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This poem is taken from PN Review 261, Volume 48 Number 1, September - October 2021.

Parmenides on the Boardwalk Jeffrey Wainwright
Out on the boardwalk today for another ‘health walk’.
It keeps our feet out of the watery ground.
As usual I stop by the tree-stump decorated
with a fungus nicely confined between
splits in the wood and the curve of the bark.
Another dog passes by, as eager as ever.
Today the fungus is the pale green of a paint-chart
and is hard to the touch, plaster-like, resistant.
Is it dried and dead or in yet another phase?
If dead what was the life that has been lost?

No matter there is life everywhere,
energy in every form.
Velvet mosses clothe the bark of fallen trees;
turn up a log and shiny grubs protest at the light;
in the turbid pools the hog-louse nudges past
the ravenous nymphs of the damsel fly –
the beautiful demoiselle; leaves gleam freshly

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