Snapshots from Morecambe Bay

a sequence by Yann Lovelock with illustrations by Ian Robinson

for Peter Dent

Grasshopper mind,
song we hear
in a hundred places,
busybody, how is it
when we look
you’re not there -
and only this to show,
snapped hastily
after the lyric miles,
a common weed
among the stones.
Who needs earth any more,
what use are roots,
shadows in sunlight
travelling millions of miles an hour?
Invaders of the greenhouse,
blue exhausts in flower,
a hum, a hive,
the engines of M25.
Pine groves and political jargon,
the cables of pylons
stretching like razor wire
between watch towers
in a Chinese landscape.
A ridge in darkness
beyond which
the sun’s match head
striking rock
makes its final
territorial demand.
Turning the page from barbed wire
and an apple half-eaten
you find a sheep’s skull amongst moss.
Lifting into space,
the camera cannot follow,
their aim
the momentum of missiles
on track for the impersonal kill
locks us to the monitor,
our eyes
by the legerdemain of technique.
In the empty space
strewn with ghosts
presences still rustle
the market’s bustle:
spectrum of rubble,
a hand enclaved
amongst splinters of glass,
terror’s simplicities
resist the wind.
Shriven by the past
that limits our pity,
a list of names
the bowl in which
we dip our hands,
each of us sides
with the victim of our choice.
Stretching to the frame’s edge
as over every
interchangeable statement,
your shadow too
makes its denial
amid yammer of excuses
for what cannot be justified.

text Yann Lovelock 2004
images Ian Robinson 2003

A Raunchland Publication
i.m. Ian Robinson 1934-2004