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Dream River

This poem has its origins long ago in a jaunt on the Mississippi river on board the paddle-steamer SS Natchez.

Dream River

As water-light dances through cabin blinds

in scintillant counterpoint to her chattering bow,

a brooding threnody of whistles fills up the big boat's horizon-lines;

the mate checks the bearing of her painted prow.

Well-worn warrior of river life, paddles slap...

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Three Nocturnes

 

Three Nocturnes

 

While poring over dusty corners of an ancient night

I sang in darken'd evening flight, a voice edged

by the pain of doubt, a tempered blade to fight

an inner shout; the fearful dredge

of insomnia, the purgatory of my silent gaze;

remembrance too of sultry Australian dog days.

 

South-West karris loom ink-black, and rustle

as night-walkers, stepp...

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