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All Posts By David Selzer


The ditches along Duttons Lane have been full

much of March – because February-fill-dyke

was mostly dry, almost Spring for days.

The glinting water is dark as black tea,

brown as bitter beer. Along Acres Lane

the hawthorn hedgerows are beginning to green.


We park as near the school as we can.

The leafy lane is overflowing with song.

As we walk through the green security gates

a westerly wind brings the roars of lions

from the zoo nearby.



Once Parliament was in recess – both Houses

of Hypocrisy on their long summer hols –

in the basement of an office block near

King’s Cross (where you catch the Hogwarts Express)

one Saturday morning in July,

three journalists, watched by two technicians

from GCHQ, spent three hours to save

the Government’s face, and The Guardian’s,

by destroying hard drives with drills and grinders,

circuit boards whose data – from the exiled

whistleblower Edward Snowden – was

replicated throughout the Americas.



The summer LA hosted the Olympics –

the year the UK miner’s strike began,

and comrades became enemies, and things sure

fell irredeemably apart – we went

on a four day tour of mostly ancient Greece:

Corinth Canal; the amphitheatre

at Epidaurus; Nafplio’s converted

mosque; the Lion Gate at Mycenae;

Olympia’s temples; Delphi’s omphalos.


Swallows had made their mud nests in the eaves

of the three concrete hotels we stayed at,

the birds’ tender flights twittering omens

for travellers who were,



From the west front of this Restoration house –

built a century before the demand

for coal brought, in hearing of the brocaded

drawing room, the daily clank and hiss

of the pit head winding gear and the pumps

keeping the seams dry, and, in direct

line of sight of the spacious steps, the slagheap’s

incremental growth on land previously

considered worthless so not purchased –

was a view, across the shallow valley

and extensive pasture land, of benign hills.



for Ashen Venema


Walking back to the house from the composter

one late afternoon in early autumn

I looked up, and stopped. There was a roseate,

mackerel sky moving from North East Wales

over the Cheshire Plain towards the Pennines,

and drifting above me. Whatever weather

it presaged, it was ordinarily

lovely, a mundane epiphany.


At the kitchen door I turned and there

was a raven on the paving where I had been,



The front page of Brexit Day’s Forgers’ Gazette

was a photo of the White Cliffs of Dover

with ‘A NEW DAWN FOR BRITAIN’ superimposed

on the blue sky above  Рand the sun, by chance,

highlighting the erosion of the chalk,

ephemeral and flaky as metaphor.




After the war, when things were in short supply,

and we had drawing, occasionally,

I drew a layered landscape with wax crayons:

blue sky with bird and cloud,