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This poem is taken from PN Review 76, Volume 17 Number 2, November - December 1990.

A Last Note from Menton Peter Bland

i.m. Louis Johnson, New Zealand poet, 1924 - 1988

'Displacement,' you wrote, 'is a kind
of freedom ... Let's count ourselves lucky
we don't belong!' Some mention then
of how Lawrence died
in sunny Vence, with freezing legs,
while back in New Mexico his allotment bloomed
with English beans. You enjoyed a sense
of ironies on the move. They
scissored at the truth. 'In the end,'
you said, 'it's always a passing love.'

Back home, you feared we were 'digging in'
... that old Kiwi regressive thing
disguised as growing roots. You
fought all your life for a local voice
but knew - to misquote - that it often grew
...


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