Amelia's Poem

Amelia, your newborn name
Combines with the midwife's word
And, like smoke from driftwood fires,
Wafts over the lochside road
Past the wattle byre - hay bales
For ponies, Silver and Whisper -
Between drystone walls' river-
Rounded moss-clad ferny stones,
Through the fenceless gate and gorse
To the flat erratic boulder
Where otters and your mother rest,
Spraints black as your meconium,
Fish bones, fish scales, shitty sequins
Reflecting what light remains.


from The Stairwell (Cape, 2014), © Michael Longley 2014, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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1Overhead

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2Petalwort

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3Ceilidh

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4Robin

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5Wheatear

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6Owlcases

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7Level Pegging

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8Edward Thomas’s Poem

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10Harmonica

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11War & Peace

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12Sleep & Death

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13The Miner

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14In Notre-Dame

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15Helens Monkey

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16Heron

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17Leveret

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18The Wren

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19The Fold

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20A Swans Egg

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21A Hundred Doors

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22Bee Orchid

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23Cloudberries

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24The Lifeboat

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25Gardening in Cardoso

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26Citation

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27Cloud Orchid

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28A Mobile For Maisie

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29The Stairwell

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30Deathbed

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31Amelia’s Poem

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33Marigolds, 1960

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34Boy-Soldier

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35At High Wood

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36Lunch

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37The Trees

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32Birth-Bed

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38The Feet

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39The Apparition

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40The Boxers

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41The Birthday

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42The Snowdrops

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43Starlings

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44Fifty Years

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Books by Michael Longley