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In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali


James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

SeroyeshkyCarol Rumens

We broke slim boughs to stir
and sift the leaf-mould.

I was befogged by earth-colours,
my earthbound sight an Axminster

of swirling oak-leaves, beech-mast,
till I had trimmed my focus

to detail, even acquired
a touch of your magical foresight.

Seroyeshky, you called them:
mushrooms for eating raw,

but better cooked, you said,
in spite of the nickname.

Some were pale red, some amber;
the slugs had frilled their edges

and nipped small coins from them:
still, they were beautiful,

thrusting up stoutly,
lifting the thatch of their caves,

and yet most breakable,
their spore-weight light as grass.

The Pinner woods were glowing
in a Muscovite sunset

as we brought home our catch.
You cleaned them and fried them

to a milky gloss;
eagerly we dipped our forks.

The bitterness was astounding.
We’ve been warned, I said.

Whatever else they look like,
whatever they are, elsewhere,

here, they are toadstools,
here, our enemies.

And so we abandoned them
– our prized seroyeshky, love-sick

fantasies of tasting
the past, or another’s country.

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