The Shore

A minute past noon,
and deeply cold on the shore.
The sun with its rare but un-marvellous halo
starts climbing back down the sky.
The air stills. Wind lies over field
like a razor held above a leather strop.
The beach is locked and hard.
Its uncut gems, and small round leaves
like patinated coins,
it keeps beneath plate glass.
How empty things are.
The cliff behind us acts from some notion of presence,
but very faintly, like a host of spirits
crowding to sip at a pool.
The world of phenomena gathers at the surface
of a system of unity powered by emptiness.
Hills. River. Line of winter farms.
A barge coming down the navigable channel
from somewhere inland, with nothing in its hold.


from That Old-Time Religion (Bloodaxe, 1994), © Peter Didsbury 1994, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Recordings

Peter Didsbury

Peter Didsbury Downloads

1The Experts

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2Back of the House

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3A White Wine for Max Ernst

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4The Autumn

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5Bard

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6The Drainage

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7In Britain

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8Venery

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9A Winter’s Fancy

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10The Classical Farm

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11The Pierhead

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12Cider Story

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13A Shop

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14The Hailstone

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15The Barn

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16Hare’s Run

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17The Restoration

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18The Shore

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19The Old Masters

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20That Old -Time Religion

21At Her Grinding Stone

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22Common Property

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23A Bee

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24Spade

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25Elegiac Alternatives

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26Owl and Miner

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27A Natural History

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28Coasts of Africa

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29The Green Boy

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30Victorian Angels

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31Words at Wharram Percy

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16That Old Time Religion

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Books by Peter Didsbury