No 62 - Spring/Summer 2005
Learning from History
How many times have we done this?
Stepped out from grey streets into green open space
at the north east gate, tight with anxiety
screwing up our eyes for the lorry with the microphone
or banners we can recognize, past clusters of police?
How many times have we crossed little bands
of Iranian students with photocopied fact sheets
or blond Americans blindly playing frisbee
grinding the grass with their heavy sliding feet?
How many times have I stood closed in
by people holding placards, while stiffness gripped my spine
passed on a clipboard after reading it and signing
felt my face harden as I clapped every speech?
It seems we’ve been doing it Sunday after Sunday
week after week.
Here’s the big shops. What am I afraid of?
The camera on the top of the office-block behind us
with its long distance lens and its hidden operator
or the square-jawed anoraked photographer who faced us
who had too little flab on to be working for the press?
They must have dozens of pictures to our names now
from the eye in the side of the white helicopter
which can focus in on fifty and define each single face.
Let’s go and eat. Anywhere. I’m hungry,
and suddenly too empty of energy to speak.
Always this flatness, the end of every Sunday.
Sitting in silence in the Indian restaurant
we finish our parathas, wipe out fingers free of grease:
tomorrow, another Monday in the library
indexing, filing ...
And the same for the police.
- 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