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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 16, Volume 7 Number 2, November - December 1980.

Letter to no-one Alison Brackenbury
Tall as the dark-worn suburbs of the heart,
I could draw conversations where you gave
Right answer to my riddle: a cheating known as art.
But I would not betray
The silence of your listening, you who are not there.
The lime trees are in flower. Their leaves flash white,
Tender the young twigs flower. The air is light
With scent, and green and frail and stirred by bees
As every sense forgets. Yet it returns.
A footstep on the carpet shakes room warm
With presence. 'What of this?' your long ironic mouth
Demands me. And I ask you, say we salvage this from war
This lost scent; though the lime-trees rise in storm.

Return of the provinces

The provinces are back, in dreaming shabbiness,
Suburbs where I grow roses, paint my sill.
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