God for a fortnight, pharaoh
till the generator blows, then what?
This week’s most missed:
the shipping forecast; showing off.
Write ALIVE in the meadow
with empty blue oil drums in case
clouds can read/stars give a toss.
Two million years of shame
takes some shucking off – I still
nip behind a wall to exude.

Mandrake prospers in the cracks.
Corned beef and cling peaches again;
note to self: start growing stuff.
Along the station’s oxidised tracks
every minute pulls in on time.
Ripples on the lake: ditto, ditto.
On the plus side my golf swing’s
unrecognisable these days. Love is:
an afternoon in the glyptotheque
with Madam Kalashnikov.

About Author

Simon Armitage
Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. A recipient of numerous prizes and awards, he has published twelve collections of poetry, including Seeing Stars (2010), The Unaccompanied (2017), Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic (2019) and his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2007). He writes extensively for television and radio, and is the author of two novels and the non-fiction bestsellers All Points North (1998), Walking Home (2012) and Walking Away (2015). His theatre works include The Last Days of Troy, performed at Shakespeare's Globe in 2014. In 2015 he was appointed Professor of Poetry at Oxford University and in 2018 he was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Simon Armitage is Poet Laureate.

Editor's Notes

'Last' is from Simon Armitage's recent selection of poems, Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic.