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23 July 2020

Velux 1 and Velux 2

Two new poems by Simon Armitage.

By Simon Armitage

Velux 1

Velux window,
                             over a slanted booth,

hatch in the mind, 
        the hours refracting
                on blank paper        

or printed page,
          the pane
                    hinged at the hip       

for more tilt
        should tilt
                be required.                    

Pitch and yaw.
         Pull down
                 on the top bar          

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to unseal the sky,
        for a hit of air.
                Glazed hob or halo         

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on hot days,
        and some nights
                the silversmith moon         

        an empty tray
                to the narrow desk.       

Glider cockpit,
                oblique alcove                                      

for piloting
        angled thought
                through diagonal light.


Velux 2

Dear reader, 
  this morning the poet
          is under the Velux,

          in the pitched roof,
                  camera lucida

         barbed-wire longhand
                  at hotchpotch skies,

glass planchette 
                cloud-edge and cloudbase   

onto a scrawled page,

        and proving,
                the kinked light  

a merciless critic
           of passable words
                   and ‘finished’ works.

He’ll dither a while,
         poem-less under
                    trepanned tiles, stalled

in the anglepoise
          of heaven
                  and desk, 

damned if he’ll rhyme
                 with spiracle


These poems feature in “How We Live Now”, from the New Statesman’s Summer 2020 issue.