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Medium 9781885635136

Lives of Estuary

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

Is the dark most complete
Where the restless gather

To convince themselves
Of the ocean? Right now

Are the gods with those
Who are dying? If not, perhaps

They will appear at dawn.

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Medium 9781847770684

Concerning History

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

In every cooling wind, her mind was brimmed

With precious knowledge which she gave away

And still more came. Such life cannot be dimmed.

Her spirit moves in all good words I say

And surely part of me

Is in little what her great soul knows.

She is with God who must delight in her

And set her still a-dance. I think she goes

Where God keeps spirits out of time before

Life is all rise, not rose.

Concerning History


Does history guess itself into our minds,

Taking over our memories, railing at our past,

Envious of our future?

Let there be a lullaby for all

Events that history cannot avoid.

It listens to prayers, it comforts youth,

It mocks the aged.

Listen, history is now and what you’re doing,

It is the seed that grew, it is the child

In a green wood in a gold flower in a white hour.

Don’t let grey come banging the door.

It’s the ghost of a ghost

It’s not history’s death.

It is hope distracted,

Passion dissected.

Does history tell love-stories?

That’s not its one aim

But Cleopatra makes Antony include themselves,

Eloise again breaks the will of Abelard.

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Medium 9781847770684

In April

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847779731


Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

I would have gone; God bade me stay:

   I would have worked; God bade me rest.

He broke my will from day to day;

   He read my yearnings unexprest,

       And said them nay.

Now I would stay; God bids me go:

   Now I would rest; God bids me work.

He breaks my heart tost to and fro;

   My soul is wrung with doubts that lurk

       And vex it so.

I go, Lord, where Thou sendest me;

   Day after day I plod and moil:

But, Christ my God, when will it be

   That I may let alone my toil

      And rest with Thee?

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Medium 9781847770684

Waking in Tears, 18 December 1966 (UD, 186/2/49)

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Early advent this, and expectation.

A child, a voice will come from coldness.

Maybe a star will fall,

I am uncertain always.

Hold it, let it not corrode,

Shave off the rough edges of it and you have gold and warmth.

I dare that bird to be demure.

Someone should shout and rejoice.


I cannot speak the words I want to say

Because the languages betray too much.

I cannot tell you in a proper way

How love is still but allied to mere touch.

Always there is an absence and delay.

I handle gently what I want to clutch.

You teach me how to speak and how to lay

Words side by side. I have none of my own

You teach me what I want to write and say.

You see, the wishes and the speech have gone.

Simply with eyes and hands you touch and teach.

And I am lost and all the words are done.

The gift of tongues must take us out of reach.

Waking in Tears

This has never happened before –

Waking up crying

Sobbing and crying

Yet not remembering the nightmare.

When it happened last week I

Ran down the corridor

Looking for someone,

To ask for the Night Sister

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Medium 9781847770998

My Skin is Full of Butterflies

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

John the Baptist

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF


Child do not tell your images, we kill them

With argument and I would wish you deaf

Rather than hear the mad cries of our logic

Aiming at beauty, wounding it with grief.

Be silent now and do not tell your magic.

And when your children dream O never tell them

Those dreams were yours, for if they should believe

Such dreams belong to others it would fill them

With knowledge that displaces dreams and if

You argue truth for images you kill them.

John the Baptist

Growing from old age he was close to death,

When he was born carried the look of death.

The mouth sharp as a sword forbade the touch

Of softness. In the desert he found sand

And friendly thistles for his hardened hand.

He was a god a short time, camped within

A wilderness and found his childhood there,

Built sand castles, was tempted first to sin

But pleasure was repellent. With long hair

He frightened and baptised throughout Judea.

Ironic for him that was precursor

Of one who turned the water into wine

And multiplied the loaves, one who was wiser

In knowing peace. The tawny lion John

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Medium 9781847772671


Medium 9781847778512


Clarke, Gillian Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

The dark wound in the corn

is a right of way through barley.

The first fine evening after summer floods

we wade waist deep in it.

Pattern of bright barley in my hand

exactly shadowed in deep tyre tracks

that barley-print the mud.

We follow Lloyd in the dusk

through corn into beech trees, a sunken

lane, only the dry risen stones,

white underfoot, to show the way.

Blodeuyn at the dark lane’s end,

flowers fallen, as purples fall

from husks of August foxgloves.

A longhouse crouching on the long

white bones of beech trees, empty

sixty years, an animal quiet

in it, of old women stooping

at the door they shared with cattle.

My clogs on cobbles muffle theirs.

Birds scare from the eye sockets.

We turn for home up the muddy fosse,

cross the pale field diagonally.

First stars. The harebell-thin thread

of a distant tree. In the dusk

the moon’s delicate skull watches

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Medium 9781847770998

Brachisland Pine

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

Adumbrations, 12 September 1965 (WUL, 1)

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

To be a Sunflower

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Among Farm Workers

My hands hang loose like gloves a child has.

They’re tied through sleeves and won’t be lost. Mine are.

I would have work to roughen them, would press

On spade or hoe. Instead, these hands hang here

As I stroll through the country of a season

Not Spring, not Winter. Yet what work I pass –

Digging that ditch, for instance, felling trees.

Instead my hands are hand-cuffs in a prison,

The prison being me. I smell, I taste

The curdling country air but there is no

Work for me. I can’t join with the rest

Who smell of labour. Envious, I watch grow

Catkins hanging in the wind. What waste

Walks with me. Yet I reap who never sow.

To be a Sunflower

To be a sunflower, to

Smile on the sad gardeners, to be

Admired and grow

As cipher of that face which finally

Will be the death of me.

To look up aslant

At the feasting sun, sun worn as a dress

By me. I can’t, no, can’t

Believe my skin will shrivel, that winds will toss

Even the tallest of us.

I exercise my fleshBound spirit with this freedom of a flower

Large but never lush.

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Medium 9781847770684

The Radio Men

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

Eighty-one Years Old

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

The Shells

I have the shells now in a leather box –

Limpets and cowries, ones like hands spread out.

Lifeless they are yet bear the weight of doubt

And of desire with all its hidden shocks.

Once, as a child, I might have pressed the shell

Close to my ear and thought I heard the sea.

Now I hear absence sighing quietly.

I am the one who makes and pulls the bell.

You gathered these and so they bear your print.

I cannot see it, yet the simply knowing

That you have marked these shells keeps my love growing.

Passion can hide in any lifeless hint.

A sentiment perhaps, yet every gift

Carries the weight of all we did not do.

The shells are fragments and the fragments few,

But you still sound in what the shells have left.

Eighty-one Years Old

She wants to die and all of us

Agree although we do not say;

Instead, we tend her every day,

Bring flowers and food without much fuss.

She stares at us and we stare back,

Each knowing what the others lack.

She cannot die. At times, her heart

Moves slowly, almost stops and then

The lingering life begins again,

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Medium 9781847778512

On Rhiwbina Hill

Clarke, Gillian Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

Often in winter I think of this

a car parked crookedly beside a wall,

track under snow and all the quiet trees

in the dead slow of winter. Everything

aslant the path cut into the slope,

boots gathering clay and dead leaves.

A branch of beech buds blossoming snow.

Children ringing like birds. A distant train

howled as it climbed, caught in its narrow track.

Underneath, in the dead distant fibres

of the reaching trees, something already

must have begun to live, unrecognized,

before the train had crossed the viaduct.

Already the severed beech twigs stirred

in my hands, veins spreading, finding sap, blood.

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