No 3 - 1974
Two Sections from Excavations
A dual carriageway of chalk and mud
Betrays earth’s tender hoardings.
Willow herb, abundant on the site,
Seeds a vivid life on sufferance.
Yellow machines drone their defoliations:
Give me a lever and I will move the world.
Exhausted aeons flare: life melts away
In a pother of bluish dust. The wind
Flutters a gay festoon of plastic pennons —
These towering inclines are defensible.
From half a bridge, a missed connection,
I consider this arterial surgery.
The land’s bones lie in disarray;
Unreadable, her draughty palimpsest.
A new imperium holds, where scholars came
To grub for broken Rome with hasty fingers.
Willow and osier take possession now
In a field of stones, dug out for victory.
I take the vanished cat-walk over the pits,
Feel the heavy belting slope towards me.
Black cycles of time: an endless drudge
And hoist of labouring iron. Recurrences.
A coarse rush of pebbles and water
Churns and stirs in the grilled cylinder.
I hear again that antique grind,
The flail threshing a cold harvest.
Perched on a conglomerate of rust,
I finger a belemnite’s unthreaded needle
And the chaff flies. Where are the screens
To wash and filter these memorials?
The gravel throws its cataracts away;
The room shakes to these dislocations.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The