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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 4 Number 4, 1975.

Two Poems Gareth Reeves


CALIFORNIA PEPPER-TREE

Green globes I crush and smell . . .
On the other side of the world,
The side I am native to,
Domestic pepper-corn
Stung my nostrils until
Vague islands swam in my veins.

The 'western weeping willow'
Is here the outlandish name
They give the pepper-tree.
Thus men have tried to tame
This large land, this large sky.

No wind, no ripple shifts
Leaves barbed and delicate
Like fishbone-skeletons -
Fish out of water, fish
...


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