from a sequence by Tim Allen

A natural saucepan and an unnatural boat

Joke about what they could have for dinner tonight

As a slapdash campsite the sea is an abstraction 

The cliffs in darkness now a sculpture garden of dangers    

Visually, it seems made by the lack of full stops; which makes it shimmer eerily, as a campsite might But this / these fragments construct its unity with the last four words; quite why or how, I’m unsure of, but as well as that there is an echo (there is a paper I have read that analyses Palmer’s poetry, one which says it is almost unreadable, which suggests that won’t be of much help) through the stanza. It bears a slight shift in the previous gentle diction, as well as Tim Allen’s threatening unconscious. It is his poem, yet I also suspect it does not bear only his signature, which comes off not as muddled but “on the hoof”. I like this stanza very much, especially its “slapdash” musicality, though quite what the boat sculpts isn’t lost entirely.