The view from here I

It is a time of the view from here, where each of us is, ensconced in our bubble, and so this seemed like a good peg to suggest to former poets’ laureate, on which to hang a few poems. The response to the invitation was generous and diverse in range. With poems came email conversations and further views, ‘of this place, this time of year, new footsteps overlaying the old ones’ from Michele Leggott. This view of Bluff port from Cilla McQueen: ‘In my study looking out at the port. The cranes immobile, little movement on the wharf, occasional trucks across the bridge. Log piles, woodchips, containers, pale blue sky, bright sun, slanting shadows, misty horizon. It feels like a solemn public holiday.’

A view of ‘a beautiful tree with shadow branches’ from Ian Wedde. Of Elizabeth Smither’s neighbourhood, ‘first quietened’ now resuming ‘some of its activities – lawnmowers and chainsaws but also music and conversations.’

My thanks to Bill Manhire, Brian Turner, Elizabeth Smither, Michele Leggott, Cilla McQueen, Ian Wedde and Vincent O’Sullivan for the gift of these poems. Gathered together in solidarity with current Laureate David Eggleton, poets everywhere, readers of poetry, and as Vincent O’Sullivan put it, ‘to keep poetry flickering away, whatever the adverse winds.’

Peter Ireland

The view from here

For David Eggleton, Poet Laureate, Sunday 5 April 2020

The view from our balcony
three floors up

in the leafy canopy of a
lush late summer tree

whose shadow branches
scaffold an almost

empty street
and a lone walker

whistling down the
middle of the road

unaware of the ghostly other
London 1970

a heavy Christmas Eve snowfall
and on Christmas morning

a lone black baritone
sauntering down the middle

of frozen Brixton Road
singing Good King Wenceslas

first looked out
on the Feast of Stephen.

Bet that sun feels good
and the tree’s

filigreed sampler
of blue sky.

Ian Wedde

More poems in ‘The view from here’ series

Takahe — Bill Manhire 

Cilla, writing — Elizabeth Smither

h e l l o   a n d   g o o d b y e — Michele Leggott 

Breach — Cilla McQueen

Between Shingle Creek and Fruitlands — Brian Turner

In these troubled times — Vincent O'Sullivan

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