Andrew Motion

On Her Blindness, The End of the World, Boomers: Andrew Motion

On her Blindness

Too faint for you the face-print on the glass
left by the owl that thought your kitchen light
was moonshine, and would surely let him pass
in one piece through the house from night to night.


The End of the World

Today it’s reported as an accomplished fact
the Gulf stream is crocked.

The Greenland Ice shelf almost gone;
CO2 perversely pumping from the Amazon;

well-sucked bullseyes of immortal plastic bags
turning circles in the far Pacific tidal drag:

those we know and knowingly ignore.
The Gulf Stream crocked is a whole new order.

I lift up mine eyes unto the hills
and then to darkened sky beyond the hills

and see of course the stars that once
we turned to for advice

on what might happen next and when and how,
but also find among their still astounding show

the hard bright lights of Elon Musk
and Jeff Bezos in their spaceships, taking stock.



Only this morning
we scuffled again:
my brother, myself,
on Mersea Island,

crouched in the lee
of a derelict pill-box,
that line of defence
deflecting the wind.

The North Sea fumed
in its ravenous bed;
decoy seagulls
hung stiff in the wind.

But nothing stopped
the moment of truth,
and to beat the cold
my brother adopted

a thick tweed cap.
Top of the morning
he mouthed to waves
which included me,

then hoisted his cap
before fitting it back
with his face aghast
and starting for France.

Andrew Motion was UK Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009, and is now Homewood Professor of the Arts at Johns Hopkins University. He is the co-founder of the Poetry Archive ( and his most recent collection is Randomly Moving Particles (2021). He lives in Baltimore.