Tag Archives: Oxford

WAITING

Magdalen’s groundsare full of life,full of space. Space, which is mownand cleared,tended and enclosed,its waterways unchoked,brown and sparkling clear. It is home to ducksand coots,to dragonflies and deer. Grass and paths and gatesand streamsand yesterday’s undergraduatesare waiting. Not for the … Continue reading

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AFTERNOON TEA AT THE WARNEFORD

Speechreaches outto whisper and shout,praise and curse,across a silent universe;making of molecular vibrationa means of human communication. It wasn’t always quite like this;the groansand moans,the hissand howlsin the warm pre-Cambrian mudwere eloquent enough avowalsof love and hatred, fear and blood. … Continue reading

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OXFORD: MICHAELMAS

Christ Church meadowis awash with driving rainand a wind which bites the skinand chills the blood within.Its paths are sticky, yellow mud.And the Cherwell, brown and dull,slips ever higher.Ducks, moorhens, squirrels endure it.As they endure frost and iceand the teeth … Continue reading

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MIDWINTER’S DAY IN THE BOTANIC GARDENS

Hippophaewith clusters of orange berrieson spiky twigs. Set in this ancient, yellowstone wall,which separates the formal walksfrom the marsh garden to the south,is the gateway (with gate long gone).At its base, nerines – all mauves and reds –spill over on … Continue reading

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ARMISTICE DAY

“Died some pro patria non dulce non et decor.”So Ezra Pound adapted Horace’s linesfor those whose sufferings for their nationhad bred a dull, dark, painful generationwith gloria cauterised from their minds. In the calendar their deaths are still recorded.Poppies and … Continue reading

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MAGDALEN

In the Fellows’ Gardens,past the Deer Park,a willow twists and stretchesout of a brown poollike a giant Nāgatrailing garlands of green lace. Along the avenues of Addison’s Walk,among birch and beech,chestnuts stretch out their brancheslike semaphores,and hang their leaves like … Continue reading

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AREOPAGITICA

The Vice Chancellor is leaving!And the mourners go about the streets,throwing their mortar boards in the airand waving their gownslike bullfighters’ capes. In the Vivisection Laboratory,the faintest of grey lightsslants through the bars of cageswhere animals waitto be scientifically torturedfor … Continue reading

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POST IMPERIAL BLUES

A terrorist gets his way by violence. Like Alexander,he would prefer a city to surrender peacefully.Like Alexander,he will destroy it if it doesn’tand enslave its population. A successful terrorist,like a successful leopard,does not change his spots. A pugilist can break … Continue reading

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BLONDIN

“Blondin” is a like a large box of tasty organic delicacies, which you dip in and out of at your leisure – not something to be attempted at one sitting. The poems deal with many facets of life, from glimpses of the cosmic, to the scent of the breeze on a local Cornish lane. Whatever your taste- whether it be wit, insight, or the Tao, you’ll find something to engage you. Continue reading

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LEARNING

Learning out and learning inboth from now and here begin. Going back to change the clockyesterday’s secrets will not unlock. Writing plans on your diary’s pagemakes nothing happen (except old age). Singing old songs,reciting old parts,rights no wrongs,breeds more false … Continue reading

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