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Transit Zone by Martin Burke     < back : index : next >   

A   F a r e w e l l   t o   P e t e r   R u s s e l l

Opinionated, strident, erudite,
something of a prophet’s savage cry
the poems grew and grew.
That fitted in with your stance.
What I loved and could draw substance from
was the devotion to the written word:
that much was an example that could be responded to
the prophet’s role scared me,
was something that defied analysis yet was the part
you liked best. To describe it as a mission
is no exaggeration; certainly it was a vocation,
yet where does it all lead?
Perhaps you now know, perhaps you don’t.
Christ the tiger may have outwitted you again
and poetry is never ending.
Even the prophet brings no guarantee
but his quarrelsome self to a turbulent age
and surely, that was the tradition you aligned with.
Yes, poetry an alliance of spoken and unsaid.
The fire in the eye and the fire in the mouth.
The implication of a verb as it delights in being a verb.
The opening and the closing of the word.


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