Velux 1 and Velux 2

Two new poems by Simon Armitage.

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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          

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

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.

 

This article appears in the 24 July 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Summer special

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