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This poem is taken from PN Review 152, Volume 29 Number 6, July - August 2003.

Two Poems Michael Palmer

The Merle Asleep

Asked the Merle, of Sleep,
Are you the kingdom of sand or the blessèd moon?

Asked the Merle, asleep,
Who are these blindered travellers

choiring Amazing Grace, Haunted Heart.
All the Things You Are,


while I can only speak
of thimbleberry, limestone and wheat,

of power lines and poles and shattered oaks
though I'd prefer by far to sing,

I who can only speak?
Said the Merle, fearing sleep,

I am the colour of deep night
and I fear what night will bring,

its stuttered cries and moans,
...


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