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Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday – Sunday from 12 noon – 8pm
He types "go here"; encloses it
in an anchor ref. Now, if you click
on the words,
the thing will happen. He writes code
to make words dance, change colour,
He can make them shape the image
of his new book cover,
with secret text
embedded; when the cursor rests,
adventure leaps out.
And he can't believe
the power, the way words move,
at last, as he wants,
the way they turn
into sounds and patterns, the way
they send his readers
on the journey
he chose for them. He spends
whole days online, can't sleep
for thinking up
page after page, hooked
on creation, and he hasn't written
a poem in months.
This is the landscape of the Cambrian age:
shale, blue quartz, planes of slate streaked with
iron and lead; soapstone, spars of calcite;
in these pools, fish are the colour of sand,
velvet crabs like weeds, prawns transparent as water.
This shore was here before man. Every tide
the sea returns, and floats the bladderwrack.
The flower animals swell and close over creatures
rolled-in, nerveless, sea-food, fixed and forgotten.
My two thin boys balance on Elvan stone
bent-backed, intent, crouched with their string and pins,
their wet feet white, lips salt, and skin wind-brown,
watching with curiosity and compassion:
further out, Time and Chance are waiting to happen.
Could you ever imagine
a country as beautiful,
a wilderness lovelier than this?
In its soil are the roots
of a forest, Dandakaranya -
Its silence braided by the music
in the silver-blond plaits
of virgin waterfalls.
There a demon from Serendip,
disguised as a golden stag
darts in and out
of the corners of your eyes.
A fleeting flash of glitter,
which steals away
what desire cannot attain.
Elusive as the wind,
fleeing with the sunshine
it leads you away from yourself,
the more you chase it
through foliage and undergrowth.
It is still said
that if you see the golden deer
you are condemned to seek it
for the rest of your life
and never find it,
though you may catch
glimpses of it, now and then.
antlers of gold
that snare the sun.