The Pendolino shoots behind the Jersey Ice Cream farm
taking the long curves of the dun borders in its stride,
crayoning in the route to Edinburgh with a cargo
of busy fingers skimming icons over their slates.
Its half-deodorized atmosphere is sealed from the
silage, dung, warm breath, and cold of the North wind
that lifts you under the armpits and shivers down your nape.
We watch us go by, with our glimmers of insight, our deals
made and unmade, our endless messaging – remember
how messages are shopping in that turreted city
of enlightened rectitude and fanged alter egoes,
the target for this silver bullet. Spilt liquor on the
paved table. Singers try for a top note over Solway:
there’s an obbligato of grunting tractors, an audience of gulls.