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Troubadour Poems: Gregory Leadbetter


Gregory Leadbetter has been an environmental lawyer, worked in TV production and written TV drama; he is currently researching Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His pamphlet, The Body in the Well, was published by HappenStance in 2007.

The Scientist

All this talk travels years ahead of him,
a laughing gas in the air-conditioning
at the Royal Society and the British Academy,
a memo circulating at the BBC.

Priests declare him a man of the fields
going barefoot in the city streets,
but reluctantly leave room for doubt.

Mathematicians predict he’ll carry
a ball of superstring in his pocket,
but fear it’s not that simple.

Those of us who’ve seen him
are content to tell you stories

because it’s not the man
we’re chasing now

but the butterfly inside his skull
that raises a storm with a wing-beat.

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