In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: ‘Parallel Lives’

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The House of York

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Caroline Gordon v. Flannery O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

Follow the Science

James Butler

Model Railway Club, StainesPeter Redgrove
Close
Close
Vol. 7 No. 4 · 7 March 1985
Poem

Model Railway Club, Staines

Peter Redgrove

162 words

Hobbyists by the river
Under the cold hairy willows,
In peaked caps and faded railway overalls
And astride saddle-sized model trains,
Chug under bare willow wickerwork gilded by winter sun
Puffing more white steam than their crib-sized engines.
Even the dog-shit is happy among these frosty hobbyists,
Lying down as is its wont
Like shed pelt of a ginger kind
Tightly wound like secretive baskets
Or submitting cleated to our boots.
We share sunshine with the model trains,
Priming a firebox with a car battery,
Tossing in chips of fossil sunlight that flash
In today’s noon, returning shine,
Tending the railway like children
Tending it with pieces of guttering sunshine that are coal
Under a songbird’s rainbow spectrum
Of sound in which we hear the colour named ‘thrush’ alone;
And one happy chap bends and snaps off a chip
Of frosted shit and tosses it into his furnace
Astride his iron pony glittering sunlight
Under the frosty wickerwork, Sunday bright.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

letters@lrb.co.uk

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences