The Byelaws

Never have met me, know me well,
tell all the world there was little to tell,
say I was heavenly, say I was hell,
harry me over the blasted moors
         but come my way, go yours.
 
Never have touched me, take me apart,
trundle me through my town in a cart,
figure me out with the aid of a chart,
finally add to the feeble applause
         and come my way, go yours.
 
Never have read me, look at me now,
get why I’m doing it, don’t get how,
other way round, have a rest, have a row,
have skirmishes with me, have wars,
         O come my way, go yours.
 
Never have left me, never come back,
mourn me in miniskirts, date me in black,
undress as I dress, when I unpack pack
yet pause for eternity on all fours
         to come my way, go yours.
 
Never have met me, never do,
never be mine, never even be you,
approach from a point it’s impossible to
at a time you don’t have, and by these byelaws
         come my way, go yours.

from Pluto (Picador, 2013), © Glyn Maxwell 2013, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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1The Ages

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2The Breakage

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3The Byelaws

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4Cassandra

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5Christmas 7 x 7

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6Dust and Flowers

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7Flag and Candles

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8The Flood Towns

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9Greenwich

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10Hometown Mystery Cycle

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11It Too Remains

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12My Turn

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13The Net

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14The Nerve

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15No Special Day

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16The Old Lad

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17On a Devon Road

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18A Play of the Word

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19Pluto

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20Ratsbane

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21Rumplestiltskin

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22Similies of the Mallorcan Midwife Toad

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23The Snow Village

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24South East of Eden

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25Thinking Earth

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26Three Black Dress Songs

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Books by Glyn Maxwell