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Links from a forgotten chain.


Xin pools where vapour-trails, rain-clouds,
blue vacancy stay relatively still
Xbranches and hovering kestrels ape
more accurately what’s been walked beneath
Xbut in reverse – high language may
conceal discrepancies when colours leave,
Xshapes alter, former echoes don’t
even disturb the cobwebs – noon slicing
Xbetween two houses lets a beech
partially obscured glow like a copper
Xcloud which could never have drifted
that low this early now – most galaxies
Xspeed outwards to create in time
the space they’ll subsequently move through – vague
Xterrain it’s nowhere and belongs
to no-one always – yaffle-tap on trunk
Xquick, hollow, so familiar
although the wood’s no longer there – the calm
Xlake of chromatic gracefulness
both after and before the whirl and flaunt –
Xvalse too hectic to be danced to
save elf feet over a clovered floor – black
Xhelicopters clattering as
they cross long ago lands of faërie
Xlonged for, sometimes believed in, known
to be there not here never to be there –
XDebussy’s church-bells filtering through
the foliage – the sound of moonlight on
Xquays, rivers, eastern temples – white
hail heavy on unseen gardens – you will
Xfind in an upper room beneath
the bed a sack of spurious gold – a kiss
Xas firework – sunlight on late moss –
refracted light, the bright fritillary
Xdecays to dust, illusion gone –
a distant conflict bombshells lost among
Xthe hiss of reeds – a phantom crow
floating above translucent lupins (it’s
Xa photograph the shaman took
why not believe it?) – these are only facts
Xand facts aren’t poetry unless

Harry Guest: Puzzling HarvestHarry Guest’s latest publication (from Impress) is A Square in East Berlin, a translation of Torsten Schulz’s acclaimed novel Boxhagener Platz (which has been successfully filmed). He reviewed ‘Anthony Rudolf’s literary Wunderkammer’, silent conversations, for the Fortnightly here and Peter Dent’s latest work here. Harry Guest was born in Penarth in 1932. He read Modern languages at Cambridge before beginning a career as a teacher in schools and universities in France, Japan, and England. With his wife, Lynn Guest, the historical novelist, he now lives in Exeter. His collected poems, A Puzzling Harvest, was published by Anvil in 2002. A subsequent collection, Some Times, appeared in 2010.

This work was modified 22 June 2104 to permit the correction of an editing error.

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