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

Castle Alison Brackenbury
There are lilies in the lake, the lilies of still water
Which part for nodding ducks and close again.
I cannot see my face, they are so close,
Half-opened only, swayed, red stem to stem;
I cross the trembling bridge. Held in the other
Bank, an arch of broken stone pipes gapes
Five silted throats from which no waters fall.
My eye's edge sees - but that would be too strange -
White open mouths of orchids on a wall.

Around the clock is painted a blue heaven
On which the sun's great cycle gilds, and sings.
I cross the yard, bare even of a cat,
Or outstretched dog; or stir of pigeon's wings.
The arches of the yard are white and even
The brass knob of the door is smudged by hands
And I am slower, heavy as the clouds
...


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