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This poem is taken from PN Review 36, Volume 10 Number 4, March - April 1984.

The Northern Symphonies John Ash
The pines shiver expecting winter
vanishing in mist

moths circle the lights of railway platforms
at intervals through a thousand, two thousand miles

The peasants are painting dolls -
dolls within dolls

the children of aristocrats
are collecting mushrooms and butterflies

the river erases all the names
of adolescents written out in the sand

and their letters remain undiscovered
as the wooden bridges split slowly apart

The empty palace is painted green and gold
snow has fallen in the square

a crowd brings down the statue at its centre
soon no-one can remember
...


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