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This poem is taken from PN Review 138, Volume 27 Number 4, March - April 2001.

Alstonefield: first 8 stanzas of Part VI Peter Riley

The value of common emotions concerning
the passing of time. The counting of joys,
and modes of love, the sad persistence of the days
dragging our hearts out of us more than the world,
more than the silence of work these things
convene our powers. Pain and promise move
the hand to sign the contract and we are again
engaged, reader, by a factor of the earth bowling
between us. Quickly on a warm day I walk up
through the smell of moist leaves to a sheltered summit.

And all the people in the land, as the clouds clear,
without priority, the fruit of work, all pain and
sorrows over. These are the ghosts in the white stone,
written in the strata: go down, you blood red roses.
And all the work in the land, as the stars fade, doesn't
bear more result than a leaf reaching the ground, all
...


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