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Guest Poet Chris Wilkinson

Family Bible

Gravy stains,
Amidst the mottled page,
Faint cigar odours,
And worn leather.
The boyís own club.

Agťd tabacco,
In the book spine.
God knows how long itís been there.
Perhaps a day,
Perhaps fifty years.
Who knows?

Crackling rice paper,
Covers images of stylised Egyptians,
And Hollywood madams.
Symmetrical fingers of light,
Reach down like heavenís hand.

Fissured leather and wood,
Unopened for years.
Who bothers to free the words,
But the old-timers.
And only at Christmas or Easter.

Donít you know?
This was your great-grandfatherís.
Crafted with care,
And joyful elegance,
A gift for future descendants.

Who will read it,
And understand?
But just put it back on the shelf,
For another generation,
The truth never to find.

January, 2001

Chris Wilkinson's Questions:
I'm from Wellington, New Zealand, and have always enjoyed writing poems.

I'm currently working on my second novel, which is a fantasy science-fiction story for children.

I do poetry for relaxation and for my family. I would be interested to know what people think of my poems, which I usually write in free prose.

Do you think they are written concisely enough?

Are there too many adjectives? or not enough?

Is there enough imagery, or are they too literal?

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