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The Easel

Sharon Olds

‘When I build a fire, I feel purposeful.’

The Wife

David Katz

‘Ever notice the change that comes over / your gentle wife the minute she sets / foot in a grocery store?’

Après

Jamie McKendrick

‘greener / for an alien crop of hogweed higher / than us’

A Spell For Going Safely Forth By Day

Jynne Martin

‘The hunter pushes a bullet beneath his tongue to fix his aim, / or is it to stave off his thirst?

How Long is the Coast of Britain?

Jynne Martin

‘It is the hour for farewells. It is the hour.’

I had wondered about the signs of burning

John Kinsella

‘None of it made sense. The house shows / no signs – the old core of the house as it is now – / of fire, of giving up the ghost.’

The Burning of the Rocks

John Kinsella

‘What locked-away / state of unawareness, other life form, / brings desire to combust / out of rock exposed to flame’

Dark Night

Ben Okri

‘On a night when my soul was damp / I found in the street a dark lamp. / The moon was cold and green, / The sky had a sinister sheen’

Meeting the psychiatrist’s wife

Lorraine Mariner

‘The psychiatrist’s wife / has a dress the colour / of that bottle of claret / you shouldn’t have drunk / last night.’

Revelations

Ange Mlinko

‘I think of this when raising my eyes / to a filigreed cross in a sanctuary‘’

Fabric

Richard Meier

‘At midnight on our third and final date / I stepped inside her Edwardian conversion / to find a stripped-pine, bookless space.’

Passing Place

Helen Mort

‘Stall here and let the world / go past, the way / the world well might / on heather-coloured days like this,’

All the Good Help

Togara Muzanenhamo

‘He will not understand her fascination / for rain, these summer months of water / that somehow keep the money coming in.’

Sunday Drive Home

David Masello

‘On the drive down the Taconic, / you sleep, your head sinks then snaps / up when it reaches some reflex angle.’

Ange Mlinko | First Sentence

Ange Mlinko

‘I rediscovered the efficacy of meter (or the ‘contrast between fixity and flux’) when I was stuck in a shark tunnel with my kids and was afraid I was coming down with a panic attack.’

In the village of the mothers

Vénus Khoury-Ghata

‘The wells are kept for the use of the dead who splash the / walls with their silence.’

We’ll always have Paris

Richard Meier

‘I’d gone there with my girlfriend of three years, / then left her three days after meeting you.’

Somewhere the Wave

Derek Mahon

‘a voice, not quite a voice, in the sea distance / listening to its own thin cetaceous whistle’

The Sun in a Box

Caleb Klaces

‘When I was younger I drafted a memory. / I drew a rectangle on a piece of card / and called it a computer.’

Eel Tail

Alice Oswald

‘untranslatable hissed interruptions / unspeakable wide chapped lips’

Dilation

Ben Lerner

‘We need to harness the vaguely erotic disappointment that attends the realization you aren’t being followed.’

sleeping far from home

Soledad Marambio

‘They told her a thrush came into the house / and fell asleep by the TV.’

From the Flood Plain

Jamie McKendrick

‘No flood as parched as this’

Blueberries

James Lasdun

‘I’m talking to you old man. / Listen to me as you step inside this garden’

Two Poems

Ivan Landzhev

‘My chess teacher / used to tell me: / ‘Play your own game.’’

Oak

Jamie McKendrick

‘When my father saw an advert in the Echo / for a big house at a peppercorn rent / he rang.’

Requiem

Jill Osier

‘I watch her help, / gathering the leaves to her like love, / hiding herself.’

Dog Days

James Lasdun

‘Blizzard died. I’m remembering / his limitless affection.’

The New Hieroglyphics

Les Murray

‘Rice in bowl with chopsticks / denotes food. Figure 1 lying prone equals other.’

Post-Elegy

Wayne Miller

‘After the plane went down, / the cars sat for weeks in long-term parking. / Then, one by one, they began to disappear / from among the cars of the living.’

Waterloo East

Lorraine Mariner

‘On one of those mornings / when I felt like resigning / from my life.’

What we Lost

Michael Ondaatje

‘The pattern of teeth marks on skin’