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The Mountain

Christopher DeWeese

‘When the oxygen thins, / the world gets less reciprocal.’

Observations on the Ground

Mary Ruefle

‘Those flowers belong to the dead.’

Pax Americana

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘It looks like life, or its oasis.’

Opening Invocation

Jean-Paul de Dadelsen

‘Or otherwise, leaving the shore of the intermediate sea, / has it been a while since they’ve gone ahead / into the interior of lands of the spirit?’

Revelations

Ange Mlinko

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

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.’

Passing Place

Helen Mort

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

Two Poems

Joe Wenderoth

‘At first you treat him as a nobility – / a miraculous figure(head) / with no real office. / Then he dies.’

Eternities

Charles Simic

‘Could they be the same person?’

String Theory

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch

‘On tenterhooks / you think how string constricts, how / it connects, how you followed it back / to Rawtenstall.’

Two Poems

John Balaban

‘Her mother planted a garden in Manhattan. / In that garden is a tree. Some look on it and feel restored. / Others, when the wind lifts its leaves, want to scream.’

A Cloudless Sky

Michael Dickman

‘A cloudless sky and I’m back / an ice-cold sky-blue rag / for my eyes’

Handkerchief

Ghassan Zaqtan

‘Nothing’s left to say between us / everything went / into the train that hid its whistle.’

Two Poems

Eric Anderson

‘Wanting to get it all in, like / Xerxes tipping his army’s arrows / with saltpeter / so to ignite the Grecian sky.’

Postscript

John Burnside

'the trees / are slender in the way that things / are almost, though not quite / absent'

A Description of the Architectural Impact of My Home, Age 7

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

‘my apartment is neither over / nor under the sidewalk, / but both at once’

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.’

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’

Dilation

Ben Lerner

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

The Lady and the Skull

Angela Carter

‘In just such an emblematic a fashion / The world takes on / Human form.’

Nature Study: Spots

Kay Ryan

‘Like something / that might also / happen in the head,’

Blueberries

James Lasdun

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

The Self-Illuminated

Don Paterson

Don Paterson reads his poem, ‘The Self-Illuminated’ in memoriam Peter Porter, from Granta 119: Britain.

Two Poems

Niall Campbell

‘And so, last night, so cold, I listened to / the floorboards warp in the unwelcome heat.’

How Long is the Coast of Britain?

Jynne Martin

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

Waterloo East

Lorraine Mariner

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

Two Poems

Paula Bohince

‘What sparrows come, / come briefly, briefly displacing / the nothingness.’

Dog Days

James Lasdun

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

Two Poems

Kaddy Benyon

‘Sometimes I am so afraid my envy / will hack at your figs, strawberries, / or full-bellied beans, I dig my fists / into my pockets and nip myself.’

Two Poems

Sean Borodale

‘To be honest, this is dark stuff; mud, tang / of bitter battery-tasting honey. The woods are in it.’

Blue Sky Thinking

Gillian Clarke

‘Let’s do this again, ground the planes for a while and leave the runways to the racing hare.’

The Making of the English Landscape

Simon Armitage

It’s too late now to start collecting football shirts,/bringing them back from trips abroad as souvenirs: