POEM Matthew Francis

NWR Issue 102

Sand, Gravel

after Robert Hooke

The parcel proved to be full of sand,
as if my friend had sent me a present of an hour
with no glass to keep it in.

I fingered the soft dune on my desk.
It was not dried estuary sludge or the crumblings
of Alum Bay’s sunset cliffs,

but the East Indies milled to powder...


This poem is from Matthew Francis’ forthcoming sequence, Micrographia, based on the eponymous scientific study by Robert Hooke, first published in 1665. Matthew Francis’ latest poetry collection, Muscovy, was published by Faber last year. His short story collection, Singing a Man to Death, was shortlisted this summer for the Wales Book of the Year Award. 

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