Tom Raworth | West Wind

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the moon
is blacker than the sky
memories move
in abandoned armour
corridors of such interest
of mirrors and cut glass
night
a few lights
outlining motion
a city’s blue glow spikes
from shadows fanned
by airbrushed fingers
restarting ink
with a thumb
ink
dried on the pen
distant
as walking anywhere
having your own body
or the thought
of imagination
an unlimited
closed system
a flooded market
only intellect
between you and the image
past dreams
a different real
with body
an experience
there
a yellow building waits
description
fear’s tidy lines
memory’s distance
you know
so you can watch
toothbrushing
a cough
water through furred pipes
a moth
tapping inside a paper shade
quand même
you drove splendidly
a long stretch
at the sorting centre
forms across the board
good help
reflection on the coating
or guss teen
the past was always
not quite right
give me more sound
copying
marks of teeth
send’m into
dead volcanoes
proud
to be neanderthal
it’s my bomb
i’m taking it home
why fed?
the computer operates
on limited knowledge
anaesthetised
by not knowing
more
it is
what it knows
we cannot
but conclusions
despatch us
to affect our what?
co-humans?
thus was served
sharp edge
under control
casting
formed film’s soul
what is perceived
of life among shapes
when memory
won’t link to sense
takes dry leaves
this machine
adds the human touch
hope glides over lazy
drive under brigham
glorious heavy crimea
illuminated
no ledge jah see
innocent
who don’t imagine
beyond the block
you’ve guessed it
easy terms
the weaker eye
records unseen
different angles
altered shapes
never quite balanced
on a finer line
let muscle heart
push blood threads further
into the blanket’s weave
return from solid absence
lonely
body blundered in habit
let’s have a song

 

 

 

 

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heart
where pain was
qualified search
through combinations
of impressions
for continuing
cold water
under pressure
colours change
with tilt
machines strike
electricity in sympathy
considering time
as two dimensions
dimpled
as frosted glass
line displacement
as motion ripples
later fragments
we assume
are one with those before
a sad dance
invoking your attention
for whom
does thought
translate?
words sleep
their carapaces
frost in moonlight
not one
tonight
will wander
the drag thought sucked
eternity holds
all formal hereafters
safe at last
from that not faced as part
consciousness outside my arms
green caterpillar buzzer
kernel in thick black velvet
gravel and grain
shipped from the hythe
pebbles at deal
grey chip road surface
skirting deserted cars
i smell
my body
rot
awake
nothing to feel with
but the chemicals of thought
corruption
divides dis
from uninterest
it is the breeze
this winter
apples
maggots
a bird pecks
down comes the tree
world war one
war two
war three
how many free wills
complete predetermined
almost unrecognised
days ago
breathing in paintstripper
icicles of arrangements
negative ghost
falling forward forever
immer
magnification
amplification
extras acting suave in bars
ivoire!
eccoli!
enough stock
dated this thing
mussolini
dangerous game
’alma
short it by water
modifascian
savage trusted to chance
for luck
stance
élégance
pas de danse
demasiado

espérance
shows the ineptitude
of government
jumping the queue
with a varicose vein
linked inextricably to jelly
dressing motions
a wasted ball
at –––––– one
he rejected the hypnotic evidence
competitive animals
paid to do
perspective
that’s right
pictures i thought
from the goon building
a delicate horn-shaped aerial
latched onto
the unmistakable image
zero hour
a hard picture
punched through
around the clock
on heavy clays
good pasture

colourless nation
sucking on grief
a handbag
strutting between uniforms
such slow false tears
sunlight tattoos
each cheek
with three brown dots
the state as
the status
quo
sitting in the path
of a high intensity beam
as war
advertises arms
we are pieces
of percentages
through that eye
for credit
is as far
as machines
can trust
what you own
and what you’ll earn
while the homeless stare
at nightlong lights
in empty offices

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the turtle shrugs
dominoes run down the globe
a nation with no pain
no heroin
two burger kings
on the champs élysées
a president
with an autocue
“the book stops here”
pronounces
the ability
to use money
to effect a legal bribe
legitimate threats
money retreats
concentrates
attracts
dry thin-lipped zombies
waffling in ice-shadows
dreaming of fear
order
without political control
nothing in their heads
but a sense of distance
between their ears
the w particle
nothing
links description
more tedious
that the wordless scene
offered my inner eye
flat
shadowed by sunset
slid right
leaving an ocean
flattened by the moon
i feel
behind me
examining my hair
friend
lifeless rock
for whom affection
cannot stay
perfect silence
motionless time
chromosome
a broken kiss
simple things
warm sunlight
a cloud
thinking
the noise
of mind
leaves wrestle
stalks green
matchsticks
descriptive words
verbs
directions
spherical geometry
the comfort of nouns

 

 

 

 

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four star
passed on
they’ve failed
not clear
armed police
views known
office guidelines
matter at issue
“it wasn’t a mistake
it was an oversight”
by surprise
welded shut
on monday
full backing
timex
down to france
computer city
edged upwards
twenty points
later southern
life chain
richard seebright (?)
fruit painter

 

 

 

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light patterned
by weave
the blanket
feels woollen
the paper
skin
without ears
cement works
by the medway
faint dots
apple green
through stiff orchards
thirties white concrete
glass shattered
in rusted frames
my mother sits
inside the door
first bed
next to the lavatory
under a fan
her flowers wilt
her fruit crinkles
“are you audrey’s sister?”
heat
trapped under
a plastic identity bracelet
sweats her inflamed arm
language
scab
flicked off
to suck the wound
empties figured
yet add up
anything else
symbolic penance
suffered enough
by being found out
hot stage everyone
vous n’en avez pas l’air
recorded tongue
torn by changing
into the music
of chronology
on the windowsill
a cactus flowers
an azalea branch
blooms in water
a march hare
a pheasant
a stork in belgium
a hedgehog
a dead black and white cat
blood dried from its mouth
memories
astronaut
moon walker
what is higher now?

sweet smell of death
forget-me-not
“is this the hospital
hello        is this the hospital”
“we like to tilt them back
so we can see their eyes”
gangrene
shuddering
flecked with yellow
red-rimmed eyes
no patience
with death
no breast-feeding
no sleepless nights
who made you?
god made me
no
my parents made me
a protection
and an ornament
new money
says in latin
a motto
my father notes
evelyn
recommended to charles
screaming blossoms
in a coy spring
how lucky
her hearing aid
delayed enough to miss
an itsy-bitsy
teeny-weeny
yellow polka-dot bikini
followed
by an alliance party broadcast
no chart
at the foot of her bed
the doctor
is at the other hospital
death is a process
so is left behind

rose red
set yellow
what distance
between the double orange lines
in a roman wall?
ground ivy
smothers bluebells
a trace horse
helps the stage uphill
golden moon
pain that hides
form
dictating itself
ink
triumphing over water
keep stretching
or you’ll shrink
race away
spiders have lairs
“are you
the other side?”
asks
our conservative canvasser
without argument
the advertisement
of how happy they are
showed
‘a west indian or asian’
calmly two foxes
looked at the passing train
straining pain
to tingle
carry on
england
“you walked into my nightmare”
“gracie’s away
you’re it girl
have another frock”
a country
nostalgic for war
thinking disconnected
from still body
code
in the surface crackle
of imported records
‘we should never have taught him to see’

frost rings out
the natural world
what can exist
without well
man one
wu two
kind
walking on its heels
sleep
clever enough
for an interesting hunt
an early stage
of humour
unpredictable
or slower
how can you tell?
a french painting?
by the accordion music?
upstairs
listening to the hiss
of carriers
just destruction
sounds out of space
swinging my head
through cold pea soup
back into the front
of my face
a lifetime
addition to the view
training ears
in the dark
so far back
i was thinking with my spine fear
c’est-à-dire
i want
it fit
against nature
a hippy chanteuse
words without me
direct speech
serving sentences
all new
can do
is age
born
into artifice
the appetite of boredom
feeds to grow
animal kudzu
deserts
where we forget
we were
so
to the wilderness within
hot and humming
time poses
as thought
investigating matter
the poor
said handbag
are lucky to be alive
breathing my air
contributing nothing
to profit
but without them
how would we be
off the bottom?
dangerous age
squashed against flash
future
an unreliable tense
imagination
beats at a fused image
grinning
sad chemical cheers even wet
mood music
medium wave
midway between stations
fading in and out
whose lives
does the government
affect?
“if i can’t
take the dog in
i won’t vote”
low mass
lace space
holding to a train of thought
the right to work
the rest not
just supposin’
baas
gibbets ahead
sweet rocket
rue
rubbed lemon balm
a snake
thoughtless as a bird
thud rolled hibiscus bloom
onto a plastic cover
water violets duck
earth
into water
into fire
into air
no longer
able to focus
the match flame
adoring its blue
‘shadow
my sweet nurse
keep me from burning’
george peele
had bethsabe say
educated in empire
internal colonialism
occupation
by a foreign power
whose
lives
does the government affect?
colossal heartburn
don’t confuse
not feeling able to go
with wanting to stay machines
now live in space
we place them so
our shell is thicker
“what is that?”
“that is a dancing girl”
“is it killed
with, or by, now?”
so vain
mad
to talk of his brain
“the candles
want to go out”
aram remarks
as the police
sing in a wax maze
‘this song
tells of a penguin
standing on glass’
reports poland
more
is not allowed
moscow
what
is my heart
i love?
who envies a war?
puffs of unrelated news
restore
our former glory
which apparently
was a global servant class
too poor
to see the crown jewels
sure
recognise the tracks
five days ago
i saw a ring
around the evening sun
radius tip of thumb
to little finger
of my stretched right arm
brown to purple
edged by a rainbow
lacking red and orange
clouds almost clear
streamed from the horizon
bent at the colour
as smoke in a wind tunnel
für sicher
we don’t know night
to fear it
from behind the mirror
but savage
is the danger
waiting for smoke signals
no lines
of communication
a network
of simultaneous points
trawls us into place
lucky
no russians called
while we
were in the south atlantic
‘beware of the bomb’
nailed to our fence
a little
skeleton rattling
the romance
of the politics
of romance
relax
a muscle remembers
saved by the breaks
fragments
of black spider motion

 

 

from
Tom Raworth | As When
Edited with an Introduction
by Miles Champion
CARCANET 2015

 

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