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Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

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Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

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Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

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Clarice Lispector

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At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

Rain GaugeJohn Kinsella
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Millpoint throaty guzzler, wishful
choker as dust films throat, to measure up,
squalls with hooks and introversions, bale-hooks,
moebius comeback though sharp and sliced
from the same stretch, to hang up or catch skin
to ripen blood-eating earth, so sharp needles
of rain crosscut, score soil and tease seeds,
to calibrate the empty out and add up,
it says enough but penetration’s not there
and lateral spread, its absorption
which is not a formula of depth, width, impact,
even with the resistance, the failure of soil
to wet, taken into consideration. What factor
has us check the gauge when the crops are in,
when growth is simply about moisture,
to engage the rainmaker, the seeder of air
when airseeders have percolated hectare
after hectare of earth, to balance the equation,
the antimatter or parallel universe of planting
and growth, the balanced equation of faith
that adds up so each seed sprouting
spites and despites the raingauge
as if miracles can blossom from the negative?
They can’t, and even moisture from the sea
won’t reconcile tropes and impositions,
and the miracle of rain we might not even see
will be seen in crops and wild grasses,
good foliage on even hardy resistant trees,
less salt in low damp spots – an adjustment
in contradictions, apparent laws
we apparently live by, bothering the gauge
after sleep’s deliberations, blanks and deletions.

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