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This poem is taken from PN Review 69, Volume 16 Number 1, September - October 1989.

Ode to Dead Friends Guy Butler

All Saints Day
South Africa 1987

Outside is no-mans-land.
Loud-hailers, cries, shots, then martial tunes;
Black anger dancing, prancing out of hand,
Snaffled by conscript boys in steel platoons.
Dear cloud of witnesses,
Familiar with temptations to despair,
Pour your reviving light through this distress,
On all whose pain no being seems to share.
Bright sun of many petals, burn
Above us as we turn
Our hearts' cold prisms to your warming rays,
To welcome them and spill in radiant line
Such rainbows as define
Each immemorial self unique in its design.

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