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SIGNS OF LIFE ARE

Signs of life are everywhere. The garden
won’t stop growing. When we turned our backs, moss,
heather, thyme, violets, forget-me-nots, and strawberries
took over. As gardeners, they’ve proved among the best.

The text goes on repeating itself: the walls
are made of it. The dead were the designated
auditors, but since we’ve ceased to believe in them,
it’s become a way of life for the living.

He’s the oldest monk. No one is left who remembers
when he first materialized at the gate. The finger-stops on his flute
are a sunny April evening after six days’ rain. He plays

his own hills and valleys now, woods ways, waters ways.
The sacred books are pasture rocks against which
his sheep card their fleece into strands the length of the wind.

—John Smith. Strands the Length of the Wind. Ragweed Press, 1993. 

PEI poet laureate Deirdre Kessler selects a poem a month by an Island poet for readers of The Buzz.

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