Fruit cage

Fieldfares flutter its fine netting maddened by the scented air, their hard eyes looking for holes to squeeze through into this open-air larder where currants and berries lie plump, bright as jewels under the green leaves.

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The deepwater port at Piraeus

At Piraeus’s deepwater port ends Europe where Themistocles built his navy sheds and high walls against the Persians, walls to protect the precious Athenian way of life. Now Europe ends in concrete and quayside cranes made elsewhere, raised over the sea to process containers sat waiting in the sunshine. An international ship approaches slows and […]

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February morning / the 7.18 to London

A press of metal on metal, the simplest trick and yet the most important, so soft and true we might be starting on runners in the snow, leaning something heavy against a tree. Any man’s walk, his run, now a dash by a free horse, steady, incrementing around a bend and we are travelling. A […]

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Notes on Narita Airport

Air-side in the Asian Café Bowl Bowl, a mug of creamed coffee and a madelaine for comfort for I am tired and Tokyo’s mass-produced pastry is wonderful, light as air this one, promising little but holding fat almonds sweet as butter. The café is crazy, there are waitresses yelling orders over the maddening tannoy announcements, […]

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Open water

All afternoon the sea pushes into the land, plating the estuary to cloud swelling the river high enough to salt the skirts of the valley trees. Deeper inland creeps the sea’s fingers, gloving the mud creeks, blunting their sharpness with brimmed water. Crabs scuttle uphill, rafts of sea-weed eddy, a hovering merlin whistles high tide. […]

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The guerilla planter

He is paused, boiler-suited against the work to follow, observing the day fail around him. A light strip in the west lends him eyes and when the town’s dark circumference reaches his boots he gathers up his tools – a sack of tree whips, one old spade, and goes roaming. Roaming in the gloaming. He […]

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The Mirror Pool, Centenary Sq., Bradford

Broad ford Bradford A water start, Beck-crossing to a city. And go now to the mirror pool, its north sky silver shining pandemonium, sulphur-smelling and skinned with soot and wool thread. The pool reflecting folk laughing, the faces of folk fretting, fighting, folk unheard – folk just turning up. Folk out of danger, Folk looking […]

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