Five or six poems
A teenage girl talks on her mobile phone.
“O my God”, she insists, hardly creatively,
leaping with words she misunderstands.
The acronym/phrase OMG (Oh My God!)
I hear it see it everywhere in texts,
e-mails, on television, even when
surprised by joy of seeing a room renovated.
Hands on face. The Urban Dictionary, says,
OMG is used repeatedly by people shocked,
inserted into every conversation.
The OMG girl on the train is still ranting.
My God, me, my, always about me,
where I am at the centre of the universe.
of the G in OMG, would not use this phrase lightly.
Certainly that was the case in olden days.
May it please thee, O my eternal God, almighty …
Omega (capital: Ω, lowercase: ω; Greek Ωμέγα)
the 24th and last letter of the Greek alphabet.
Literally great O" (ō mega, meaning 'great’
as opposed to o micron, which means "little O." )
or the one God bumps into me,
I can exclaim OMEGA. Be surprised, amazed
by the last letter of the Greek alphabet ( Ω, ω )
"I am the alpha and the omega"
(Koiné Greek: "ἐγὼ τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω"),
an appellation of Jesus in the Book of Revelation,
the symbol suggested by the Apocalypse,
the First and the Last" the beginning and the end.
Now that would be a surprise to exclaim about.
the myopia gives her clarity up close.
She is astonished to see
the texture of skin on her hands.
It is like filo pastry
or the skin of a turtle.
Inside the skin though
she is only eighteen.
the recollection of lilac,
murmur of familiar voices,
the wind in the casuarina,
the chattering of nesting birds.
the recollection of things past
more real than the Twinings tea-bag
discarded on the Vietnamese saucer.
A sonnet for a Diva
One day I received a postcard from Venice. I never got to Venice, or Paris, or Madrid, though I had planned to - many years ago. I only got as far as Fiji and the South Pacific. However, after all the novels, films and travel pictures, I feel I've been there.
I lean from palazzo windows, pain in flood,
intent upon another death in Venice and dare
the Bridge of Sighs to be marbled in my blood.
The pin pricks of stars reflect, a prelude
not a finale, as the sky fates so amaze.
An aria I’ll sing, with a shift in mood.
Sounds resonate into canals and courtyard haze
and one by one gondoliers gather in their way
until there’s a listening, then a sudden applause.
I change my intention, then early next day
a bouquet and basket are placed near my doors.
A note, ‘Grazie Diva, here’s roses and wine
for our beloved, the bearer of fire divine.’
pressed oil pastels fiercely into the cartridge,
made clusters of German sausage,
cubist cheeses, curling Matisse leaves.
I was a Fauve, a wild thing.
Framed some, others became lost,
gave many drawings away.
Relatives remarked behind manicured hands,
‘Why doesn’t she paint gum trees, pretty mountains?’
Others accepted the gifts with good manners
but one golden scene based on the Trentham tip
was coldly hung on a toilet door.
as the South Pacific beckoned.
I asked questions - who am I,
where did I come from, where am I going,
at an exhibition in Canberra,
entitled the Impressionists,
though it did include Gauguin, (who was post),
I was let down - his colours dull.
The art books had lied.
a voyeur, his energetic mind focussed
on others’ stories and frailties.
He never dared to examine his own mind,
yet he realized this was not the way to live,
but how can you break the pattern
of being a do-gooder,
a bleeding heart,
a pillar of the community?
weals scarred every moment.
She could not read,
could not write thank you letters.
Her body did not want to move
as a kind of paralysis set in,
The weight of sky was not
the usual softness of light rain.
Sharp noises cut into the room
as others in the household went about tasks,
ignoring her need for silence.
The sudden scrape of a chair
or spurt of a stove were hammers.
The stump-jump plough lies rusting
near hard Mallee roots,
knotted and dark-red as dried blood,
a mound where the dust settles
after a storm rolls in.
In the town the priest puts away golf-clubs,
genuflects before he sits down
at the mahogany desk to write,
“Now who can tell me the way to Babylon?’
These are hard dry people
used to dry hard times,
immoveable as mallee roots,.
Dare he jump over them
as the plough did
in earth-breaking days?
He is city soft, cushioned as thistledown,
or occasionally a tumbling thorn-bush
swept by the North wind.
Mismatched, they pass one another.