Saturday 9 October 2010

Richard Caddel's Magpie Words: Selected Poems 1970-2000 (West House Books, 2002), first selection

I'm afraid Blogger can't replicate the spacing of many of these passages, so I hope those who enjoy them will take a look at the book itself to see how the words are enhanced by their arrangement on the page.

...not the thing itself but the sense
of other and contrary things is real.

from "Against Numerology"

amber! amber and charred
sticks on that shore
whose seas have lost their clarity
for ever

final and second stanza of
"Baltic Coast Coda: Children Dancing"

Living out on contrary margins
you tell them everything, a
boundary of your resistance, a
song, like an old charm
simply a pattern on air


their great


completely to hills and water
out of a grace I counter

from "Counter"

moving (lunchtime)
out of the realm of
false, muddled argument
into that contact
with the world in which
(for which)
I live--
to point towards--
because there is no 'away'
to sling things to
and to live here
is not to escape


it is raining very hard
it is warm
the birds are (plainly)
loving it

whatever it is


dealing with a cow blink pushing up the darkened room a car moist
trying to grow the birds lifting the tarmac as the clouds in islamic
patterns hearing my anger scud across the stars the flowers the
century roosted late a friend defoliated in the cool evening in the
darkened room hearing the earth blink the grass still moist from
hate dealing with a friends cow a car anger blink in the moist
evening trying to help the flowers in the darkened room


to recall
those who are expert on apple trees
the trick being
to love

(a bonfire, a bird's tail
in flight)
to start with

a point
to correlate with
it's important
to make mistakes

in a way, once

in a way


reaching for the measure
the song wavered recalling
smell of parsley

thinned in late may after rain

over and over

air shifting over ground
violin, skylarks wilder
reaching out

by the stone house
trees bent under wind
standing out

years above a river
of years (memory)
in which there is no rest
song lapping

its banks at night
when the owls call
drift down like clouds

like rock
and we to each other calling
our wary friendship

from "Fantasia in the English Choral Tradition"

fleet on
worked gold
shall not be
friend was
in what land

part 2 of "For the Fallen:
A Reading of Y Gododdin"

You can purchase Richard Caddel's Magpie Words directly from publisher West House Books.

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