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An Ordinary Woman

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Short Cuts: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness

Mattathias Schwartz

Smells of Hell

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Mrs Oliphant

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Tippett’s Knack

Philip Clark

At Tate Modern: Steve McQueen

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Churchill’s Cook

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The ‘Batrachomyomachia’

Ange Mlinko

On Dorothea Lange

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Paid to Race

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Poem: ‘Traveller’s Tales: Chapter 90’

August Kleinzahler

The Soho Alphabet

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Old Tunes

Stephen Sedley

Victor Serge’s Defective Bolshevism

Tariq Ali

The Murdrous Machiavel

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Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

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Three poemsRobert Crawford
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My Husband’s CV

King of England from 1461, born
Atlanta, Georgia, always
Zealous Orleanist, became
Cricketer, administrator, son
Of trade unionist, Irish mother leader
Of Gaelic revival, debuting Covent Garden,
Wurttemberg, Sardinia; fought Crimean War,
Fifth of seven, acquiring nickname
‘Hetman of the Cossacks of the Don’.
After carrying army across
Bosporus on bridge of boats, married (19), becoming
Government official (wife (1),
Gave Shakespeare readings over twenty years,
Founding Eragny Press). Home, Glasgow,
Very first lit by electric light, now houses
‘Muckraker’ pioneering newsreels.
First film, Susan Lennox: Her Fall and Rise,
Won him friendship of Princes Czartoryski,
Freers of Galician serfs. Several
Expeditions to Thracian Chersonese
Increased supremacy of Athens. Founded
Paris bank, in which began
Work on coral reef theory, kept
In cardboard boxes. Confession after Luther’s death
Deciphered by pygmies. Then,
Elected Bishop, Skalholt, Iceland,
Sonorous preacher, though dissolved
Order of Star in the East.
Incidental songs – ‘Nymphs and Shepherds’,
‘Kid Boots’, ‘Textbook of Bacteriology’ –
Classics. Died at Herrhut,
Vaternish peninsula, imprisoned Naples,
Jailed in loony bin near Paris, also
Fell leading men in charge at Waterloo.
Now writes bestselling adult cookbooks,
You’re Only Young Once! I could reach inside him
Where he sits still, a matted fur yeti,
And snatch out his other heart, a silver ball.

St Andrews

I love how it comes right out of the blue
North Sea edge, sunstruck with oystercatchers.
A bull’s-eye centred at the outer reaches,
A haar of kirks, one inch in front of beyond.

Arbuthnott

Gales churn cornfields to a golden stushie,
North Sea haar dooks the North Sea.

Later, from Kinneff round past Dunottar
Heat vectors everywhere. Sunned kirks surmount

Peninsulas of cloud, wisps of the land.
Sound is a Triumph Herald, crickets. South,

Brechin Round Tower soars, a slim
Minaret of the Mearns.

On the swings, one minute
Feet on the ground, the next all up in the air,

I catch how Kincardineshire sky’s
Transvaalish, Budapesty, Santa Barbaran,

Zurich on a perfect day. I love the North East
Everywhere of it, how it just zeros

On and on, then flauchters back
So zircon, so azure, so Alice blue.

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