Craig Raine

An Attempt At Jealousy – Craig Raine

An Attempt At Jealousy – Craig Raine

So how is life with your new bloke? Simpler, I bet. Just one stroke of his quivering oar and the skin of the Thames goes into a spin, eh? How is life with an oarsman? Better? More in–out? Athletic? Wetter? When you hear the moan of the rowlocks, do you urge him on like a cox? Tell me, is he br... »

City Gent – Craig Raine

City Gent – Craig Raine

On my desk, a set of labels or a synopsis of leeks, blanched by the sun and trailing their roots like a watering can. Beyond and below, diminished by distance, a taxi shivers at the lights: a shining moorhen with an orange nodule set over the beak, taking a passenger under its wing. I turn away, con... »

Dandelions – Craig Raine

Dandelions – Craig Raine

‘and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence’ — George Eliot, Middlemarch Dead dandelions, bald as drumsticks, swaying by the roadside like Hare Krishna pilgrims bowing to the Juggernaut. They have given up everything. Gold gone and their silver gone, hum... »

In Modern Dress – Craig Raine

In Modern Dress – Craig Raine

A pair of blackbirds warring in the roses, one or two poppies losing their heads, the trampled lawn a battlefield of dolls. Branch by pruned branch, a child has climbed the family tree to queen it over us: we groundlings search the flowering cherry till we find her face, its pale prerogative to rule... »

In The Kalahari Desert – Craig Raine

In The Kalahari Desert – Craig Raine

The sun rose like a tarnished looking-glass to catch the sun and flash His hot message at the missionaries below– Isabella and the Rev. Roger Price, and the Helmores with a broken axle left, two days behind, at Fever Ponds. The wilderness was full of home: a glinting beetle on its back struggl... »

Nature Study – Craig Raine

Nature Study – Craig Raine

(for Rona, Jeremy, Sam & Grace) All the lizards are asleep– perched pagodas with tiny triangular tiles, each milky lid a steamed-up window. Inside, the heart repeats itself like a sleepy gong, summoning nothing to nothing. In winter time, the zoo reverts to metaphor, God’s poetry of ... »

The Onion, Memory – Craig Raine

The Onion, Memory – Craig Raine

Divorced, but friends again at last, we walk old ground together in bright blue uncomplicated weather. We laugh and pause to hack to bits these tiny dinosaurs, prehistoric, crenelated, cast between the tractor ruts in mud. On the green, a junior Douglas Fairbanks, swinging on the chestnut’s un... »

A Martian Sends A Postcard Home – Craig Raine

A Martian Sends A Postcard Home – Craig Raine

Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings and some are treasured for their markings — they cause the eyes to melt or the body to shriek without pain. I have never seen one fly, but sometimes they perch on the hand. Mist is when the sky is tired of flight and rests its soft machine on ground... »