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for Barney and Alice
Your end-of-terrace faces east,
Stone-windowed for the wind and rain.
You wake to sea-pictures, water-coloured
Washes: Lindisfarne and the Castle; God and war.
These two have come at ordinary times,
Flecking the horizon, when women,
Laughing at their washing, stopped to stare
And count the bulging, multiplying sails.
The sea still hisses with obscure announcements
Like a foreign station. Glowing in the night
Your house dials Oslo, straining out
For Oswald's battle-cry, or Aidan's ...