Cross-blade whirring head

                     of giant worm, a toothed wheel

               throwing back spoil


                                   Phyllis, Ada—



                      from Royal Oak portal


                                           find gnawed bison bones

                                  in the old Westbourne


                                                 fast water


                                        ice eras


                                 grassland and forest


                     then on through tangled rod and gut—

               sewers, power lines, foundations


      even the eye of the needle, between Northern Line

and escalator tunnel


                                        find beneath the smashed Astoria

                              glass sauce bottle stoppers

                      marmalade jars


               both bores skirting Denmark Street


to the Plague Pit (No Man’s Land), 13 skeletons

       out of 50,000 laid in three years

                  under Charterhouse Square


                              pressure-sensored to veer correct

                                      push off last ring


                                               for the next advance


                                      in slow-budged clay


                              poison to plough

                         but mouldworthy, waterproof


              a blue-green thread



                                     under madness


                                                 bides the roll

                                           of new traffic