Poems by John Levett
John Levett was born in 1950 and has worked as a librarian. His poems have received awards and commendations at the Stroud and Cheltenham Literature Festivals and have appeared in a range periodicals including Encounter, The Honest Ulsterman, London Magazine, New Statesman, Outposts and the Times Literary Supplement. He was the recipient of the New Statesman’s Prudence Farmer Award for 1982.
We drift upon the sunlight now,
The lake interpreting the prow,
Our dripping oars half-raised to meet
The island’s turf-hung parapet,
And gently moor beneath the tree,
Its leaf-cut exclusivity
Thrown out in shadow on the warm
Untroubled surface like a charm
That hides our stiffened, cautious step
From water to the thick mud’s lip.
Beyond the traces of a fire
We pick through debris, skirt desire,
Spent sheaths, abandoned underclothes,
The beds of smothered bracken, paths
That squirm and wriggle into where
A clump of bright forsythia
Is huddled with its unforced hoard
Of beaten, vegetable gold.
We choose what happens here, your guess
Brutality, mine tenderness,
And turning back confirm ourselves
Cast off from where the sunlight shelves,
A glitter of synthetic tides,
Emerged from shadow, changing sides.
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: ‘The Philosopher’, wood engraving by Gwen Raverat
Publication: 1983 (52 pages laminated paperback)