In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

Piketty’s Revolution

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

UnpasteurisedPeter Redgrove
Close
Close

The strange unpasteurised heights,
And that excellent suntanned all-copper
Waterworks sticker mechanism

With plastic ballcocks sucking at them
And snowflake zinc tanks sunk high
Into the arteries of a cloud-mountain
Of circulating ocean.

We empty the system and venture
With flaming torches into the mains,
Into the conduits maned with weed
That falls about our heads uncombed, which lead

Along strait routes to a booming cistern blown
In a domed cadenza of ancient bricks.

There are here tribes of black bats
Littering their crisp white skeletons.

We lick our fretted lips
Free of their mermaid salts
And a few feet below the ceiling
A band of sparkling mineral crust;

As though one put his salt
Seed into the water, and seeded
Their reservoirs and clouds
So that all might become like him,

My unpasteurised father of the depths.

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