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stones from the beach, by J.B. Pick


cover illustration





A bird's path crosses mine.

X marks the spot.

I call this cross a sign.

The bird does not.


a line, (a blue one)




Through these wild shapes

Does Shape shine forth:

An inner compass signs

The absolute North


a line, (a blue one)


Hidden nowhere


Dead water from a tap.

Live water from a spring.

Dead country on a map -

Sleep walking.

Unusual boulder speaks.

Hawk in polluted air.

Something the eye seeks,

Hidden nowhere.


a line, (a blue one)


The rule of law


Why should I fail the gods to satisfy

The expectation of the man next door?

Put off the impossible because

The Thing Committee's meeting on the tenth?

The gods of course know well I cannot do

Whatever they agree I must.

Such dull considerations aren't their business -

Nothing happens by the rule of law.


a line, (a blue one)




By accident the truth shines out -

And accident becomes design.



a line, (a blue one)




Whose voice is asking questions,

and whose eyes will hunt

For clues that no one scattered on the ground?

A definition proves the presence of a lack -

To know our lostness may mean we are found.


a line, (a blue one)




Life has no boundaries

Weather moves with us

Whether or not we move.



a line, (a blue one)


"Whaur's your Johnnie Walker noo"?

(A barman, seen from the top of a bus, pouring a nameless whisky into a row of variously branded bottles)

He pours with bored and sober hand

From nameless bottles into brand.

So God's dark fountain brightness pours

Into this dream of mine and yours.


a line, (a blue one)


Robin's song


An argument of telephones

By robin's intimate distance valued -

Sudden window of a lost mansion

Startled into light.



a line, (a blue one)


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