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Summer 2006 Edition
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Author: Graham Fulton
Location: Paisley, Scotland

Graham Fulton has written and performed poetry for many years, and has been published in many major magazines and anthologies, e.g. Edinburgh Review, Ambit, The Rialto, The North, Chapman, Dreamstate: the New Scottish Poets, and Poetry ! Book Society Anthology. His published collections include Humouring the Iron Bar Man and Knights of the Lower Floors (both Polygon-Edinburgh University Press) and Ritual Soup and other Liquids (Mariscat).

Photographing Ghosts

An Amsterdam synagogue is being restored.
Masked men blast the outside walls;
dissolve the strata of silence, the past.

A young volunteer, a history student,
explains the clinical chain of events.
Pogroms, ghettos, solutions, gas,
ash like snowflakes, orchestra, trains.

He, patiently, helps me to smile and relax
as I walk inside the musty space,
sit on the seats and make a donation,
buy a keepsake to make me remember.

Proceeds towards the final cost.
Silver seven-branch candlesticks.

A relic lady looks blank when asked
how many people are left these days.
Soft motes float in the air we breathe,
thicken our throats, make it hard to judge

distance, pain, what really happens,
what is imagined. Shrinking wax.
A clanking tramcar hurls and sparks
along its lines outside the door.

Is it okay to take a photograph?
A relic lady looks blank when asked.
Security cameras swivel to watch
as I drop my skull cap into the box.



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