hyakuin renga at Yorkshire Sculpture Park UK

 noon-noon 21-22 June 2004


Paul Conneally Anne-Marie Culhane Alec Finlay Linda France Morven Gregor Jackie Hardy Alex Hodby Gerry Loose Beth Rowson


The floor’s a place
for an outdoor feast,
food in a basket

a quick rub with a dock leaf
and all is well

yesterday’s moon
still shining in the bowl
of her throat

upside down
pores not gills

too large for the pond
the carp circling
only one way

the shadows beneath
her eyes grow darker

a tongue wags in with
in that dress
you’d expect nothing less

the small boys pee a row
of zeros in the snow

urged on
the vicar steps
off the church tower

into the harbour

can never be cleaned

the shop assistant eyes up
stains on his jacket

dark archipelagos
and outlined islands
where they may go

the honeymoon, paid for
by his parents

you’re always beautiful
to the daisies

they bury the lamb
in the half–light

spring’s broken,
she shakes the watch
against her ear

another spaceship enters
the orbit of the moon

radios crackle
as an electric storm
kicks in

bake the pears whole
in sugar and red wine

the burn is brackish
a race of rust
and shed wool

his beard unstuck
we recognise Santa Claus

lost in the woods
Hänsel and Gretel
could only eat gingerbread

growing up fast
she slams the door

in the face of it
the waiter rolls
the dragon’s eyes

looking down
stairs can be dangerous

the elixir’s made
of coltsfoot wrapped in
butterbur leaves

untie the ribbons
on the Maypole

making for the open
two hares chase
across the down

we stagger home
for the love of Bowmore

sandy toed
shoes on our heads
wading tidal flats

spun, spun, spun
into a waltzer kiss

a line of light
traced onto sky
my head aches

on the long flight east
two orange dawns

these fried peaches
are they breakfast
or last night’s tea?

first win of the season
we follow the moon

cry of an owl
whose hunting who?

in the dark
we almost felt the same

the differences
between our bodies
get less with age

despite the bleeps
we talk over everything

fuck this!
fuck that!
is all the walls say

the new school
ringed by a six foot fence

we catch flies
for the biology teacher’s
flesh eating plants

popcorn spills over
at the late night double bill

wiping off
her make-up
on the last bus

if you sit still long enough
you can watch the flowers open

in the birthing pool
the baby slips out
from liquid to liquid

my ears pop as we enter
the channel tunnel

for the love of country
I fled
and now you send me back?

a birthday present
she keeps the receipt

locked in a drawer,
an amulet,
a loaded gun

arms raised for St Jerome
the blood bubbles

across the land
wells spring
spreading black poison

cut with a scythe

the charcoal burners camp
in the middle
of Oak Wood

a twist of smoke
plies through the mist

at the crater’s edge
disturbed by feet
a pebble dances down

she fell in love
with her psychoanalyst

together on a couch
a woman
and her cat

fingers in a bowl
of tormentil

a whole childhood
along ditches
of frogspawn

my nose led by
smells of wild garlic

walking to the souk
for lemons
and a heel of ginger

the bitterness wears off
as time goes by

an undertaker
practices his tuba
in the moonlight

first hint of frost
cracks the gardener’s resolve

the whole street’s washing
sooted up
by Mr. Smith’s bonfire

even the blue ribbon
has turned to ashes

shouldn’t it be gold
that is found
at the end of the rainbow?

spiral notebooks and other
tiny packaged objects

what can I say,
mice have been at the
snowdrop bulbs again

up and up
through the dead leaves

still sitting
the swan beaks
her massive nest

from the bank cows watch
a narrowboat pass

which is the river?
which is a canal?
and which the sea?

we sail them all anyway
in search of Tir na nOg

the High Possil’s hat
could only
suit you

what is he to think
all those hearts on her sleeve?

Lady Murasaki
elegantly dabs
a welling tear

everyone wants to be
a workie at breakfast

pull up the blinds
and the moon will shine
on buttered toast

the train’s delayed
by the wrong sort of mist

under a beech
the sheep gather
in closed circles

she clings to his back
as they cross the river

you see turquoise
behind your eyes
when he touches like that

the ice cap
stops melting

Scott crossed out
the word ‘wife’
and wrote ‘widow’

the auctioneer’s hammer
comes down with a bang

fourteen cock pheasants
go rocketing
over the hedge

in her buttonhole
a speckled feather

up before dawn
to the meadows
mushrooming alone

he breathes out,
it’s only the moon

willow leaves
float onto and under
the old bridge

our log pile shifts
a yowl from the vixen

the smudge of scarlet
through glass you know
is Japanese quince

painting outdoors
a delight of warmer days

it takes more time
to hide decorated eggs
in their small garden

the Buddha’s topknot
lifts him to the light

helicopter blades
whirl incessantly

poets shift
closer to the ground.








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