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3 poems by Dan Eltringham



Wielding an official stamp that says Good Grief for branding

days

like these ones when the ratchet seems to tighten

by the minute

back down into the limekiln spaced out by

refusals,

punctuating points in history as regular accelerator:

24 hours, 7 days, 200 years, points of origin & destination

you might think, but it depends where you are viewing from

or where the viewing platform has been placed for you

rather,

is this what looking it in the face could look like

well maybe or just

horizons that don’t deign to make themselves manifest

scooping up our desire rather diffusely or scooping

out our eyes,

from Settle to Shanghai in a blink

we got in through a side-shaft

spinning round & round through time

disgorged looking out over the off-scape

flattening new frontiers of future,

woodworming the state of the world.


*


Keeping on doing it for the way the reverse camber opens out

I guess,

(a little necropolitics never hurt anyone)

spiralling round down, or is it up, from the long

seventies

or back down, again, infrastructure gone all melty

we find ourselves neutrally netted

in the lapse between representation (pyramid) & nature

[(mountain)

in one of the big nets full of the larger zeroes

atle and other rounded cocoa counters,

the flash jays burying acorns in the local cemetery

have registered as a shell company

but the magpies

are onto them, i think

but at least some will sprout

burst their casings, fronts only for the full tree

as it extends into time, irreducible unit of life & loss

against inventory, and some will save food,

smart barred wings.


*


Brother workmen, Cease

your labours, Lay your files & hammers by

Listen while a brother neighbour Sings a

Sheffield shanty, a cutler’s destiny: How,

upon a good Saint Monday, Sitting

by the smithy fire, We tell what’s been

done o’t Sunday, And in cheerful

mirth conspire

steamy James Watt

also said that a horse had 50% of a ponies’ power

he must have met the ponies of Dartmoor,

no-mow stoics

they got that lithic look

caught in stillness

of thought no cud


i just feel these postwork ponies are looking down on us

from their summitism


they haven’t read The Living Mountain yet

pony-being at High Willhays

from the highest point of the Moor,

meet me at the philosophy cairn

& in time, caught in the mane of thought

––i get fomo from just looking at the map,

the rocks having a good time without me.


______________

Dan Eltringham is a writer, scholar and translator based in Bristol. Poetry & Commons: Postwar and Romantic Lyric in Times of Enclosure is out with Liverpool University Press

(2022) and was awarded ASLE-UKI’s 2023 Prize for Best Critical Monograph. Dan co-edits Girasol Press, a small publisher that explores experimental translation.


These poems were chosen by Anthropocene Guest Editor Tom Branfoot

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