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Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

Rain GaugeJohn Kinsella
Close
Close

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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