A fraction of sky falling in,
miles over my head. Unless
it’s coal in the stove downstairs
inching closer over the fire of itself,
settling down to be burnt.

It’s guns waking me up:
deep in the woods, minutely
thundering off at pigeons or rabbits.
Eight hours, ten hours, it must be,
perhaps twenty conscious thoughts,

since last night on TV
some expert said they could now
make lightning; not just likenesses
he showed us, but whatever it is
that signals frantically that thunder’s coming.

Sunday morning of course: so quiet
in between the explosions
you might hear the shot animal cry.
Simply count the seconds and say
how far off the explosion is.

Send Letters To:

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


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.

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