This poem is taken from Stand 218, 16(2) May - June 2018.

Mary Robinson Four Poems

Alphabet’s barn-shaped letter, that pastoral
initial settling the land. Trees split

like carcasses, crucks beam-pinned, lifted
from ground to gable, thatched up to the ridge-pole –

heather, straw, reed, whatever is to hand –
protecting us as an owl mantles

her wings over her young. Human sweat,
ox dung, hearth-fire’s smoking filth, winter

granary, beast shelter, food larder,
memory hoard. The way it is inhabited

as language is.


Lexical late-comer
shape shifter
mutating Iago to James

alphabetical poacher
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