No 18 - September 2002
And the guns in the smashed wood thumping and grinding.
The letters written there, and received,
Books, cakes, cigarettes in a parish of famine
And leaks in rainy times with general all-damning.
(Ivor Gurney, Laventie)
Sunday, nearly dusk, early December,
walking a distance not my choosing.
I’m thinking of the letter you say is on the way,
probably still travelling over the Atlantic,
through clouds threatening snow,
to arrive while you are dreaming.
We’ve met, yet not through Gurney’s traumas,
his wanderings, wanderlust for oaks and stiles.
We know we’re not mad but sane, not sane but mad.
Here in Dulwich Woods Washington’s gridlines
have little meaning. You’re marked on my map
by your research and learning.
And though through the woods I hear the bells
of St. Stephen’s, the guns are firing in my head,
a speeding hearse masks the scream of the fox
snaring at nightfall. Men would be sharpening
their pencils and writing in trenches.
I’m reading your thesis and learning.
A small boy runs past me and falls.
His tears land on a ground hardened by frost,
but Ivor is composing in the absence of birdsong,
and it’s then I catch gunfire in the wind.
The church service will be starting, people singing,
somewhere a man is crying for help.
- 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