Poetry: Plot Points | clivejames.com
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Plot Points

On the rafting ice
The afterbirth of seals
Leaves stains like pink blancmange.
Glycoproteins in the fish
Keep them from freezing.

M13 in Hercules
Is a globular star cluster —
A glitterball that my mother
Could have danced the Charleston under.
She had lovely hands.

Renoir, choosing models, always looked
At their hands first.
After the war, at Łódź,
On a tour of the concentration camp,
Rubinstein said ‘I was born here.’

In Melanesia, the House of Memories
Contains the treasures of the tribe.
The Somme chalk was good for tunnels.
When the barrage broke them,
The parapet bags spat white.

At Kokoda, the treetop phosphorescence
Turned the night to Christmas.
The Aussies in Tobruk
Brushed dust from bully beef.
In the dry valleys of Antarctica
Dust is raised by the katabatic wind.

With the Wehrmacht stalled in front of Moscow,
Even the grease froze. The 88s
Were jammed by their own shells.
Rasputitsa was the mud
Of spring thaw and autumn rain.

On a hard day in the Alhambra
The Sultan sent an apple
To the virgin of his choice.
The logo on your Macbook
Is an echo of the manner
In which Alan Turing killed himself.

In the battle for Berlin
The last panzers were overrun
Before they reached the start-line.
A dead hippo in the Tiergarten
Had an unexploded mortar bomb
Sticking out of its side.

While you were reading this
Millions of stars moved closer
Towards their own extinction
So many years ago —
But let’s believe our eyes:
They say it’s all here now.