"Close Up"

This weaver
a sort of marionette,

her simple shuffle,
repetitive two-step,

pushing her slightly awkward strings
like someone closing a wide shallow drawer.

II

The nail file's
storm of pollen.

Pliable pink nail varnish,
a stroke of molten enamel.

III

An avalanche of pewter
bright at the point of a chisel.

IV

Leather pared off,
alive like a growth,

a shoemaker's slow, sudden shoot
in time-lapse photography.

V

This saddle, solid,
thick-lipped

as a boletus mushroom.
On the ground, a beagle.

As you lift it,
a Brancusi bird in flight

just after a wing-beat.
That something so

contrived - compare
the brassiere -

so impossible,
so frankly engineered,

should contrive to seem
so natural and so elegant . . .

VI

Cross-hatching
the stock of a Purdey,

verdigris gathers:
grass juice round a cricket stud.

VII

A flute,
Bauhaus at the mouthpiece,

the other end, a lollipop
of clasps and cluster,

of complication calmed,
enrobed in simple silver.

VIII

Cy Twombly's
rhubarb fool,

graffiti rescued,
accidents we make immortal.

This article first appeared in This is plan B

2011-10-17