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This poem is taken from PN Review 34, Volume 10 Number 2, November - December 1983.

from 'Thieves of Time' Charles Maude

1. Damsons: running in

The fruit leans to be picked; the trees become dancers.
Below, ladders lie grinning in the grass like traps.
You think: It is the breeze, it is no different,
or else the sun
. The glistening cycle answers:
From each beginning, everything gets richer
and gets worse
. Your face says you know the argument.

Each fruit giving up its grey bloom to the touch
is an inhabited bruise; the baskets you fill
like droppings of paradise . . . and fill with too much
meaning: things you use, worn in or out; smooth, or rough.

This face, loved on purpose, ploughed salt in its furrows:
reaching for the mood, you do not know how to say
you are happy, but you have given up sorrows
for now, as trees do food, declining metaphor.

This desire to be more than oneself is blue, and
...


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