January 25, 2017
from Melancholy Occurrence
Weight, pressure, and accidental movement together with resistance are the four accidental powers in which all the visible works of mortals have their existence and their end.
Leonardo da Vinci quoted by Edward Robert Zurko, Origins of Functionalist Theory, (New York, 1957), p.53.



Archduchess Matilda

scion of the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine

intended wife of

Humbert Prince of Piedmont heir to the Italian throne

a princess in her nineteenth year she died she

trod on a Lucifer match

on a summer morning

as she leaned out of the window

and her summer dress was instantly ablaze


A cornfactor named Turk

speculating largely in corn

hanged himself in a stable at

South Cave East Riding

July 1801

driven to suicide by

the uncommon promise

of the coming harvest


John Whitton aged 77

was found dead by his daughter

on her return from church

at Leyburn

sitting in his chair

a book open on his knee

The Christian’s Death


About the Author

John Seed lives in London and is the author of eleven collections of verse, most recently Smoke Rising: London 1940-41 (Shearsman, 2015) and Brandon Pithouse (Smokestack, 2016). He has also written a lot of history, a book on Marx and essays on the poetry of Basil Bunting, Bill Griffiths and George Oppen.

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