'Soil' takes place in England on a train journey. I was taking a ride I think from London up to Yorkshire and I looked out at the soil, the earth and I thought I recognise that colour - where does that colour come from? And what does it mean to me? It seemed to be saying something, it seemed to be saying something and it brought to my mind the subject of belonging - to this soil, or to that soil.
What colour would you call that now? That brown
which is not precisely the colour of excrement
The depth has you hooked. Has it a scent
of its own, a peculiar adhesiveness? Is it weighed,
by its own weight? It creeps under your skin
Like a landscape that’s a mood, or a thought
and suddenly a dull music has begun. You’re caught
by your heels in that grudging lyrical earth,
scraped and scratched, and there is nowhere to go
but home, which is nowhere to be found
is here, unlost, solid, the very ground
on which you stand but cannot visit
from The Budapest File (Bloodaxe, 2000), © George Szirtes 2000, used by permission of the author and Bloodaxe Books Ltd.