Sunday, 7 February 2010


Formaldehyde faces
In the streets of New York,
I can see on the news
In quite provincial England.
And I’m struck by the aliens
That live beyond the pond
(not my pond, a fern-filled, frog home,
 a charity centre for amphibians)
But the pond that isn’t a pond,
A moving, restless steel grey
Monster, with white-topped fins
That crest and claw at ships
In the emptiness of storms,
And that seems so much bigger
With a small sounding name,
Like it’s swelled and stretched it out,
Like ice in a crack.
But the aliens live there
And their lives are so odd, filled with difference
And vastness and vistas
That seem,
In quite provincial England,
Like spaces between conversations.

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