In the latest issue:

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

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

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

Hanging FireRobin Robertson
Close
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The impatience for summer
is desire: ritual, imbedded
hard as a hinge
in the earth’s mesh.
From the papery bulb,
the spurred, flesh-green horn
pushes, straining for air;
flexes its distended,
perfect, cleft muscle
out and up through the crust.

Then the deeper sleep of August,
ninety degrees of hanging fire:
the yellow lawns, the blighted
flowerless trees, the malformed leaves
sticky with sarcoma; the only sound
the hot, rhythmic tick of tarmac.
The pigeon splays
and struts after his blushing bride,
drags his thickening tail
behind him through the dust

Once it comes
we want it over;
the need for heat
replaced by the anxiety for winter:
rain to wash it all away,
and frosts to kill it back –
to start again next spring
with that familiar pulse,
that stirring of old ground:
that ache we think is lust.

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