Eurasia // // Kuril’skiye Ostrova; Kirgiz Step; Karakoram R
ys; borders; deserts // // One to five
million :  Gulf of St Lawrence // // Shickshock Mountains; Shippegan I
/ // countries; seas // // One to ten
million :  Middle East // // Bam Posht; Badiyat ash Sham; Bisharin //
Upscale down // // One to forty-five
million :  Pacific Ocean // // Marianas Trench, Macquarie Ridge, Mendo
// // bays; harbours // // One to one
million two hundred and fifty thousand:  Low Countries // // Gelderla
/ dense forest // // rough moor // //
million -year moor // // ten-million-year mountain // // hundred-year
oor // // million-year moor // // ten-
million -year mountain // // hundred-year forest // // hundred-millio
// hundred-year forest // // hundred-
million -year sea // // ten-thousand-year lake // // thousand-year st
in // // ten or a thousand or maybe a
million years, // // it seems to be acting // // not in its own best
and ensure that it is always above the
MIN level. // // Only fill the kettle with the amount of w
it clearly.  So why does it come to my
mind ?  // // A couple of reasons.  One, that it had to be bolted // /
o // // and filed in the middens of my
mind .  // // And in my mind it conjures up a vision // // of the imag
he middens of my mind.  // // And in my
mind it conjures up a vision // // of the image that inspired it: a s
// // no.  // // Words go // // from
mind // // like snow.  // // A line // // to show // // can’t find,
to move, to go, // // to travel in the
mind , some gentle // // way to wander into // // a better place, a f
Objective // // In my groin and in my
mind’s eye:  // // A tube inside a tube inside a tube // // —only the
usly sweet and tart, // // sharp on my
mind’s tongue.  Why is it that // // this latter-day fruit so often d
c’s head.  // // His inspiration is not
mine // // (the apple said).  // //
:  Truro and Falmouth // // Mevagissey;
Mingoose ; Mabe Burnthouse // // footpaths; phone boxes; inns // // O
f the bench in the garage sits // // a
miniature wooden eight-drawered chest // // given to me (budding carp
ariations, // // awaiting Dr Johnson’s
ministrations , // // waiting to discover their relations, // // find
// It changes direction from minute to
minute ; // // gives me siblings to chase or criss-cross // // over a
ted, felt cheated by // // that twenty-
minute hiatus.  // // But the fire bore us no grudge, // // and welco
wind.  // // It changes direction from
minute to minute; // // gives me siblings to chase or criss-cross //
switched off you may have to wait a few
minutes before switching back on. // // When the kettle ha
om side to side.  // // I look into the
mirror , but it’s cracked // // And won’t be fixed and always did refr
ew the web and floated wide; // // The
mirror crack’d from side to side.  // // I look into the mirror, but i
think that they will sing to me.  // //
Mirror mirror on the wall // // who is the fairest of them all?  // /
hat they will sing to me.  // // Mirror
mirror on the wall // // who is the fairest of them all?  // // (The
Post truth // // // ‘Oh
Mirror that hangs on the wall // // who is the fairest of all?’  // /
and.  // // See the pretty girl in that
mirror there— // // Who can that attactive girl be?  // // I have hea
All done with
mirrors // // One Friday morning when we set sail // // and our ship
ss of her room.  // // Only through the
mirror’s gloam // // Dared she look to Camelot.  // // Not until the
who is the fairest of all?’  // // The
mirror’s reply // // with no hint of a sigh // // is to show him his
ir belly.  // // The day boiler duck is
miscellaneous .  // //
// help!  They are missing, I must have
mislaid them when // // finding my way through the scree so much earl
// // watch now: if you blink you will
miss // // the instant jagged challenge passing between them // // o
/ // I fed it all the bits that it had
missed : // // fragments around the edges of the blaze.  // // Even no
behind.  // // Two of our cushions are
missing // // from the sofa just outside the door.  // // It really i
y book.  // // Five of our cushions are
missing .  // // How can we counter-attack?  // // Perhaps if we asked
more.  // // Three of our cushions are
missing .  // // I don’t know quite what to say.  // // It seems that t
er I wander… but // // help!  They are
missing , I must have mislaid them when // // finding my way through t
ns away // // Four of our cushions are
missing .  // // It’s getting beyond a bad joke.  // // Destroying our
hions // // // One of our cushions is
missing — // // I’m sure that there’s one I can’t find.  // // How cou
ll back.  // // Six of our cushions are
missing .  // // The culprit must now be unmasked.  // // It’s becoming
ading // // as the day slides into the
mist .  // // Morning is always the morning.  // //
stick // // as the day slides into the
mist .  // // The long night’s images last.  // // But now the light is
// // The previous occupant, known as
Mister Gray, // // (easier than his proper name of Gouriet) // // ha
// Looking backwards, I can see // //
mistily , the shape of things: // // the steps which, added up, constr
Working all day at her loom, // // Her
mistress never left the womb // // That was the fastness of her room.
At the end of summer, and in the first
mists // // or wild winds of autumn, on the wild Suffolk heath, // /
ant has found // // how good sex is—to
mix the genes around.  // // The plants, the fish, the dinosaurs, the
row half away // // more flour, water,
mix well // // mollycoddle for one day // // put in pouch // // rea
to the yeast wind // // flour, water,
mix well // // mollycoddle for one day // // throw half away // //
row half away // // more flour, water,
mix well // // mollycoddle for one day // // throw half away // //
row half away // // more flour, water,
mix well // // mollycoddle for one day // // throw half away // //
babouche // // borrowed light, dimpse,
mizzle , skylight // // ammonite, mahogany, archive // // plummett //
; // // East Hills aglow.  // // Winds
moaning round the corners and the rooftops, // // rushing wild clouds
/ // when my mother, acquiring a newer
model , donated // // the reject to us for our new home.  Or was it //
billboards high displayed, // // each
model posed in languid attitude, // // in birthday suit and little el
to work.  // // Judith, artist, // //
models in clay or plaster, // // casts in plaster or cement or resin,
// // blow the evanescent airs // //
moistening the many-coloured earths.  // // In forests and in open spa
dove tale, pigeon // // mouse’s back,
mole’s or elephant’s breath // // peignoir, charlotte’s locks, nancy’
// more flour, water, mix well // //
mollycoddle for one day // // put in pouch // // ready to go // //
nd // // flour, water, mix well // //
mollycoddle for one day // // throw half away // // more flour, wate
// more flour, water, mix well // //
mollycoddle for one day // // throw half away // // more flour, wate
// more flour, water, mix well // //
mollycoddle for one day // // throw half away // // more flour, wate
ally know of your life!  // // From the
moment almost a half-century ago // // when I first met your daughter
t and all was well; // // the end, the
moment life just seemed to drain // // away from you, in those last d
Another senior
moment // // // // Pocket.  // // No.  No?  No.  // // Other pocket
e time // // time for all the timeless
moments , taken // // out of time.  // // Afternoon in winter, on the
// // For all the real and everlasting
moments , // // there will be time.  // //
ime will tell.  // // Those are not the
moments to remember: // // they can be consigned to passing time.  //
lasgow 6th-7th // // Camera in bag for
Mon // // Did I submit tax form??  // // Check L’s dob—70 next b/day?
roduce a fine plan.  // // We also need
money —of course private finance will // // jump to join in, but needs
old hands), // // thick felted wool, a
monk -like hood— // // and with (the most important thing) // // thos
cake.  // // Fried kind’s of seafood in
monolith // // Do the crispy bean curd of boiler, // // Blow up a li
Vagrant
monosyllables // // Let he who is without zen… but there is a multitu
eels bigger than me— // // a great big
monster , steaming, black.  // // The bogeys go: click-clack click-cla
build the Channel Tunnel link.  // // A
monstrous hole, quite big enough to eat // // the park and all the ho
fe should now appear // // as it did a
month gone, // // BC (Before Capricorn).  // // But of course that is
// // The dance // // In her very own
month of May // // she says “Now’s the time—fix the day.  // // You d
s // // to make a crust.  The next two
months // // are clear and fine and bitter cold.  // // Every step, /
e past— // // until the day, just nine
months gone, // // when both lines crossed an edge, // // and two se
t the memory we needed.  // // So three
months later, we met again // // on a Suffolk shingle beach.  // // I
ng as there are no seats; she is 4 or 5
months pregnant at the time.  A tiny middle-aged New York woman, sitti
The moon in June // // A crescent
moon , // // a winter sky.  // // It’s Jan, not June.  // // A red bal
/ // way up high, // // with crescent
moon // // from cold immune.  // // Let snow lie, // // it’s Jan, no
The
moon in June // // A crescent moon, // // a winter sky.  // // It’s
// // warm and dry.  // // A crescent
moon .  // // It’s Jan, not June.  // //
the deep blue sky.  // // The crescent
moon // // some cryptic rune.  // // The senses fly.  // // It’s Jan,
form and reform each ebb and flow, each
moonphase // // and each season (the navigation buoys must needs //
Catch them at it – // // there must be
moonshine .  // //
There must be
moonshine // // Fin de siècle.  // // Ethel Sargant, botanist // //
ily.  // // (Not by the sun // // —use
moontime // // instead).  // //
n // // running stream // // rambling
moor // // changing sea // // blue sea // // silver lake // // pur
stream // // narrow stream // // open
moor // // deep lake // // high mountain // // wide sea // // clos
by lake and stream // // by forest and
moor // // from sea to mountain to sea // //
ue sea // // silver lake // // purple
moor // // green forest // // clear stream // // grey mountain //
h lake // // dense forest // // rough
moor // // million-year moor // // ten-million-year mountain // //
stream // // bright sea // // rugged
moor // // sharp mountain // // still lake // // resting lake // /
t // // rough moor // // million-year
moor // // ten-million-year mountain // // hundred-year forest // /
/ The drystone wall slanting across the
moor , // // the heather and the bracken, the moss, the lichen, // //
// to leave behind, for now, the wilder
moor .  // // The treasures to be found along my path // // are elemen
k my wand // // some miles of dale and
moor to skip across // // and find myself in wooded Janet’s Foss.  //
ng mud left by the ebb-tide.  // // The
moored boat listing on the mudflat.  // // The salt-marsh, the sedge a
der the sky.  // // Mountains, valleys,
moors and dales, meadows, // // hills, ravines descending, under the
Sheffield // // facing the Derbyshire
moors .  // // But the next war comes, and D is now called up.  // // F
the mist.  // // Morning is always the
morning .  // //
Cape Cod
Morning // // Almost accidental, but carefully composed: // // the s
brighter now // // here to stay // //
morning glow // // time to rise // // feeling slow // // rub eyes /
// would last for days and days.  Each
morning I came down, // // expecting to find it cold, but every day /
as the day slides into the mist.  // //
Morning is always the morning.  // //
Morning // // // //
Morning is always the morning // // of an uncompleted day.  // // Not
Morning // // // // Morning is always the morning // // of an unco
ng // // // // Morning is always the
morning // // of an uncompleted day.  // // Not until light is fading
dow, // // tall grasses glowing in the
morning sun // // below and to the right.  And rising left // // the
indow bay // // in darker wood.  Clear
morning sunlight fills // // the room we glimpse inside.  A woman lea
All done with mirrors // // One Friday
morning when we set sail // // and our ship not far from land // //
r declension, conjugation, // // other
morphologic variations, // // awaiting Dr Johnson’s ministrations, //
// // the heather and the bracken, the
moss , the lichen, // // the cropped grass, the sheep- and rabbit-drop
/ Trees and bushes, shrubs and flowers,
mosses , // // ferns and grasses waving under the sky.  // // Islands,
timing that disturbs.  The line // //
mostly carries suburban trains; more rarely, // // carriages decked i
s // // of the ranks ahead.  // // But
mostly , I can see // // only the back // // of the one immediately i
ns out† that the seventh layer consists
mostly of ones that do not exist // // but need‡ to be synthesised. 
// Far down below, the earth // // is
mostly water.  // // From across the waters // // blow the evanescent
hine was already elderly // // when my
mother , acquiring a newer model, donated // // the reject to us for o
uous flesh joins love’s embrace.  // //
Mother and child are two, and now are one: // // no perfectability ex
/ // Twenty three years later, when my
mother died // // we had the proper formal funeral.  // // (She had c
then when he ships out, // // back to
mother , in a two-up-two-down // // full of family and lodgers.  Daugh
// // in Sheffield, steel town.  // //
Mother once ran a fish-and-chip shop.  // // A young rambler, you take
Iken Hall // // Later, my
mother will describe the house itself // // as ugly.  No such thought
pidated country house // // that is my
mother’s next big venture after // // producing six of us.  // // L-s
pell broken // // sleep gone // // in
motion // // sun on skin // // door open // // breathe in.  // // N
lines.  // // Chomsky looked for deeper
motivation // // underneath their surface combinations.  // // Now Br
within.  // // Gathered round about, a
motley crew // // of categories in boxes, jars and tins: // // the l
snoring in the tent next door, // // a
motorcycle coursing up the lane.  // // Night-time noises permeate the
ream // // grey mountain // // jagged
mountain // // choppy sea // // swirling stream // // smooth lake /
llion-year moor // // ten-million-year
mountain // // hundred-year forest // // hundred-million-year sea //
forest // // clear stream // // grey
mountain // // jagged mountain // // choppy sea // // swirling stre
// fall through a wormhole, or cross a
mountain range?  // // Did I march towards my fate, // // or did I me
// // rustling forest // // tumbling
mountain // // running stream // // rambling moor // // changing se
ght sea // // rugged moor // // sharp
mountain // // still lake // // resting lake // // rustling forest
/ by forest and moor // // from sea to
mountain to sea // //
open moor // // deep lake // // high
mountain // // wide sea // // close forest // // by lake and stream
air.  A winter storm // // brings wild
mountains of water crashing down // // to redefine the contours of th
Gulf of St Lawrence // // Shickshock
Mountains ; Shippegan Island; Cape Sable // // bays; harbours // // O
ld for wandering, under the sky.  // //
Mountains , valleys, moors and dales, meadows, // // hills, ravines de
.  // // Lone expedition to conquer the
mountaintop .  // // Bottle of water and lunch in my haversack.  // //
ren: // // a wooden board on which are
mounted // // battery box, switches, lights, buzzers, plugs // // an
ca, hay, pelt, dove tale, pigeon // //
mouse’s back, mole’s or elephant’s breath // // peignoir, charlotte’s
lair.  // // Nigel Farrage // // has a
mouth like a garage— // // he opens it ever so wide // // and you ca
s of the shore.  // // Around the river
mouth the tides run strong.  // // Channels and banks of shingle shift
Places I wouldn’t have put them.  // //
Move anything they might be behind or under.  // // Look inside anythi
eyes smart // // smoke billows // //
move apart // // eyes smart // // flames creep // // move apart //
/ eyes smart // // flames creep // //
move apart // // flames leap // // flames creep // // growing brigh
the second.  // // Of course we should
move slowly for some seconds.  // // No, more than that.  Maybe for a
d agreed to sell // // for demolition,
move to Camberwell.  // // (Two weeks later, British Rail’s plans //
// Can we not // // find some way to
move , to go, // // to travel in the mind, some gentle // // way to w
draught from the door.  // // That tiny
movement in the corner?  The hem of an emerging apparition?  // // Don
s, // // fastens itself inside.  // //
Movement is faster, edgier, rougher.  // // Rough softness grows // /
chubert’s Trout Quintet // // the slow
movement is of course the second.  // // Of course we should move slow
s, revolutions // // blossom and fade,
movements // // are born, copulate and die.  // // But for the real t
a Sheffield steel mill.  // // Daughter
moves away to teach, and then // // to marry me.  Son develops // //
e calling each to each: a throng // //
moves north against the fading evening light.  // // Slanting lines ar
wn.  // // The whistle blows, the train
moves on, // // the guard’s van trundles at the back.  // // The boge
n (for better or for worse) // // what
moves us all.  // // From me you’ll learn before a book.  // // Don’t
twentieth-century American poet, // //
Mr Ogden Nash, and carry on without much attention to metre, until I c
e relation // // by tying beta up with
mu and lambda.  // // I can’t see clearly:  I’ll need to wander // //
// Mr Ogden Nash, and carry on without
much attention to metre, until I can mark its end with such a strong a
// finding my way through the scree so
much earlier.  // // Later, much later, I limp into harbour.  My // /
rge.  // // Beside it stands another of
much later age: // // a plastic chest with small, clear plastic drawe
he scree so much earlier.  // // Later,
much later, I limp into harbour.  My // // family playing, completely
lively, gestures wide.  // // There is
much sense in what he says.  // // Small hour // // No voices in the
lively, gestures wide— // // there is
much sense in what he says, // // through these ideas he makes a wort
a student or fellow— // // the thief’s
much too cunning for that.  // // There’s only one possible answer:  //
at twenty three // // reminds us of so
much we’ll never see.  // // Life and death are two, and now are one: 
to probe deep down beneath the shining
mud .  // //
/ // leaving sharp cliffs of compacted
mud .  // // Evening.  A great dark cloud // // fire-edged, blots out
rain and the air?  // // The glistening
mud left by the ebb-tide.  // // The moored boat listing on the mudfla
and then left // // to the encroaching
mud .  On the far bank // // of the next bend, another sandy beach //
/ // beneath the // // shining // //
mud .  // // Sonnet // // Cold and clear.  The tide runs out, the cree
the falling tide reveals the deep black
mud // // which oozes softly up between our toes.  Across the river /
// the thud as one more apple hits the
muddy grass.  // // East wind // // Winds bowling through trees // /
again towards the sea.  // // Along the
muddy margins, in the lee // // of the sea-wall, around the bladder-w
rds calling // // the drying sand with
muddy spots bespeckled.  // // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring /
the corn.  // // The five-bar gate, the
muddy track on the tarmac road.  // // The walled paddock and the orch
.  // // The moored boat listing on the
mudflat .  // // The salt-marsh, the sedge and the samphire, // // the
cents the sea-winds bring // // of the
mudflats and the sandbanks.  Listing // // Hear the marsh-birds calli
all very well in their place // // —in
muesli , say, or maybe Christmas cake, // // or more appropriately, Su
// gone off the rails.  I’m not such a
mug .  // // I’ve cancelled his buses, no more will I pay for—and // /
e the long approach road to the Kröller-
Müller museum outside Amsterdam.  The Hermitage in Leningrad in Soviet
t he who is without zen… but there is a
multitude of zens.  The zens of the fathers are visited on the sons, e
aw…  // // Inspired?  Why should such a
mundane scene // // so briefly glimpsed, make my muse suggest // //
I must survive, // // with Frida as my
muse and inspiration— // // that reality in which I live.  // //
e it in a verse // // with Frida as my
muse and inspiration // // This figment of my own imagination // //
ene // // so briefly glimpsed, make my
muse suggest // // just three alliterative lines—at best // // a sem
ong approach road to the Kröller-Müller
museum outside Amsterdam.  The Hermitage in Leningrad in Soviet days. 
t.  // // Fragile crab of incense taste
mushroom // // Do the black boiler hair belly.  // // The day boiler
/ // pole-to-pole // // scoop out the
mushy core.  // // Mango: // // find the flat sides of the stone //
// // This time Judith has chosen the
music , // // a Beethoven string quartet.  // // Afterwards Colin and
d squander— // // such richness in his
music did he render // // for all of us, such beauty brought he forth
mal funeral.  // // (She had chosen the
music for the ceremony // // —a Schubert piano piece.) // // Standin
pite it’s his wake)— // // Beethoven’s
music is just bloody marvellous, // // resonates on though the print
d against your ear a shell // // whose
music makes your languid pulses race: // // fall, fall into the write
in the civic belltower— // // a giant
musical box.  // // There once was a poet in Ghent // // Who set out
outside…  // // I try to listen, but my
musing strays.  // // His voice is lively, gestures wide.  // // There
dish dried meat floss stir fries a leaf
mustard .  // // The small bowl of wedding reception stews bean bubble,
rtained bed next door.  // // Responses
muted , though the sense is raw, // // to questions orderly, while exu
ny.  // // Through air and ether people
mutter , shout, // // voices, ipods, phones speak out.  // // So many
re the shop-committed crime, // // the
muzakal banality which stings.  // // Even I, atheist, find some of th