Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Poetic Asides Days 25 to 29

Day 25   the last straw

The Last Straw

There’s never a last straw
where there’s war
There’s always another
straw in war -
straws galore, on the wind
and the jets bring more.
There are the many straws
the mothers bore -
those lads and larrikins
walked out the door.
The wounds raw, deaths
glorified in lore.
Perhaps there was in fact
for some a last straw
the legacy of war.

Day 26   a water poem

Greek Wedding

I expected to cry.
Isn’t that what the mothers do?
I expected lots of conversation.
Instead the priest and chanter
wove a spell, promised God
these two would be fruitful.

Outside, rice and sparkling red
confetti rained upon the happy pair.
The sky spat only slightly
at photographers and family alike.

Carried away on river current,
they left us with nothing to do.
I was told rain was a good omen.
They ascended into honeymoon skies
before the cold front brought showers,
and a necessity for driving carefully.

Day 27    a monster poem

Dubious Ancestry

Chooks, she said, are descended
from Tyrannosaurus Rex. Have you heard?
They’ve forgotten how to eat meat,
I said. The beaks I can just connect.
And the feet. But what about meat?
And how much they seem to enjoy
the company of humans. What’s our story?
Descended from Rex’s friend?
We watched them scratching dry earth,
clucking earnestly. We listened
as they announced the next egg with pride.
Another’s, not their own.
Related to Rex? I said. That’s monstrous!

Day 28    a settled poem


Suddenly there is another woman
with my surname.

Suddenly I have another daughter.

Suddenly my son is a husband.

That’s settled: I have to learn
Greek language and dancing.

Day 29    magical/realism


The stars turned over
poured stardust into
our dreams. We slept on,

transported from beds -
sheet changes overdue -
to sleek silver mattresses

that sailed above surf waves
explored underwater caves
threw us up cliffs

ensuring we had less path
to make a good-looking
effort on, breathing normally.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Poetic Asides Day 24

Tell It To The Ones You Left Behind

The day you left, all other birds
became nervous. Many fled.
I walk in my private bushland
now excited by one honeyeater
landing on a sheltered branch.

I hope you enjoyed your snack
snatched from my land. No doubt
you have no interest in eating
as I do the produce with leaves
stalks, fruit. For you, pleasure

is a mouthful of feathers
a still-warm ovoid of meat
outraged cries from bereft
parents. Your eyes soon
seeking the next prize.

The garden is silent, though
dappled and serene, high
branches of slim gum trees
lifting in a breeze like wings.
No take-offs, no landings.

A white butterfly breaks
the illusion of stillness, of
waiting. And of course
the bees never took notice.
They go about their business.

My heart fluttered, glimpsing
your casual taloned grip
on a small carcase. I felt
caught in a mighty moment.
Now I am disturbed, watchful.

This eerie silence seems
more than personal, as if
the universe has retracted
promises I took for reality.
Every single visitor a victory.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Poetic Asides Day 23

a location poem


Google Maps pretends
I exist where that pink bubble is
when in fact I am here at my desk
writing a poem. Location: in
a real house, not a photo of one.

Google Maps tells people
to go along unsealed  tracks
and get bogged down (and dirty,
waiting for Roadside Assistance).
The real road is asphalted.

Don’t get me wrong: I love maps.
Each town is a dot, is a story.
Every road and street and court
is a conversation, a community
where I can discover poetry.

My brother who makes maps
for a living began to notice
location as a postman. Now
he creates it, in fold-up sheets.
Monochrome, useful to tourists.

We map my poetic journeys
together, and give them voices.
The tracks are often uncharted
but navigation is easy. We look
for real people in real country.

Poetic Asides Day 22


For Adam and Eleni

It’s going to rain!
We don’t believe in omens.
A fine day to marry.