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Medium 9781847770684

In a Foreign City

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

A Fear

Always to keep it in and never spare

Even a hint of pain, go guessing on,

Feigning a sacrifice, forging a tear

For someone else’s grief, but still to bear

Inward the agony of self alone –

And all the masks I carry on my face,

The smile for you, the grave considered air

For you and for another some calm grace

When still within I carry an old fear

A child could never speak about, disgrace

That no confession could assuage or clear.

But once within a long and broken night

I woke and threw the shutters back for air

(The sudden moths were climbing to the light)

And from another window I saw stare

A face like mine still dream-bereft and white

And, like mine, shaken by a child’s nightmare.

In a Foreign City

You cannot speak for no one knows

Your language. You must try to catch

By glances or by steadfast gaze

The attitude of those you watch.

No conversations can amaze:

Noises may find you but not speech.

Now you have circled silence, stare

With all the subtlety of sight.

Noise may trap ears but eye discerns

How someone on his elbow turns

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Medium 9781885635204


Kevin Goodan Center for Literary Publishing ePub

Once, through my town, there were rivers.

Thin trees rippled along the spillways.

Morning pierced our breath. Two doves

On the rail bobbing their heads. I am,

My ghost, alone. I stand where there is

No water, thinking water. The laws of nature

Determine all the grief one eye can hold.

Thistles were his winding sheet, my father.

Did he go smooth and gentle? You bum,

What cruder diction than loss?

Though the great pine shove

Taproots down and call the black dirt

Home, though rivers still run,

Though sickly, though this town is not my town,

I wander. Our saws are sharp and never idle long

And through the day we feed the fires

And transform the field-jumble into lines.

Far faces bleared by fire, who are you

That the bright mares of language stride forth

Their flames? I am never more than this.

A green mind in a green world,

And yet the kingdoms that come to my ear.

I look out and know my place.

I, because of love.

In this, there is no recourse.

In this I am humble.

If seeds be language, let them gather.

Let them take these words.

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Medium 9781847770684

A Litany for Contrition

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

Cold Winter

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

But many question how the Fall took place

Or wonder if it is a fancy built

By man to save his reason and his face

And exorcise the sharp, fierce sense of guilt

Of which we are built.

The madness here increases every day;

The screams invade each room, each corridor.

Dreams overlap my waking in a way

That troubles and confuses me much more

Than when the corridor

Is paved with vomit and with broken glass.

Terror has many forms: it can appear

Gently like shadows which discreetly pass

Or as an all embracing atmosphere,

The very absolute of fear.

Cold Winter

I wait and watch. The distances disperse,

Snow is stored up within the lowering sky.

Only still life would seem to spill and lie

Waiting for someone to observe it there,

Stand for a moment, warm behind thin glass.

Chatter of birds, cars in the distance hum

Yet everything seems moving in my head.

This is the silent season when the dead

Slip from their bodies in a cold dark room,

What once was life is memory instead.

And yet one shift of snow, one shaft of light

And all I know of Spring comes back to me.

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Medium 9781847770974

Two Norfolk Beach Poems

Gallas, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Two Norfolk Beach Poems

1 sunrise at Brancaster Beach

Bent with gentle heaviness, the old, bald head of earth, explained in yellow light, gets licked to life again. The sea looks white, like bitten skin; the wrinkled sand feels cold.

This is the end of night: and from its sleep, whose sweet corruption burns me like a match just struck, the world is laboured out. A patch of orange cloud turns pale. I shiver. Deep, deep beyond the air where words, ideas and minds are kept convinced, I only see the churning of great planets – one with me, the rest without. I yawn. The sun appears and all the earth is warm. And even I applaud with half a smile the bloodless sky.

2 the Golden Sands Amusements, Hunstanton, on St Lucy’s Day

The shortest day’s longest night: fog and freeze. I walk the coldbed caravans behind the bitter floodwall. Chilly cans crumple and oo, tin-mouthed. Somewhere a dog hacks. Ice, mud, shit.

Shut-up, starveling, soul-bit,

I keep my heart in.

My ears glint rime like stars. Fog and freeze jitter on the sea’s frost-froth. Blank weight, black sky, presses dank raw ink through everything. I gulp. I sneeze.

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Medium 9781847770684

Elegy for Myself, 1987 (GU, 2/27/2)

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

On the phone from England saved me from something desperate

So that now I look at the English coast of Devon

And swim most years in that sea

And there are no reminders or self-reproaches.

I know that an elegy holds no room for self.

It is filled with the dead at their best moments when living

And the sea exalts and is blue and green each year

When I celebrate you and all you love by forgetting

That terrible, new-learnt fear.

Elegy for Myself

Less possessive now, I see landscapes

And burning sunscapes from a step or two

Back. I only want to watch the shapes

Of clouds, not make them traitors of the sun.

Carrying sixty years about, I go

But not how I have gone

Round Oxford or the Cotswolds when so young.

They were part of love’s playthings, for when

I knew first love, I learnt it in the long

Summers spent on the Cotswolds, cycling round

The drifting villages round where the careful men

Cleared the hedges, found boys eager to thatch the roofs.

An elegiac mood is stalking me.

And I can’t draw my shadow from its pace.

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Medium 9781847770684

Romantic Love

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

For Louise and Timothy

Two years between them. Now Louise is ten

Or almost that. When there is trouble they

Unite at once and run and hide away.

Is this mere chance or else a chosen state

When a dark shadow mars a happy day?

I’ve thought this over and I’ve come to this –

Gentle Nature makes these allies when

Trouble’s about. Often they’re enemies,

My great-niece and great-nephew, yet it is

A kindly instinct when they guard the pain

Of one another or of both. They are

So swift in their alliance that I feel

An almost tearful gratitude where fear

Joins them together. This is like a war

Which has its moments when one heart can heal

Another’s dread upon this stricken star.

Romantic Love

I thrive on incompletion and, in love,

Demand a distance which I cannot reach.

I inch up to it and it’s on the move,

I feel so poor yet know that it is rich,

It’s always moving off.

I’ve whispered sometimes and heard it reply,

I’ve stalked it and it seemed to stay quite still,

I’ve made a clumsy speech when I should sigh,

I’ve learnt this is an honest way to feel.

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Medium 9781574412420


Richard Carr University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574414479

American Beech

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781847771322

Poetry Reading

Burt, Dan Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9780253022790

Pet Coon, The

James Whitcomb Riley Indiana University Press ePub

NOEY Bixler ketched him, and fetched him in to me

When he’s ist a little teenty-weenty baby-coon

’Bout as big as little pups, an’ tied him to a tree;

An’ Pa gived Noey fifty cents, when he come home at noon.

Nen he buyed a chain fer him, an’ little collar, too,

An’ sawed a hole in a’ old tub an’ turnt it upside-down;

An’ little feller’d stay in there and won’t come out fer you—

Tendin’ like he’s kindo’ skeered o’ boys ’at lives in town.

Now he aint afeard a bit! he’s ist so fat an’ tame,

We on’y chain him up at night, to save the little chicks.

Holler “Greedy! Greedy!” to him, an’ he knows his name,

An’ here he’ll come a-waddle-un, up fer any tricks!

He’ll climb up my leg, he will, an’ waller in my lap,

An’ poke his little black paws ’way in my pockets where

They’s beechnuts, er chinkypins, er any little scrap

Of anything, ’at’s good to eat—an’ he don’t care!

An’ he’s as spunky as you please, an’ don’t like dogs at all.—

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Medium 9781847770684

Channel Port Night

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

The Way of it

When it is over or before it starts,

We know the strength of love.

It is so cool, this literature of hearts.

It lies in books. Only the pages move.

When blood is beating and the pulse unsteady

And eyes are gladly blurred,

When nouns we use are quite inept but ready,

We lose the wish for any nerveless word.

And yet, and yet, our whispered passion tells

Us that we should claim

A speech, a part. But we are somewhere else

And where we are is mapless with no name.

When fire is ashes and the hearth shows no

Burning we start to tell

Our history but cannot make it glow

Even though what we know we know so well.

Love, I stammer monosyllables.

The heart’s dictionary

Falls from my fingers. Tender vocables

Are crying out. We are the lock and key.

Channel Port Night

Boats signal nothing but night.

This English Channel port town is only eyes

Of green and red and yellow. Tide is in.

Waves keep calm. Only the gulls’ cries

Insist on being heeded. Now we begin

A dream-voyage under the light

Of little ships and houses. Being near

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Medium 9781847772671


Medium 9781847772268


Ward, David C. Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847778512

Ice Queen

Clarke, Gillian Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

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