Life, like climbing, is best
accomplished if you don't look
down. Pressed up against the rock,
rock-face to face, one is safest.
Hands like to be busy, little nest-
builders, hunting for hand-
holds in the crevices and creases,
they work best in the dark,
by feel; creatures of tactility.
Feet too, like to work unhindered
by the he ... More
No one is going to come and save you.
And because of this you must fold
your clothes at day's end
despite the urge to abandon them
to the backs of chairs. You must shake
the crumple of sleep from the sheet.
You must clean your teeth. Wash the teaspoons.
Fold your pyjamas too and lay the neat squares
to rest under your pillow of a morning
des ... More
For the soft-handled horse-mane hair
of the half moon brush
The gleam of pewter, copper, glass.
For the carpet palimpsest of patterned lives
that lie layered in the deep pile – embedded
wine, coffee, blood, bread, skin, and ash.
For the possibility of preserving presence
and particularity in a photograph.
For the quiet reliability of maps that ... More
Timing and manner my mum would always say
and it's true, the how and when override the what
of what's said, and the same is true of poetry.
I don't think people remember their tone when speaking –
other people's yes, but not their own. Tone, like texture, is crucial
for the feel of things – is it honey or cactus, metal or water?
And if the words ... More
for Wolfgang and Birgit
I failed to sleep last night, I failed to have the dreams
that would take me safe from one day into the next.
I failed to be brave, afraid of the train, its snout of steel
pushing out of the dark into the station at San Pietro,
its sides towering over us blue and white and filthy with night.
It hissed, cracked open, impatie ... More
This poem has not yet been written
and before it is I want to say I respect
the President of the United States,
the man himself and his office
and I respect what the people
mean when they say Democracy
though I do not know what this
might have to do with being armed
and having put these points like this
as plainly as possible
on t ... More
You woke with a headache
and opened the bedroom window blind.
You bent forward as morning light came in.
It fell on your belly and breasts
and your sleep maddened hair.
I could hear the sickness in your voice
as you accepted a salad bowl to throw up in
and two pills with breakfast.
The new sun tipped itself up over distant mountains
outside the ki ... More