Short texts

Andrew uses his twitter feed to publish a short text every six days or so. Here’s a small selection:

4

The ancient road:
a line on the land’s worn face …
so deep we walk unseen.

14

A sweet, warm wind, ripe
with soft contagion:
the strong man’s simple answers.

17

Working, fighting:
half-mad to reach the gate
of reproductive tribute.

37

All the presents now
discarded, lost or broken – save that one:
shared time.

38

Water, and a lip of soft rock.
Spring sunshine: jewels
for those with none.

39

Night cat, darting in bliss
(the syrup of freedom)
into the dark drain.

41

Smashed glass, pigeon feathers, guano:
every man in his palace
at last.

42

We, the creedless, peer through the mist,
share love and doubt,
trace the rumoured path.

45

The groaning of train couplings;
brakes hissing; oil, sticky, on the tracks:
us.

49

They stop, pale
— a call on the hillside
and no cover. The rising wind.

52

Lark, dropping song ribbon
in the cold rain: the long climb
for sex, for space.

53

Victory is smoke, ash: yesterday’s
fire. Walk away;
find water, moss.

54

Lime blossom, a full moon,
the open window:
asleep in the world’s arms.

56

Live the dream? Dreams are discharge.
They nourish most when laughed down,
let drift, lost.

57

Small moth, on my white sleeve, for now.
By chance comes
the gift of perfection.

58

The dusk hoopoe: astonished
to see me. Relief:
old familiar moon.

63

It will end, close;
the skin will join, leaving only
that faint fond roughness.

66

The river is more beautiful
than the poem
about the river.

69

Troubling: a torn dress of vapour;
dark breasts brushing the lips of earth.
Storm.

72

Headlights cross the wall.
Theatre of sliding silhouettes.
And then … nothing.

74

They knew, our forbears, how darkness
surrounds us like a sea
enclosing.

75

The vault of stars collapsed
to a box; the rhymes gone; the great moor walled:
pain.

77

This valley? Banal. Yet we too
have our bees, our dusk. Besides:
it’s ours.

78

A wild pig, trotting on a windy night …
as free
as hunger permits.

80

Fox knows stealth, spoor, geodesy
— but not
the sudden madness of wheels.

83

Every night I unmoor.
The sea grows blacker; the stars
slide on, unhitched.

84

In thickening mist, a horse waits.
A crow tussles
with carrion. Peace.

86

Cut light, achieved being,
the shape of time:
birch of a grass bank, winter.

87

Moonlight is powdered ice.
Sunlight: lava.
Dusk: water in the marshes.

88

Hard frost. Midnight. The hen house.
Sharp cockerel eyes fix me:
the other.

90

In grey winter’s paper forest
a shock of orange:
that fire you lit.

95

My nails, your back:
that strange invitation
to the tide, to wreck-strewn shores.

96

Proximate, dependent and interlaced:
the wedding feast,
and after.

98

Dead, headless tit; a cat, amused.
The thin-flanked fox darts forward.
Life sings.

99

Here are God’s stout crows,
all feathers and claws, spooning us
milk with arsenic.

102

Icon — was that in the gloom
which was not the gloom:
the light, inhering.

103

Only those on their knees in damp grass
know the scent
of shy violets.

107

Immured in silent flesh, the great bull
eyes the sparrow
he cannot be.

108

Beware the grey curtains
with their neat pleats
and those who come to draw them.

113

Come: sleep on the straw
of this vast, fetid inn
to the breath of the beasts.

114

They must walk in the rain
down gouged roads
in the land of bitter cherries.

118

They’re all there, the smiles,
the just words, your best self,
in the locked room, next door.

121

You who were wicked, go now, pass on,
but you who were wrong:
stay and look.

124

Butterflies like snowflakes
that hot day. No shade. Each tree
eaten to winter.

125

A cool hand, parting cloth,
filling the air with strange
familiar music.

127

The golden bird
hides in the tree’s green crown, weaving songs
from sun and rain.

130

Lie down, now; the time
for up is done. Drape what is
with what might be.

131

That upland: our wind pantry. Go,
feed on emptiness,
on senseless light.

135

And when she reached up,
he knew that difference
must be generative —

137

By moonlight, naked,
came the solace of unbeing
the beings they were.

140

Train in the night, unheard by day
— a quiet rattle of souls
fading

141

Willow: not willowy
but heavy-breasted, pregnant
with the wind’s seed.

142

The sand hills have come
to the doors of the city. Still
we don’t see them.

146

Monk breath, stale, in dead night,
becalmed in God’s
cold silence: laudate

147

They’ve lurched, these soft rocks
into ancient, grave postures:
our children, asleep.

148

Those bright tiles she chose,
he mortared — broken, all,
by the glory of weeds.

150

Shat nappy charged, stinking,
sodden, there: troubled bliss
of being

151

Cunning monkey’s greater challenge
is not to build
but to dismantle.

152

No seams, no slit in the vast cold sea
nor its grey sky
unredeeming –

153

The practice wave
of her tiny hand – and then
a lifetime of leaving.

154

The trusted map is wrong –
but right enough to mark
all our missed turnings …

155

Loneliest of crowds, that clutch
of strangers, hurtling
through high prairies —

156

A stolen white wafer, slipped into
a dish of milk:
midwinter moon.

157

We’d run, we’d dance – but
they’re there, at every turn:
the mysterious barricades.

158

The argument we have started
the wind will soon settle
in grand joust

161

Sudden last light, silver
on the neighbour’s dark window
as you turned north.

162

In the unsurveyed marshes,
the scum-flecked creeks
love also, softly, blooms.

163

You wouldn’t want to grow lame
here, beneath the crags
and the raven’s gaze.

170

And here
is where miseries are staunched by play of light
on fit, dressed stone.

171

First sound, this city dawn:
a crow
cawing the beat of being.

174

Tattered bale of wind-flayed threads
wedged on the hill, cropping new life.
March sheep.

175

There is no intrinsic value
— save in the eye,
the hand, and the heart –

177

Curdled love: all
throats torn. Resolution comes
comfortless.

182

We could wait, were able to,
and did, and are, but now,
now we wonder –

184

Not right in the head
but wrong, left, turning, twisting, falling
past you all.

185

What is it rain unlocks
in the dust, if not
the scent of the fallen?

186

Just the robin, that hot afternoon,
making soundway
in the still air

193

Tide in the shingle, wind
in the pines: lamentations
to outlast us

194

I heard the dead, and
No, they said, no, you have no right to speak
for us

195

Drunk without drink —
having dug, and shared
the heady breath of opened earth

196

What word, enemy, to beg the world
to share my hatred?
Terrorist.

199

Was the mantis kissing
the cricket? So it seemed.
The ants busied by.

201

Ten times his height, yet still
the plumed cock flew at me
in senseless fury

205

Midgy air.
A whirl of dipping swallows
over Ausone: Africa calls.

207

Dusk
is giving back, breathing out: the relief
of looming abeyance

208

Know, then, that the sun
will eat the earth, and all traces
of our failing

211

Shaved moon, faint in the midday blue:
gone the empire, dead
the painted slaves.

216

The barefoot, furrow-browed guide, half-lit
at the door of the world:
father.

217

It will rain tonight, and none will see
the dark leaves drip
on mouse fur.

220

Copper hair on beige skin:
a bare shoulder, sunlit,
at the train window

221

I thought that time led upwards
but no – it unspools
in the dark copses