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This poem is taken from PN Review 41, Volume 11 Number 3, January - February 1985.

Poems Peter Scupham

LATE

Everything is left now to its own intent.
The hero stars are rubbed of nerve and sinew:
Only their blue bones glare through special spaces.

The leaves are shifting black stuff out, about,
Paws and eyes hook life into rough meat,
Little things collapse into brief stains.

Light leaches from the grass; marram and bent
Pester and hiss about the swollen dunes -
The North sea dragging, dragging at the land.

The moon slabs out the ground with shaky marble.
Coasting her skull across the sleepy wakers,
The objects of desire on tradesmen's altars.

Night watchers prop their eyes on light and silence.
Behind the patient screens, the tang and barb,
A question slowly rusts into its answer.

For ever, for ever: it is being worked out
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