Spring 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 2 Poetry |

Inventions

                    In Memoriam Norman Nicholson, 1914-1987 I There are lakes in our region   small English lakes with even smaller islands floating in them   holding a dark stand of trees. Only the very luckiest roots   get taken on there. II All down the coast old factories   revert to soil and scrub. It doesn't take much to heave off   raw industrial brick. But these old trees are tough. They bow   to no one but themselves. III Water hammers on the beach,   dimples in the lake, it holds up its dress this way   and that way in the beck. There floats the island   which is a fist of earth or an invention of the mind. Just one step, it says,   just one more step and either the world will open   or it will have dodged back into your pocket, like a coin. IV I was late for your funeral, Norman. The wind blew against me, the car   slowed, three Herdwicks skit

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