Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. Poetry & Stories
27 March 2019updated 12 Jul 2021 3:52am

A Robot Invents the Orphic Puddle

By Tim Liardet

After the shovels of precipitation

had doused the heat that broke the gauge    

the rainstorm relinquishes all but its last

offer of water, this shrivelled piece of lake:

over its steamy skin of brilliance I crane

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

as if I am suspended in air and space

Content from our partners
Harnessing breakthrough thinking
Are we there yet with electric cars? The EV story – with Wejo
Sherif Tawfik: The Middle East and Africa are ready to lead on the climate

and seem to be thirty, no, forty metres tall:

among the tall buildings, I think I can say

a reflection is the wavefront that refracts

at the point where two media meet and gaze

at one another in a surface tension.

But what makes the water shrink or spread

and then stop? It may be that (… though

here I seem to pause in hesitation)

the forces of attraction between them make

the puddle grip road or road the puddle

that steams with a picture of light. Oh look 

at the perpendicularity of my legs:

my boots are huge and the sky is all blue

and I have loops of cloud arranging and tying

like flowers in my electromotive hair.

Tim Liardet is the author of ten collections including“The World Before Snow”. “Arcimboldo’s Bulldog: New and Selected Poems” was published by Carcanet in 2018.

Topics in this article :

This article appears in the 27 Mar 2019 issue of the New Statesman, Guilty