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Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to editor@pnreview.co.uk

This poem is taken from PN Review 234, Volume 43 Number 4, March - April 2017.

Three Poems Laura Scott
and Pierre?

With his ripe face like one of those pale freckled pears
you hold in your hand and his mind shuddering across it

like a bruise – he’s legible to all the world. With his great legs,
broad and strong as the trees, he walks in and out of chapters

smelling of eau de cologne, or an animal that sleeps in a barn.
With his long fingers running across the stubble on his jaw,

he listens to the black Russian rain before he picks up his pen.
With his eyes so blue you’d think he’d drunk the sky down

with all that champagne, he watches the soldiers (red epaulettes
and high boots) drag that boy to the place where they shoot him.

He watches the boy pull his loose coat tight before he sags and slides
down the post. And when it’s all over, he watches them roll him

gently into the hole with the others and before he can look away,
he sees, there in the earth, the boy’s shoulder still moving.



Can’t stand them

                           loathe them, always have, ever since
I was a child. Probably something to do with the wretched

nightingale in that story they used to read to me, piercing
its heart on a thorn and singing the white rose red before

it dies and its little corpse falls to the ground. The fleshy ones
are the worst, sucking up all the rain and all that cellulose,

or whatever its called, swelling inside them and the way
I can’t stop myself cutting into them with my nail to leave

a crescent-shaped mark on their stems. And then the smell
they leave in the water in the bottom of the vase, the way

it curls into my nostrils. Lilies are so obvious, so banal,  
but the hydrangeas with their heads as big as cabbages,

obsequiously bowing to me, like supplicants every time
I walk past. I like it when the rain bruises their tiny petals.



To the Trees

quick and slick
           and full of you,
the you I don’t want,
                      the you that brims over, brims under my lines, the you I can’t
remake, reshape,
                    the you I    —
           just leave it, drop it, walk away. There’s nothing to see here.
     
Go to the trees,
           I always go to the trees, but let’s go
to the tree outside my window,
           the one standing on its own, away from all the others,
the one with the great arms stretching up

the one with too many fingers spreading themselves
           into shapes so the fierce birds might come to them. Too many for what?

To be just pointing at the sky,
           to be just making shapes for the birds?

They must be a trace of something,
           of some hand, some principle urging them on –

maybe Maths or God
           and God knows we don’t want to go down that road
                      do we?

           Just look at the trees.

I wish I didn’t know any rules, any at all, and then my poems,
           or this poem at least,
would move, would soar, would hover and break
           into thousands and thousands
                      of pieces of white material. 

This poem is taken from PN Review 234, Volume 43 Number 4, March - April 2017.

Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to editor@pnreview.co.uk
Further Reading: - Laura Scott More Poems by... (1) Review of... (1)
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