xiv

The next day I drove by night
Among red and amber and green, spears and candles,
Corkscrews and slivers of reflected light
In the mirror of the rainy asphalt
Along the North Circular and the Great West roads
Running the gauntlet of impoverished fancy
Where housewives bolster up their jerry-built abodes
With amour propre and the habit of Hire Purchase.
The wheels whished in the wet, the flashy strings
Of neon lights unravelled, the windscreen-wiper
Kept at its job like a tiger in a cage or a cricket that sings
All night through for nothing.
Factory, a site for a factory, rubbish dumps,
Bungalows in lath and plaster, in brick, in concrete,
And shining semi-circles of petrol pumps
Like intransigent gangs of idols.
And the road swings round my head like a lassoo
Looping wider and wider tracts of darkness
And the country succeeds the town and the country too
Is damp and dark and evil.
And coming over the Chilterns the dead leaves leap
Charging the windscreen like a barrage of angry

-54-

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Autumn Journal: A Poem
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 5
  • Note 7
  • I 9
  • II 13
  • III 16
  • IV 22
  • VI 26
  • VII 30
  • VIII 33
  • IX 37
  • X 40
  • XI 44
  • XII 47
  • XIII 50
  • XIV 54
  • XV 57
  • XVI 61
  • XVII 66
  • XVIII 70
  • XIX 75
  • XX 78
  • XXI 81
  • XXII 85
  • XXIII 89
  • XXIV 93
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