A flock of blue gantries is suddenly there

in the flatland, like wading birds

drawn down the wind

from the north. They all face one way, calm

as hieroglyphics, with foreknowledge

of an estuary

so far denied me. Sea into fields, sky seen

through girders, trade routes

into heartland, inter-

penetrations everywhere – miles between me

and Drax, whose cloud-capped

cooling towers

forge endlessly inland, steam unravelling

east and away behind them,

like this train

that feels emptier stop by stop, filling

with distance, that I vanish in

whichever way

I turn. I could be getting somewhere.

Note from the editor: this poem appears in the print edition in a Presiding Spirits article by Philip Gross, On the train with Bill and Basho, in which he discusses the influence of haiku on poetry in English.