New U.S. Poet Laureate (see News & Views)
Frances Macaulay Forde...........Les Wicks...........Ann Davis
Donna Devaney ..............Kelly Pilgrim ...............Ryan Scott
Corey McHattan ...............Jean Frances ...........Dawn Bruce
John West....................David Priol .................. Dan O'Donnell.
Kathryn Hamann.............M.T.C. Cronin...............Ray Smith
Karen Knight's latest book see gigsnads.
launch of My Lover's Back 79 love poems by mtc cronin see gigsnads.
Will he stay a while when
their beating hearts have calmed down?
with love for me.
Accepting all I give,
never questioning if I love.
like rivers of
pain. Rejection will hurt.
Just touch him and say goodbye to
The safe ribbon
of light, meandering
on toward home. But my path was
Frances Macaulay Forde
(FIRST PUBLISHED ECU's 'BROADSHEET' 1/2001 AND PETER COWAN WRITERS CENTRE WEBSITE.)
Hands Free Cancer
How stupid do you feel
talking to yourself?
- the epitome of elegance.
Power stance with eyes distant
- he breathes money.
How stupid does he look
emphasizing his point
to the argumentative air?
Frances Macaulay Forde
The Merchant Coffee Shop
Murray Street teems
with alternative apparel
how others communicate
with the unknown
it's easy to pick out
content and comfortable
angry or work-focussed
and seasonal grey
jar with orange hair
and platformed extremities
Frances Macaulay Forde
Chivalry's not dead.
Young man offers
an older person his seat,
but not the young lady.
He stands silently,
matching her sway.
Frances Macaulay Forde
Edgewater Station, 7.45am.
The first time I climbed the ramp to cross the empty
freeway, I thanked my daughter's advice for nervous,
first-time train-travel. "Don't make eye-contact and
take something to read."
Embarrassingly unfit; I was truly unworthy of riding
to city steeples and naked greed. However, I was able
to slow my breathing before reaching the platform
populated by corporate black.
Like others in smart casual, I waited unprepared.
Searching and praying that I had correct change. No
way would I approach anyone to help, if my Target
Special revealed only notes. An extra minute to read
the zones and I felt their impatience stab my shoulder
First rule: be prepared. Why doesn't someone press
the "Next Train to Perth" button? How long have I
got? Finally, the clunking use of coins and metal
spit of ticket loudly confirmed my lack of railway
As I claimed my waiting spot, the gentle morning sun
warmed my arms. I began to relax. My head moved left
to spy an approaching train then swung right, to relax
the tension. The violent clash of eyes focussed on
the anticipated train brought heat and color flooding
to my face. Have I broken another rule?
I turned away. Moved left and slid around to a corner
bench, hidden under graffiti steps. A cleaner
diligently wiped the dead remains of habit from a
shiny steel surface. As our eyes met, she smiled in
understanding. My isolation lifted with the corners of
my mouth. "Good morning."
A distant sparkle from Joondalup Tunnel caught my
attention. Although I had lost my place for the
central carriages, I joined the stragglers just as the
last door swept toward my flat comfortables. The
unsmiling silent wave surged toward the precipice,
eager to rest their feet or continue sleep. We were
swallowed with a whoosh.
All around, people take off their sunnis and don clear
glass, casually opening their oft-thumbed pages; Time
magazine, corporate handouts, New Idea, 'Bondage &endash; a
love story, the latest Patricia Cornwell.
No one speaks, except the odd un-sophisticate who
broadcasts gossip as if it elevates them. I lose
myself in Harry Potter and block out the other
occupants, cocooned against intimidation.
Frances Macaulay Forde
The city waits...
My favorite, platform number six will receive me
today. It's not the nearest to the common front. My
platform is in the center, one section back. A
respectable distance to arrive at Perth Station,
giving steps time to adjust to city pose. Also, I like
to drift past the newsstand and view the coloured
covers of gossip.
Our human conveyor sweeps past the bakery, dispersing
flotsam as it pounds toward the bridge. With hungry
anticipation, I visually taste the bagels, donuts and
flaky pastry. "One cheese and bacon roll and a hot
cross bun, thanks." Always the same, lunch priced
Gray-tiled, steel archways float us over Wellington
Street in orderly lines. Every day there is someone
new asking for money. I quickly hide the change before
they see and my conscience makes me give. Hands
outstretched, standing with the regulars, shaking tins
or passing leaflets. Red Shield, Green newspapers and
free K-bars for city workers, who left home without
Slotting into the stream, we turn the corner and my
hand searches the front pouch of my bag for a
cigarette. There's time for one, if I walk around
Myers, down the escalator and along Murray Street. I
pass the sleeping lonely. Coffee addicts haunt hot
purveyors, to read their paper, readying their brains
for paid concentration. By the time I get to Barrack,
the first silver cylinder receives my dead donation
for the day.
Frances Macaulay Forde © 2001
(FIRST PUBLISHED ECU's 'BROADSHEET' 2000)
The HIDDEN STORE
In the middle of a flat, featureless Parramatta,
near the slovenly river
Church Street stood the somehow pagan
Black Mountain Imports &
almost every day I visited the
woven, carved, beaten works from a headache
of different countries all
reduced & bargain priced for this canny shopper
in search of a new.
I owned the green glass twisted Mexican goblets
for 15 years.
The crucible & the book were part of half researched
that involved Janice Joplin.
Even the laundry basket spoke of smoky,
transcendental thought as fingers had
weaved form from water soaked bamboo.
At Christmas my parents received gazelles & elephants
carved so no line was straight.
They said life was sinuous....
meant to be stroked.
My sister got incense
that sought her heart or mind
through gentle invasions of eye & nose.
The carpet was too much to take in
& never sold , reduced in price
every couple of months but still requiring
a wealth beyond my imagination.
I knew we would fly together but
out of luck I left to wander,
the 165 bus home maybe
frosty boy from the milk bar, more tangible
16 year old's treasures from inside a diesel town
that dreamt of tall buildings & a new concrete coat.
In the doorway the security guard is jumpy.
A cold rain-rotten night in
the mouldy month of May or Maybe-not.
In the doorway the security guard is patting
his hip like he's hiding a pet beneath
the leather-look ferocity of his uniform jacket.
I'm watching from a window but he
thinks he has no audience as
the gun is drawn out from its holster almost
like kneading dough but he's
soon enough waving it about,
holding it close to his eye - pointing as though
the thing is demanding targets
(which, I suppose, it does).
I call Carol to come look but she wants
no part in games of war or spies.
Almost with regret
he puts it away & begins
waving his arms about.
Shadows a young woman into the video shop next door.
There is a light drizzle falling &
shy drops are being impaled on the thorns of his crew cut.
Pacing up & down, flipping his hips
then abusing an empty car obstructing the driveway.
He is not paid enough to risk his
(or our) lives.
Then jumping on the spot, to spinning &
finally a climax with a series of quick draws
time protecting a passage
through to brightly lit,
wholly uncomplicated paydays.
BEATEN, NOT STIRRED
You were all
wilderness, sorrow & care.
Took my messages, photocopy,
did typing & then fell
into an old well.
We shared office gossip &
slipped through the fence to the dangerous
gardens of our intimacies.
But I had them &
they were pulled out like paper shields keeping us apart
& whether or not
you would have touched an arm of mine without it
I couldn't know.
Where we worked
even friendship was a danger
& you only lasted three months.
We met on a street recently
& noted no changes of importance.
What was our history, Rosie,
older loves & line rope? How much passes us
as we stand
in the glare of our families?
After almost 3 weeks
of this user-pays winter
the Sydney souls greet
sunshine like getting
an overdue cheque.
We shed jumpers like
busy snakes & underneath
are restored again to people with bodies waving
with a soon-to-be brown sensuality.
The chug-a-lugly, the fearful
& the fast
have all discovered
hair is cheeky, promising
more than shade.
And me too, my
We poets are like the wilderness -
great to have somewhere
but can't spend money on it.
Never actually visit....
might be boring or dangerous if you did.
Like those parakeets
in urban parkland
I live here in secret
& drop the occasional
on that passing dance.
Remote control in hand,
approximating grace he watches his model glider
swoop between headlands.
The only sound
a gentle slicing of wind.
Magpies & hawks compete
but ultimately make way for the duration.
Terry towelling tourists shuffle past, his
machine is not quite threatening, the
pilot hunched & invisible in
suburban combat gear (denim & checks).
He shoots me one glance like fauna.
or interruption possible.
I throw a rock
because I can't
reach his toy.
LES WICKS has been published widely in Australia & elsewhere. His five books are "The Vanguard Sleeps In" (Glandular, 1981), "Cannibals" (Rochford St, 1985), "Tickle" (Island, 1993) & "Nitty Gritty" (Five Islands, 1997) & "The Ways of Waves" (Sidewalk, 2000).
"varied, nimble, humane & well timed" - Jennifer Maiden.
He's performed at festivals, schools, prisons etc. Runs workshops & Meuse Press which focuses on poetry outreach projects.
I see your translucent soul
taste the bitter sweetness
of your lips' caress
Enveloped in the infinite mystery
loving you holistically
my angelic daydream.
A silent mass embraces the desolate figure
strewn across an apathetic doorway.
Solitude is comfort
but isolation brings emptiness.
Ideals become remnants of intolerant perceptions
clouded by skepticism
fanatical and futile.
Logic is irrelevant it holds no meaning,
reasoning brings no contentment
and answers only breathe remorse-
a sickening retrospective enemy.
So cyclical,repercussions unmeasured,
the silent crowd screams louder.
Indifference shuns comprehension
stains the essence of being,
yet solace is sought beyond
the deafening silent screams.
Purple sunsets, silver haze
the surreal awakening of a drained soul,
walk alone desolate,
Concrete transitions broken words,
bruise the conscious heart.
The daydream dances plead forgiveness
black mask covers eternally,
truth immersed in sickening reality
-a romantic delusions of hope.
Embedded beneath the crevice
hypocrisies and pitiful delights.
,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,
Beyond the edge of somewhere else
in a nook where no one rests
snowdrops grace the mound of truth
a shadowplay of yesterday's regrets.
Shades of memory meander still
darkened by a lane - the last but one
where discarded dreams abide
in a charcoal landscape overrun
with corners turned and tuned and cut
to match the cloth of pauper's gold
and lead on to a dingy marketplace
where business is the trade of souls.
Nearby a far and distant point
the gathering of many wanes
bewailing what has gone before
and all that still remains.
Beyond the edge of somewhere else
in some fantastic spiritland
the cards are dealt with disregard
and each must play their hand.
(Previously unpublished except for workshopping on Ozpoets Message Board.)
2. Moths & Camels
Death is a black camel,
which kneels at the gates of all.
How delicate it is and how fragile
the wingsweep of passion
beating mindlessly against the light,
the heat and the conflict of fusion
the coupling of pain and desire
producing singed edges
and small flutters of memory
to haul through the future
to look back on with pleasure,
dismay, or with a secret smile
at the absurdities of a humanity
striving always for heaven
while hiding from the knowledge
that the camel waits patiently.
(Title poem from my collection published by kellyryan press 2001 also
published in Spindrift.)
3. Weighty Matters
Beginnings come so easily
a first line complete
fills my mind
and I rush for pen and paper
or my keyboard
and having set it down
I know without a doubt
how it will end.
Last lines come so easily
as inevitable as death
sense of word.
Now middles are another thing entirely. Responsible
for deciding if the poem will be short or if the poem
will be long, if the space between the first line and
the last line will be filled with worth or just a ploy to
fill the paper and my time. Middles are important.
Middles are a worry. Middles make me think about
the diet I'm not on.
(new poem unpublished.)
in some dim recess
for the polished touch
against her soft fabric.
as occasion arises
the heat of preparation
gentle hands smoothing.
welcomes fine wine
savours every offering.
delights in each moment
An expanse of pale damask
before the next spill of claret.
(Also from Moths & Camels and published previously years ago.)
5. suicide season
eleven and a half months
bundled in a box
a small exchange
of useless booty
to a cupboard
recycled next year
with never a fear
at a gathering of
in new clothes
as yet unstained
a spat of fast exchanges
of how good/bad
the year has been
on the edges
of their manic interchanges
cold with fear
and frantic guesses
at who won't
I'm interacting with the sun
like a friend I haven't seen
for a long time
We nervously exchange words
each give a little
edge toward our sadder stories
and before we know it
silly, giddy, crazy drunk
now see what you've done;
I'll be hung over all winter.
The art of collecting antiques
is to bruise your hands
with the past.
Dusting trinkets with epithelium
fingerprinting book covers
turning each page like silk
sliding eyes over hand-carved wood
you'll find antiques in antique shops
but where is the challenge?
Let's go to ordinary second-hand
stores and search for undiscovered
We are excavators
sifting through simple ruins
cultivating people from bones.
On sheets full of dog hair
you are spread out like a starfish
(dark blue always collects unwanted friends).
You never notice me slide sideways
pouring my body out of bed
and I am pleased
because if you woke
what would happen to these
moments of quiet
my early morning silent films
where you're the star?
Where scholars meet,
my interest lies not in theories or papers.
Black bamboo growling from the earth,
shifting its beat to winter time,
bending, straight-legged as wind takes a breath,
swallows the inky straw whole
and pulls my gaze.
Curling above, smoke from my cigarette,
softly as a geisha, offers itself to the sky
yet bamboo, equally fine
enthralls me with its capacity to give until breaking.
Dali Would Be Proud
He's painting our front room!
Imprinting the air we breathe,
speaking in tongues, grunting language in random patterns
like the gathering of problems in his life,
in his arm.
Moved into the front room with the gusto of
a thousand cyclone Nathans,
now he's consuming the food
and killing our passion.
He's painted the room top to bottom gloom
and the rest of the house is in pixelvision,
a surreal [ist] to the point where
we'll have to join the dots
once he's gone.
Kelly Pilgrim is a student at Curtin Unviversity (BA Arts Creative Writing), and has been published in journals.A collection of poetry with co-author, Bron Bateman is due for release in June 2002.
CHURCH AT COLLINS AND SWANSTON
Sun so high, and the
black paint baked
on the seat, grilling
I needed a place
to stay, but
your answering machine swallowed
the last of my change.
It saddened me to hear what happened,
later over drinks.
A thud, a shriek, branches crash,
the sound of burst irrigation gurgling
in the trees - the possums are at it
and I thought you might like
to come back here for
a walk . The grass is up;
footprints, footballs, dogs, diversions,
were yesterday, and
whispered stories of adolescents continue;
their first and seconds recur
as the sharpened blue
severs night from morning:
the false dawn,
book ended by
business of the day.
Days which have chewed at our bodies, sucked
them into fallen native fruit,
more food for the possums
while we make
a quick botched attempt at youth,
but we stay.
And you remain
a beautiful necessity - necessarily beautiful - down
here, as blue leaks into the upturned depths of the night, as
laughter hardens into leaving
and the possums watch.
ONE GOOD THING IN THE JUNKIE'S GARDEN
Green and puckered,
it would burst in
this seasick petit choux.
Not a Carlton bloom
but still cared for. How
could I not take
a photo, but he still ordered
me to leave.
TO THE INTERIOR OF THE MACHINE
breath moves in and out
taking over gaps, lost in endless combinations
of air, moving
over necks as a hand
once empty is filled
by another and a film of sweat clarifies
what is solid and liquid
yours and not yours, as more air jostles unfelt
(except for breath) in between, and
atoms, alive by words -
inseparable, but separate,
distinct, dissolve into
the next suggestion, tear
into space; away from
more words here - is only the flow of particles
no liquid, no solid, no more shivering air only
infinite possibilities of space, traversed by more
spaces, dotted with explosions,
made of explosions, bubbles compounding, a rainbow of black, is the
the foundation, which orbits orbits,
quakes - where there is no earth
- and convulses
along waves, particles and waves
ripple with no shore in sight...(explosions upon
explosions) cannon-wails and
weightless waves smashing
through pipes and conduits
provide sensation, sense making and
stickiness of space
upon itself, folding
waves into water
wine from blood
an excuse for the mess
a thunderous, inarguable sound,
reverberating through his jelly heft,
wobbling above his convex belt.
at Henderson's joke
or not even a joke,
no, that's too generous-
his grubby little bedroom tale:
a poor man's wet dream.
I see Cathy cringe
though she hides it well.
Practice, I guess.
I offer a smile,
thinks I'm one of them,
and examines her shoes.
Still he laughs,
with pudgy, squinty eyes,
a salty orb of spit
glistening on his lip.
The revolting sound
of stagnant breath expelled
in whooping glory.
Interminably he slows
to gulping chuckles,
slaps Henderson's back,
and titters again.
For the first time, his glance meets mine,
all inane expectant giggles.
Cathy turns to me, and HendersonÉ
and I laugh too.
a minor matter
her sin gestates
belly growing larger
with her shame
the tadpole in her womb
becomes a lively dolphin
cavorting in its amniotic sea
distanced from the town
she hides from prying eyes
slips out at night
to breathe the air and
contemplate the stars
months before, her mother lied
the girl ran off to wed
the plan needs patience
then one night
the mother creeps out
and behind the casuarina
digs a small sad hole
(Previously published in Centoria)
as I breast-fed you I'd light
a cigarette immersed
in my propped-up novel
busy talking with a friend
when you ran home from school
and I was stoned
the day you passed
your driving test
before you left
you tried to tell me why
but the TV was up too loud
believe me son
if you were here now
you'd have my full attention
(Previously published in Quadrant)
Aunt Dolly's doctor
prescribed a simple remedy
for her hiatus hernia
a small glass of port
half-an-hour before dinner
Dolly abhorring alcohol
took the wine like medicine
on a spoon
Her health improved
and soon a full bottle
was consumed daily
from a tablespoon
'three in the morning'
this house that is aging
leaves behind the daylight
lives in the moonlight
I stare at dim walls
lined with books,
pictures in timber frames
smell earth-odour of potatoes
forgotten in sour cupboards
and listen to the tap drip
leaving yellow bruise on porcelain.
I climb stairs,
carpet thin underfoot
and in the landing mirror
and smiles back at me.
I sit in my white still room
my world shrunk
to hum of far-off traffic and an odd lost car
screeching down my unlit lane.
I lie in my wide hard bed
while my pale ghost-dreams
like tired grey moths
flutter and fade away.
Only a fine gold clock
luminous in my dark cold life
warms my loneliness
ticks off the seconds
and keeps disorder at bay.
'Before the Interview'
Stiff and straight
in her new suit
in the polished chair,
hands clasped in waiting,
only the tilt of her head
her anxious thoughts
in any direction
at such a time
Dawn Bruce has had over 150 poems published in a variety of Australian magazines during the last few years. This year about forty of her poems have been published in e-zines. Apart from writing , Dawn enjoys all forms of Art, especially drawing,pottery and garden design. She is co-ordinator for a poetry and study group, Somerset Poets. They have had their first anthology, 'Outside Looking In', published in December, 2000.
I heard a cat bark like a fox
Yah! because the car's larger purr
didn't soothe her, locked in a cat-box
and the hitchhiker said I've got a snake
to eat my rats! For heavens sake.
I've heard a snake hiss like a man
I saw a goose sail like a bark
I heard a man wank like a goose---
The Aboriginal Cricketer
Good-looking young man
in your Crimean shirt
with your willow shield
up, as if to face spears,
you're inside their men's Law,
one church they do obey;
they'll remember you were here.
Keep fending off their casts.
Don't come out of character.
Like you they suspect
idiosyncrasy of witchcraft.
Above all, don't get out
too easily, and have to leave here
where all missiles are just leather
and come from one direction.
Keep it noble. Keep it light.
THESE POEMS WILL APPEAR IN, POEMS THE SIZE OF PHOTOGRAPHS, TO BE PUBLISHED EARLY IN 2002
and its gone.
A new girl at work
like a girlfriend
twenty years ago.
I try to talk
In three weeks
I turn fifty! In three weeks
I turn fifty!
That handful of gravel
The Green TV
She's got whiskers
a crater in her chest
near her left breast
and she's been brought here to die
lying in bed all day, being fed
every three hours
through a tube in her stomach
and being washed each morning.
She doesn't get many visitors
but her relatives have brought in
a television set with a faulty tube
so the picture it gives is green
green men reading the news
green men ponting at the weather
green Days of our Lives
green Oprah and Neighbours
and green footaballers
running around on the greenest grass
you've seen in your life.
Girl in a window
Wonderful first day of winter
scarf, leather coat and hat
and head off through windy parks
along the smooth swept shoulders of streets
and now lunch at this cafe, choose
the table outside, up against the glass
and here you are beside me
at your counter chewing
we share everything but sound
I see you handle your sandwich
- how wonderfully slim
your wrist and fingers are! -
tilt back your head
to drink from your coffee cup
and the backdrop of lunchers
while we wallow in each other's presence.
Come here again soon.
Maybe next week.
If you can make it.
Share your lunch, your life.
Let me watch you eat.
You dazzling sun
on this freezing day.
Warm me, paint yourself
across my eyes, my dear
my lovely, my love.
The Slowly Turning The never ending of the false starting the bitter pill always swallowing
The ever sharp of constant indifference the eye is threaded of the needle
The confusion reigns of the misspent youth the blow for blow no room for tears
The long white gown pacing, baby crying the tick for tock barely two o'clock
The sleepless tides of a young child's frowns the nights return to haunt his days
The dim rejoinder of a cool cool feminine the fear of love such a lonely place
The cruel reminder of the once sweet memory the tooth for tooth of Gideon's bible
The insufficient of the understanding the long long greying of a distant stare
Drawn From Memory
My words are tigers
caged in ciphers
Your palette of colour
seven shades of pale
The stab of my pen
lies bleeding again
The twist of your gilded frame
puts Picasso to shame
The ink running in full flow
suffering, is my woman of woe
And I see you have washed your canvas
in some arcane caress
While the cross word, like a crossed sword
finds its mark, cryptic and bored
As you sketch one face, etch another
the sad semblance of a smile
My story in its stinging tale
raw emotions never fail
You think of line, depth, charcoal and ashes
your passions abstracting your life's crashes
As the story writhes into climax, sensual
the heroine writ inconsequential
You, your picture, is it framed . . .
all life's mysteries tamed?
And the writer, I have written
all my tigers are set free
And the artist has painted meanings
between the strokes of her rhyme
Ah, as the painter traps the fable-maker
and all his words lie lost in the dust
I will tell your story in passages
of sweet adoration
Long since out of fashion
as if drawn from memory.
A primeval tank
designed to crush the lower rank
in nature's wars.
Jet-black and shiny
with awesome power
he plods along each hour on hour
with never a faint metallic squeal
from his neatly-folded plates of steel
protecting hidden wings of gossamer pink.
He stops within an eyelid blink
to transmit or decode mysterious orders
- perhaps about hostile marauders.
"Testing mandibles! Testing mandibles!"
The front-turret feelers oscillate
as battle-field orders penetrate
deep inside the war zone.
the insect ordnance lumbers on
The man had chosen to stand by me when
all had whispered and turned their heads to one side
with the beasts and the strong-scented dark
with my body determined on birth
he may have said one word
but it was not the one craved
and it seemed like forever
trapped between the peaks and troughs of pain
seemed like forever
the beasts shuffling and turning
at the sounds that came from my mouth
and my heart could only hear
"daughter, what man what man would
dare believe one word of such blasphemy"
And everyone said, "Joseph belies his name
no dreamer but a man, a man for our time, of few
words and those feet will never leave the earth"
but he did come
and by some miracle
not alone but
with the innkeeper's wife
They brought light and she was laughing
at him and his hands that drew cares in the air
"Come on now. I'll see to your wife.
No need to worry. She'll be fine.
By goodness she's just a girl herself
and all alone and it's your first
I've had twelve Six still with us
God be praised."
After many stretched hours she left me
and the baby went to Joseph
I could hear her voice never his
"You're a father. And did you hear that cry?
What a voice. He'll be a maker of speeches
Oh for sure it's a boy. Both fine and well
Come in meet your son"
He came stood
I looked up for his eyes
my body already shrinking from
no not my son
but he kept to silence
She fussed over us
fussed over the baby
and when at last she had clucked away
taking the light with her
one hand freed itself made
a tiny step towards him
His hand, worked planed, closed
over mine and he reached out
with the other to the child
Small fingers each
complete and whole curled a-
round one of his
and the grip held
who had made the long journey
whispered, "He's so beautiful
God has given us a son"
Old words made new that night
and the silence held the word
holding all words as
waves crossing a dark sea
for Christine Hearty
In Ireland my uncle's strawberries
drank the dregs
of the beer
he'd say over their tiny wild heads
and redheads he'd say
are my blondes
And it was not until he was dead
(the pub sold to the family in town
who kept changing their name
for several good reasons)
that I discovered the berries
were bought from the man
who came in the van
and sprinkled at night in the patch
where we kneeled in the mornings
squealing and 'picking'
I think of him now with a strawberry mind:
that slip into tang
of a heartshaped fruit
the colour of lovers - reminder
the beautiful blemish!
What a wonderful way to mark me!
Yellow Rose (Rescued & Renamed)
for Tricia Dearborn
Backyard under the yellowest sun
pegging washing when my name
changed to one that perfectly described
me as I stood bare-armed and warm
on my legs in that moment. A bird
with a crest sang in double entendre
of butterflies leaving their mates
on the passion vine and a cat made
a comma of its claw in a long black
sentence of insects written over the
step. History then exhorted me to
relax so I sat with the hose in my hand
and sprinkled the garden its much-
travelled tears. It was then I imagined
the rose - a butter-cone on this lush
green table of grass and spread the idea
before my mind as if space was my
heart and the flower an object within
it. Creatures such as this of course
are better without breath or planting
for suspended in vision they know
what waits in eden for imperfect
life and understand to perfection
what comes at the end of a question.
for Penelope Pether
The woman's white skin
opened white to me
when she removed her shirt
by the window
and the window gave the world to her eyes, but silently
for the window could not speak
Could it not speak?
Sshh!! It whispers the pearblossom
Small swans lost
on the tree-filled air and Yes!
it moans the tree
in its river of wind over leaf and pear
and she puts to her lips the edge of her blouse
and runs on her tongue the length of the day
and the day in her mouth is a soft-filled din -
on the cupboard the clock; in her tongue the blood
and the words in the book on the bed that say:
Fruit finds its flavour in the beaks of birds
and the pear presaged by the scent in your nose
grows only to lie by your breasts,
only those! Oh,
naked woman in your loose skirt sitting sewing
lie with your diamond hands holding me!
Right now spit out that button -
and set this seed to growing!
I would like a word with you
"Touch my eyes with your tongue, cure me
of the plainness of my mind." PeterPorter
Too many verbs get in the way.
I'd sooner pass them on the road
to florid, scented adjectives.
Or pass them on the way to nouns
which pulsate like two stroke engines
pulling entire forests in their wake.
Sure verbal action is all the go
but bright adjectives
in pretty, patterned patter
surely they count too.
And one had better
take account of the system, sister.
Yes, I am talking to you, sister,
in a whisper of devoted decoration
and plain talk too -
not trim, trim, trim
the edges of a luxurious lawn
with its dreaming ambitions
to become a forest.
My words, because they are meant for you
and aimed straight for your heart
are serious arrows.
Don't try crying transparent tears.
You must bleed.
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