Masked and mounted
on an F-15
from Lakenheath,
he is cutting edge

circling again
and now again
Grime’s Graves
where the spear began

its flight towards
flintlock, towards
and moonscape.

How to clear
the forest and all
its fears? Dig pits
with seven

antler picks
to the flickering of
a chalk lamp
in the shadows

with a phallus
and a white goddess
heaving to give
birth to blackness.

Flint will carve
an opening along
the Icknield Way
and split the carcass

of Europe into skin
and guts and meat
and bones. What remains
will be what he owns

and is beneath him
as he spins thunder
from the cocoon
of his own silence.

John Greening has published more than a dozen collections (notably To the War Poets, Carcanet, 2013), and several studies of poetry and poets. His edition of Edmund Blunden’s Undertones of War (OUP) appeared in 2015, along with a classical music anthology, Ac- companied Voices. Following the pamphlet Nebamun’s Tomb (Rack Press, 2016), he has this year published a major collaboration with Penelope Shuttle, Heath (Nine Arches) and is now working on a long poem about Sibelius. TLS reviewer and Eric Gregory judge, John Green- ing’s awards include the Bridport Prize and a Cholmondeley. He is RLF Writing Fellow at Newnham College.

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