‘Cosmos’ by Grevel Lindop


Between Orion and Gemini, an almost-full moon.
Wrinkled tidewater tilting at the lips of Morecambe Bay .

Galaxies of cow parsley edging the valley fields.
Slow explosions of lichen on the fellside boulders.

The long-armed yew gesticulating at your window:
ancient growth-rings cupping a still more ancient hollow.

Old glass: molten tremulous lungful of human breath
spun flat, cut to rippled squares, set in the dusty casement.

Grain of the living oak, stopped dead in your tabletop.
Cobweb at the table’s corner a map of skewed co-ordinates.

Your tablelamp fed by Heysham’s uranium rods,
Haverigg’s twinkling windfarm, buried cables along the Duddon Valley .

Your mobile: lit menu, notional time, no signal.
The mountain: against the black of the sky, a blacker black.

The labyrinth of your fingerprint: Chartres maze stretched to an oval.
The fieldpaths crisscrossing in the palm of your hand.

An ink-slick spreading in the pen’s furrow,
gold keel ploughing an ocean of churned Norway spruce.

All of it drawn and drawn into the pupil’s black hole,
the dark that cannot be seen, the space that is everything else.
(originally published in Resurgence Magazine)
Grevel Lindop‘s books include Selected Poems and Playing With Fire, both from Carcanet. His Travels on the Dance Floor was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.

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