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in collection Wolf on the Third Floor, 2000,

New Hope International. ISBN 0 903610 25 6;

previously published in Obsessed with Pipework, 1998

 

Peter the Great

 

When my Father, Tsar Alexis, died

and the blood of thousands splashed

in the snow like iced rowan berries

I could dream of nothing but

the felling of trees.

 

When my family and friends were

butchered before my eyes, I could feel

nothing but the peeling of bark

under my red thumb as the

spokeshave bit deep.

 

And when I imprisoned my sister, and

confined my feeble minded brother

to his own emptiness, I sealed

the wooden joints of my own freedom

with pitch and bitumen.

 

Then I defeated the Turk, and opened

our lands to the Baltic and Caspian seas.

I sensed again the unfurling

of new canvas to the

fresh untested wind.

 

And when, as they say, I created modern

Russia, I remember only my childhood

hands working on that first small ship.

Ruling the Empire gave me

no such satisfaction.

 

                        Graham High

 

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contact

poetry favourites:
British Haiku Society
Contemporary Haibun online
Haiku Society of America
Red Moon Press
Poetry Society
Poetry School
Poetry Library
Poetry Business 

and in the shop ...
collections -
"
Under the Edge of the Horizon (Haiku)",
"
Once Around the Sun (Haiku)",
"
Towing the Breeze (Haiku)",
"
Where Two Streams Meet (Haiku)"
"Between the Heartbeats (Haiku)"
,
and
"
No Turning Back",
Ram Publications

"Wolf on the Third Floor",
 New Hope International;

"Attempts to Love",
Athenaeum Books;

"Ravens of Unresting Thought",
Outposts Publications


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