Gold survives the fire that's hot enough
to make you ashes in a standard urn
An envelope of coarse official buff
contains your wedding ring which wouldn't burn.

Dad told me I'd to tell them at St James's
that the ring should go in the incinerator.
That 'eternity' inscribed with both their names is
his surety that they'd be together, 'later'.

I signed for the parcelled clothing as the son,
a cardy, apron, pants, bra, dress -

the clerk phoned down: 6-8-8-3-1
Has she still a ring on? (Slight pause) Yes!

It's on my warm palm now, your burnished ring!

I feel your ashes, head, arms, breasts, womb, legs,
sift through its circle slowly, like that thing
you used to let me watch to time the eggs.


Tony Harrison

Tony Harrison Reading from his poems

1Thomas Campey and the Copernican System

2The Pocket Wars of Peanuts Joe

3The Bedbug

4Guava Libre

5Prague Spring

6The Nuptial Torches

7'Flying down to Rio'


9On Not Being Milton

10Classics Society

11National Trust

12Them & [uz]

13Book Ends



16Marked with D.

17The Icing Hand


19Under the Clock


21Initial Illumination

22A Cold Coming

23Legal Ruling

24The Cycles of Donji Vakuf

25Noah's Sacrifice

26Fig on the Tyne

27The Krieg Anthology (extracts)