Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
23 July 2020

Velux 1 and Velux 2

Two new poems by Simon Armitage.

By Simon Armitage

Velux 1

Velux window,
         headspace 
                             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          

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. 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 weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

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

Content from our partners
How automation can help telecoms companies unlock their growth potential
The pandemic has had a scarring effect on loneliness, but we can do better
Feel confident gifting tech to your children this Christmas

on hot days,
        and some nights
                the silversmith moon         

delivers
        an empty tray
                to the narrow desk.       

Glider cockpit,
        chancel-for-one,
                oblique alcove                                      

for piloting
        angled thought
                through diagonal light.

 

Velux 2

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

fontanel
          in the pitched roof,
                  camera lucida

throwing 
         barbed-wire longhand
                  at hotchpotch skies,

glass planchette 
          elbowing
                cloud-edge and cloudbase   

onto a scrawled page,
         dog-legged
                illumination

proofing
        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
          miracle
                 with spiracle

 

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