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Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

This poem is taken from PN Review 161, Volume 31 Number 3, January - February 2005.

Latter Opinions of Harriet McIlwraith Angus Calder

Born by accident in Saskatchewan from the liaison of a Wee Free clergyman and a Glasgow comedienne, educated beyond perfection in Toronto, Boston, Geneva and Cambridge, Harriet came to Scotland to pursue what pursued her. Now, in spite of all her best efforts, arrived at a pension, she has implausibly relocated herself in one of Edinburgh's notoriously gracious southern suburbs, where she continues to brood over the majesty of Calvin's God, and on how to develop the 'sex' in sexuagenarian.

Ms McIlwraith Shows Lust Her Buspass

So! to be roused by the alarm of love
again - again, as winter comes amain,
the charm of warm skin when push comes to shove,
surprise of shelter from the icy rain -
but Wonder ponders, while such tough draughts thrust
past door and window till we'll surely sneeze:
soft lips and playfulness, lax touching must
gang towards curtain-call and final freeze,
as gusty laughter gutters into wheeze,
frail pokers can't revive the coals of lust
and every second sentence rhymes with pain
assailing bits below and brain above...
Yet Wonder says, 'Get on with it, you've just
enough flesh left before it flames to dust.'

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