In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

Good to Think With

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

The Inequality Engine

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

Two PoemsSarah Maguire
Close
Close

For Kathleen Jamie

Waist-height,
clouds of white lace
in the abandoned graveyard,

the delicate,
filigree umbels
matching

the thumbprints of lichen
embroidering the graves.
A deep current of blue

surges below –
bluebells,
moments of sky

fallen,
brief weather
fixed on wet stems,

conjuring a climate
gone from this chill April dusk,
as rain comes, and light fades.

Field Capacity

The plump loam easy with wetness –
late March, the unwrung sponge of soil
balanced by a long winter’s rain,
then opened by thaw.

I take the springy lawn in my stride,
an ash sapling tucked under each arm.
A circle described in the turf, the grassy lid
lifted, then dig –

and the packed earth comes nicely,
fresh on the spade. Fed, then watered in darkness,
the rootball unwinds, and the young tree
shivers in the wet spring air.

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