Simon Armitage



How will

                the dawn arrive? 

                                  ‘Like a wooden yacht 


holed below the water, 

                washed into harbour,

                                  no one on board.’


And the morning? 

                ‘Like a clockwork pig

                                 in a sailor suit


and straw hat, 

                 up on its hind legs, 

                                  banging a tin drum.’


The afternoon? 

               ‘A minor film star 

                                in a low budget western


tethers his horse

                  outside the saloon

                                    and approaches the bar.’



                 ‘A dog on wheels,

                                 squeaking home


along a country lane, 

                  or a turd 

                                   through a letterbox.’


Let me guess:

                 dusk transpires

                                  like the slow accretion of rust


on a cheap pocket watch 

                 lost in the long grass

                                 behind the viaduct.


Night gets dressed, 

                 pockets the money

                                  and leaves. Correct? 


‘Untitled’ by Simon Armitage appears as part of Untitled, 2020 which sees contributions from the wide circle writers, critics and scholars associated with The London Magazine mark the period of lockdown for Covid-19 in 2020. 

Simon Armitage is an English poet, novelist and playwright. In May 2019, he was appointed Poet Laureate for Great Britain. He is currently professor of poetry at the University of Leeds and Oxford Professor of Poetry from 2015 to 2019. 

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