PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Alberto Manguel Selbstgefühl New poems by Fleur Adcock, Claudine Toutoungi and Tuesday Shannon James Campbell A Walk through the Times Literary Supplement
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 166, Volume 32 Number 2, November - December 2005.

Four Poems John F. Deane


On sunbright days the porpoises
lift like birds over the water, striving
to sing; flesh lets them down, but they persist;

a half-deck trawler, half-sunk and skeletal in the bay
broke free in storm and would take to the air;
like the rest of us it is anchored to itself

by weight. A pear-shaped toy balloon, blood-red,
rising above the beach, was fat with someone's breathing;
should it burst now and drop, a pear-shaped breath

would hold its singular shape a space; then
would the blue of the sky appear a little brighter?
When the angel touched on earth did Miriam's flesh

become one with spirit to allow God's essence through?
Burdened with messages, he was pleading for release.
Miriam, ascetic, purging the body of desire

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image