Mist by Luke Yates

13th June 1997 at 01:00
Mist. Eyes feel misted up shortsighted and wearing grey glasses Silent weird shapes further away in black and white.

Fingering groping trees ask the sky why it has deserted them.

It creeps in at night when lampposts are steaming and roads are wet The world stifled.


Teachers at the Maharishi School regularly send work by their students to this column: it is good to see how well poetry can flourish with the right encouragement. I like the way Luke Yates's "Mist" starts with a close up, like a film, vision curtailed by the cloud. Then the poem shifts its focus to the landscape, changed and blurry. Next there is a movement in time, back to night when the mist first crept in. The detail makes the poem and builds the atmosphere, but I am interested, too, in the way this young poet has worked on the poem like a movie director, cutting and shifting focus very effectively. A new Hitchcock? As you can tell, I have been reading poems from schools and colleges all over the country with great enjoyment. Please keep me smiling by sending even more.

Luke Yates, aged 13, receives Fatso in a Red Suit by Matthew Sweeney (Faber). Submitted by Cliff Yates of Maharishi School, Ormskirk, Lancashire, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teachers' notes. For Poetry Society events, telephone 0171 240 2133. Jo Shapcott is the Poetry Society's poet on the Internet: hhtp.wwwPoetrySoc.com

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