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This poem is taken from PN Review 82, Volume 18 Number 2, November - December 1991.

Three Poems Alison Brackenbury


It is from New Zealand. It must have come by sea,
only the impatient traveller flies,
not this slow stuff, in the long seal of cells
the blunt knife blurs and frees.
The snows of wax float finely to the teeth.
The ships are filled with honey on the seas.


Holst thought, and Hardy,
the hills never change.
You could walk the tough grass,
kick moodily at tussocks, start a lark,
and trust this would not pass.
How deeply they were wrong. The lark insists
the past is the song
of our present only. It persists

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