Sunday, December 03, 2006

a clutch of disparate poems

from w.
I can't draw or paint but here are some word pictures instead.

Steel clouds hover over oak
where tangled branches are smeared with blood.
With the cacophony of guns and tanks close by
in that once vibrant now evacuated city
only a handful are left behind.

Women and children slither in mud
as despair wraps around like fire,
shrouded women, strange dancers
to chase away ghosted memory,
their broken boots imprinting the land.

Like the scars of nails in Jesus’ hands
blood stains the innocent.
Light orbs slash across the night canopy
and in daylight, smoke shadows
at the turning of the next season.

That distant place is neatly screened
as I sit with the first caffeine hit,
my midwinter gas heater and cat.
In my life as a voyeur, I hum,

There is a season, turn, turn, turn.


I want to throw an egg against the bright blue
plate of the sky; see the yellowness explode.
The cave of rain thickens and fills
my head with its dark decibels,
creating a rapid heartbeat.
Childhood Mallee day are long gone,
blue china chipped, buried under red
hillocks of sand in Dead Horse Lane.
It’s a shouting tropic rain too far south,
wrong place, wrong time.
Farmers curse the downgrading
of wheat bent double yet which will shoot again.
There’s no joy in rain like a Bach toccato,
too loud without caesura.
The blockies will rail at the bursting of skin
on their export grapes, fungus oozing over the vines
as a film of breathlessness cling-wraps me tightly.


Forget peppercorn trees and fragrant cubby houses
Forget the mulberry tree, ground dark wet with fruit
Forget lemon delicious pudding, warm, topped with cream
Forget baked apples with a cloves just from the oven
Forget smells of dairy ammonia, and a work apron
Forget Grandma’s lilac tree blooming and the red brick path
Forget yellow pods of locuts bursting with taste
Forget makeup powder and base and Oil of Ulan
Forget Zinc cream on noses and summer-time sands
Forget the purr of the ocean in a cowrie shell
Forget seaweed, snaking shoreline, broken sandcastles
Forget bread and dripping with salt and pepper
Forget fluffy pink fairy floss on Show Day
Forget my father’s overalls, and the lanolin in wool
Forget coffee-chicory milk in Dad’s thermos
Forget shearing shed dags and sheep tar.

Forget the soft past, just live on the precipice of now
as I, with trepidation,
settle into this Nursing Home space.

Port Campbell

The last of the Apostles
stands firm though
his companions have fallen.
In the millenium light
most have become

St. Mary's

The scarlet altar,
now without blood,
is constant and central,
beneath the medieval golden arch.
Prayer hands grasp in still air
where angels fear to fly.
The formal symmetry
declares (or belies)
the persistence of history,
the mistakes,
and that man
is a sinner.

London Bridge is fallng down,
my Fair Lady
who gallops like a goat around the rim
of the Blowhole,
a Serbian woman
without fear
so I tremble for her.

Anniversary Card Lines

I am the marred woman,
the married woman who won’t
iron and hang a white shirt each day,
cook twenty-one meals in seven days,
say ‘Yes! Yes!’ joyfully
three and a half times a week,
mop kitchens, toilets, bathrooms,
vacuum and dust lounging spaces,
bend over shoes, socks, underwear.

No, not ever more.
That’s your responsibility now.
I will sit and stare,
remove my wifely spectacles,
refuse to see the neglected hearth.
I am the married woman who is dangerous.

Last Words

Your life is
all about forward
looking ne-

-ver backward
glancing, but one day
you will sure-
-ly be slow-
ing to a snail place,
awkward with

words and limbs,
so live each day ex-



In the quiet of the night
I pencil a dream;
a shadowed tree stands immoveable
against shifting sand-dunes
as I clutch a rose in my hand
and thorns draw blood.
I shiver and return to sleep,
this time wearing my blue dressing-gown.

By morning my nose sniffs the air,
The kitten hadn’t slept in the tin shed
but in my room
and had wee-ed on my poem.

For Michael Leunig

Fascism is in fashion says Michael,
as critics charge with horns sharpened.
To question the holocaust is out,
so is the individual voice, politically incorrect.
Poor Helene of Ploy and Plot,
and Plagiarism, a near quote.
Surely everything can fit,
even all the bad things,
down-beat, dead-beat,
fit this pile of stuff
as slivers of Dove soap
clean the underbelly of life.


I’m a good Australian
edgy with cynicism
and put downs of poms.

I’m also a world traveller,
find parking spaces in the global village,
at ease in Dublin or Delhi.

Dead Horse Lane

Like gossips, ragged Mallee gums
as yellow budgerigars flit
branch to branch
and shrieking galahs
peck until almonds fall.

A phallic chimney stands
in a garden now deserted
where orange-bellied quandongs
scatter like allies
amidst lemon sourgrass,
their soft stalks trip me in nostalgia.

Beyond tired fields
sheep follow the leader,
A procession of Celtic priests.
Over time the blanched bones catch sunlight
and broken china, blue and white,
embedded in red soil
was once a precious tea-set.


A stormy eye watches
the black sky skewered
by a ringed yellow moon.

Soft wattles and crouching gorse
spatter the viridian with promise.
With shy smiles and tentative hands
we wander through fields of yellow,
say Hello in the springtime of life
then leave by summer.


Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

All I can say is, "Wow!"

7:35 AM  

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