There are worse deaths than singing,
worse singings than death’s.
Gently over black ever
Shifting water the wooden craft
moves out. The newspaper
soaked in itself, sinks.
And the city, there, the circles floating
on the sea articulating growth we
adore by rote and touched in the
Tainted fall of socialistic promises
like petals of death sign out
with a blown shrug. The city divides
And sheds but the world waits for ever
the great curve of thought we
slowly sail round towards singing.
Peter Riley (b. 1940) is an English poet, essayist, and editor. He was a recipient of the Cholmondeley Award in 2012 for “achievement and distinction in poetry.”