Sign up with your email address to be the first to know about new products, VIP offers, blog features & more.

Tag Archives ambition

A DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF VENICE

LA SERENISSIMA

 

…stucco white as cuttlefish. In shadows,

a lion’s mouth utters advantage or blame.

The whitewashed stench of the prison inspires

the palace. An improbable city:

a wedding of sky, water, stone, lagoon –

colours luminously true to art, art

celebrating business, gold transformed to

lead, marble, canvas, paint. The lake dwellers’

ambition: exploitation and caprice…

 

 

 

 

share

THE HARE AND THE STONE

And suddenly she is a hare, eyes bursting

with fear. Her husband snaps her neck. Fingers

smell of tea towels and dust. Their son gobbles

at her nipples, his father’s eyes unfocused.

She dreads the key in the lock. Sometimes,

she wakes to find him thrusting at her crotch.

She is a hare, paralysed on a cold,

edgeless ground…Even through windows stuck fast

with paint, dust whispers, gathering on lips.

If, like a surgeon, she were to cut him,

she would lay bare a pebble,

share

LAMENT FOR BERSHAM IRON WORKS

Not for the hard, life-denying graft of it

or the danger, not for the polluting smoke

or the banishing of bird song,

not for the exploitation and social

upheaval, least of all for its cannons

at Naseby, Bunker Hill, Waterloo,

but for its madness, the sheer reach of it,

the invention of it, the ambition,

the defiance, the rhythmical creak

of the horse-drawn gin pumping water

from the river, the sulphurous roars

of the furnace, the forge hammers pounding

through the ancient woods,

share

THE HEART’S TESTIMONY

I am a gumshoe tailing mortality,

a shammus staking out history,

death’s sleuth. The past has bequeathed itself,

its deceiving legacy of meanings.

Here is the evidence, thronging the cramped,

provincial streets – the line of a wall,

family remembrance, an ancient name.

Before terraces and villas, before

canal and railway, under pavements

and metalled roads, beneath fields is lost heathland,

a forsaken brook. There are only stones

and ghosts and the heart’s testimony – childhood,

ambition,

share