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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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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)"
No Turning Back",
Ram Publications

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

"Attempts to Love",
Athenaeum Books;

"Ravens of Unresting Thought",
Outposts Publications

of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet
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