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This poem is taken from PN Review 146, Volume 28 Number 6, July - August 2002.

Four Poems Christopher Middleton

Byz

1

That was no time for timidity: The young
Made brutal by the shows, raked by disease
- Parrots in the pulpit mauling song -
The salmon artificial pink, bacterial seas;
Junked the gentle Jamesian dinnergong;
Sequestered chickens, nations of refugees:
A time atrocious; slaughter of multitudes;
Vast invention - and the infected foods.

2

An ageing man still listens to the news,
Hoping that some epitome might disperse
The scrappy items which, at best, confuse:
Tonight I hear, for instance, nothing worse
Than how a deafmute in his cabin chose
To die inside when military bulldozers
Brought down the roof. Someone in the crowd
Identified his shriek - 'No words, but loud.'
...


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