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This poem is taken from PN Review 166, Volume 32 Number 2, November - December 2005.

The Thaw Patrick McGuinness

I - Illegible waves of wood

The wood's illegible waves on the desk
              as you write. The first principle of form:
the wave, rings of a dropped stone.

              A ridge of water, muscle stretching
in ever-greater circles, gathering in what lies around,
              gathering up the stream it is part of.

So the rings of a tree: the tree ages,
              thickens into the space around;
marks its past concentrically.

              It remembers itself: flesh over flesh,
core hardening to rind, becoming its own record

              drawing in the years to lay them
side by side in space in time.


II - Lapland

The trees are exclamation marks,
...


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