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This poem is taken from PN Review 215, Volume 40 Number 3, January - February 2014.

Two Poems Brian Culhane

All morning I study saints' lives, indiscriminate
with wonder at such bleeding affection. Wonder
too at visions - deep wells, quartz valleys -  
glimpsed in severest pain. Or maybe in light:
sun's template, again and again, before smoke
shuts down the crowd's blanched gaiety,
the stake coruscating in an autumn day.

I think of Martin, trudging through Polish farms,
whose mother died of TB as her kids looked on
huddled under a wooden bridge. His blazed
singing of heart's infatuation, the Yiddish
drawn and quartered.
                                    Brahms and sunlight
stream through November. Fresh strong coffee,
then the Times, then a slow walk to watch

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