In the latest issue:

Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

Adam Mars-Jones

Shakespeare v. the English

Michael Dobson

Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane

Tativille

David Trotter

Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa

The Golf YearsRaymond Friel
Close
Close

Out on the back nine, beyond the banter,
we’d be stopped on the elevated tees
by a sunset of epic proportions,
or, down in the firth, the fin of a sub –
its black body packed with catastrophe –
heading for its ‘home’ in the Holy Loch.

He was working shifts in Hunterston
and after the long silence of the coast road
came home to the early morning bedlam
of full-cream moustaches and ties in knots,
still wearing the blue ‘badge’ on his lapel
to signal what no human should endure.

After the glass-enclosed, sterile nights
observing the secret life of reactors –
to colleagues a dogged apologist
for the unscientific dogmas of his faith
over coffee cups and books for reference –
the golf course was a paradise of sorts,

with its view across the Firth of Clyde
to the stern assembly of the Trossachs,
the soft carpet rolled out under our feet,
his Nicklaus crouch on the final green.
I lifted the flag up and clear as the ball
read the dips perfectly and rattled home.

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