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Images of Elasticity in Time by Nigel Pearce

Arts Richmond

Online - 31 August 2020

Images of Elasticity in Time by Nigel Pearce


In accordance with tradition

spring spread itself along the valley

while on the hill cherry blossom still

hung hesitant and unexpansive.

Because Time + Height = Delay.



Childhood’s epic annual journey

to the coast, and the Andean

ascent of Bury Hill, are now

reduced to less than two CDs.


All the music of the years

has concertinaed to an old

       accordion on its side

held by fraying leather straps.



Buds unfolded

like the meaning

in a poem.



Nothing is more elemental

than growth. Each creature has its own

natural pace. Economies

also grow, outpacing Nature

without ever a backward glance.

But earth, testudinate, will slide,

set homes ablaze and racing tides

catch cockle-pickers in Morecambe Bay.


In her 81st year she visits friends

on the Isle of Man. Packing a small bag

takes two days’ preparation, while Ernest,

93, will set aside a whole day

to meet her, having planned ahead for weeks.

As time accelerates towards the end

everything takes longer to accomplish.


When he turned it the right way round

all that reassuring distance

leapt blurred and menacing up to

his face. He snapped the telescope



from ABOUT TIME, the 2019 anthology of shortlisted entries from The Roger McGough Poetry Prize. Copies of this Anthology can be purchased for £5 including P&P from Arts Richmond.

Images of Elasticity in Time by Nigel Pearce

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