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This poem is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

Three Poems Richard Price
What they found on the beach

What they found on the beach was a pattern of wreckage,
                                                               wreckage without hierarchy.
There were off-white dice fashioned from light-as-wood ox-bone.
Soldiers in the occupying army had rolled them two millennia ago,
resting in the lull they controlled,
throwing them across a surface they had cleared of dust,
                                                 and wishing for personalised luck.

What they found on the beach were red-and-white plastic dice, fly agaric cute.
They were fashioned in the chancy magic of resuscitated fossil fuels,
            in the ecstatic era of hydrocarbons, in the century of self-death.
Soldiers in the occupying army had rolled them two days ago,
resting in the lull they thought they controlled, ‘Nothing personal’,
throwing the dice across a surface cleared of dust –
                                                 wishing for personalised luck.

What I’ve found again and again on the beach
...


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