“White”: a new poem by Craig Raine

“A cabbage white / bluster at the edge of sight.”

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A cabbage white:
bluster at the edge of sight,

unbroken bronco,
its own mute rodeo,

a battle without issue.

White toilet tissue,

a single grey sheet, whole
in the lavatory bowl,

like ectoplasm.

No lightning in spasms.

Dark. But white rain,
smashed transparency:

flash photography.

Is now electricity:

tiny bulbs, silver-white, shine
on the blue plastic washing line.

Dirty white, a pigeon tarred
and feathering the road.

New lambs
out on their limbs:

little hiccoughs.

The twilight tone
of damp pumice stone.

Indifferent happiness writes
its different whites.


Craig Raine is a poet and critic and the editor of Areté magazine.

This article appears in the 10 December 2015 issue of the New Statesman, The clash of empires

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