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

The Kingfisher's Boxing Gloves James Fenton
after Baudelaire

The walrus stretches forth a wrinkled hand.
The petrel winks a dull, mascaraed eye.
Dusk comes softly, treading along the sand.
Along the wet spar and the hornbeam sky
Night is secreted in the orbit's gland.
The alligator yawns and heaves a sigh.
Between its teeth, black as an upright grand,
The mastik bird performs its dentistry.

So much sand that a man at night becomes
A perfect hourglass. Out among the dunes
They stretch the vellum on the savage drums.
The hotel bar is hushed. The bootboy croons
Softly. The manager completes his sums
And shuts the register. The end of June's
The end of his season. The song he hums
...


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