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From The Second Wellington International Poetry Festival Anthology edited by Mark Pirie, Ron Riddell and Saray Torres

In that country by C K Stead

In that country
poet spoke for people
against the invader.

Between bombings
when sirens were silent
poems were broadcast.

When newspapers lied
people queued for poems
and read them on trams.

Oh for such a contract
to write only the truth,
even to die for it -

how much better than
to be civil servant
to Propriety, our master.


© C K Stead

Linseed by Fleur Adcock

The knees I'm embracing through her skirt
are Grandma Robinson's; above them
is a dark blue jumper, a bit scratchy.

I can just reach it. I must be three.
She's trying to sweep the kitchen floor,
and I'm tripping her up. She's not cross yet.

There's some linseed boiling on the stove -
tiny brown jellies, with seeds in them.
I can't be expected to know what for.

The milk she squeezes out of the cow
turns into butter when she churns it.
Life's mysterious, but I'm used to that.


© Fleur Adcock























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