Saturday, 6 June 2020

'Programming Language' by Gail Anderson

we come through turnstiles every day, exactly on time and board, all aboard, along
with the early morning mist (it will burn off by midday) like so many sheep in so many fields unnamed; as usual, phones are out, books, papers, laptops at the ready, eyes cast down; church steeples fly past, bells sound and sing; there is no explanation; each time the train door opens nothing new gets on; there are three billion heartbeats to a lifetime, thirty thousand rotations of earth; as velocity slows we look up a moment too late to see;

this clear arc of sky, these quiet houses, the meadowing murmur of bees, the rail, the loop and gallop of power lines are ours to keep; we hurtle day by day down this self-same track blind to the whipcord land, ridge and furrow, ridge and furrow; fingers of stone, of wheat, reach to touch the jaw of heaven; tell us the truth – this train will run forever; we stand where we’re told, behind the yellow line; each of us with our million heart-pumped barrels of blood will gain; this delicate bowl of earth, this spun-plate, is safe;

unseated, ours to tap the rim and hear if it’s broken.


  1. I love the way you capture the momentum, movement, stream of the railway here. Brilliantly done. I love this.

  2. Gorgeous work, Gail. The language is exquisite.

  3. Beautiful
    while True: continue


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