poetry

Mothballs

 

sometimes remember Bondi

but the moments I’ve known

were in flats with bad circumstances

too much booze

or a car involved

phantom cigarettes

it can’t be the fires

the old smell of shared hallways

in run-down brick blocks

and the naphthalene of

grandparents’ blankets

with sea brine and

stale schooners, a scarred benchtop

we were there

remember?

it was only ever one night

here and there

upstairs

in Bondi

 

Photo: Bondi Beach by Yang Xia on Unsplash

Aurora

 

remember emerald grass

and the hot sky zinging

above a field laid out

to the left of a train line

a cloth unfurled

that curls to a valley

steep-walled with bergs

feels like the bluegreen ocean

in that it’s hard to know

whether the strongest desire

is to be in it, or observe

back once again

emotions shot through with

brine-cool air from outside

the world full of birds

and vines across the window

like it’s been a hundred years

Christmas eve

bushfire smoke

sits in pits

of lungs flown

far away

the fight

still fluttering

ragged

animal fear

resides

human organs

overlaid

by today’s

hotgreen grass-smell

of primary school T-ball

in Lynden Park

can’t tell sometimes

sweat from tears from dew from bore water from

precious reservoir

can it be spared?

Saved?

Me? I am free

on knees

taller than trees:

to all of thee

Christmas merry x

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Grave Yard

Bushfire moon

an eye prickly with tired

in the night

things expire

by day

the sand’s a ribcage and

there’s always dead things on the beach

is it unusual?

Embarrassed, shy by my

disconnect

I do not know

I’ve been away

it takes a year but

didn’t ask

in case

no one has noticed and

I’m afraid

what that might mean

 

I didn’t set out to write a series of ‘bushfire’ poems but I guess I did and it seems appropriate for this time of year in NSW, Australia as we’re suffering some bad fires at present. Where I am is OK, we are safe, but there’s smoke in the air most days. 

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Spider season

in morning light

things look thin

like weak coffee and skim milk

it’s spring

Thursday

Halloween

snake season, a doorway

in between

with bushfire skies

edged dark, hazy

and the rain is

wrong, lazy

spiders make

no noise at all

this is how

we silence the small

 

Photo: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Two minutes to midnight

The night air is full of the sea
and it pours, thick
through the kitchen flyscreen
as poignant-melancholy music
rises to meet it like a wave
and I contemplate never drinking again

Watch Greta Thunberg on TV
fist-bump Obama and then
make an impassioned plea
her hair grown to Rapunzel length
that means
it’s been at least a year, please let her win

As the rain falls helpless, heavy here
in parched fields beyond
farmers cry drought-tears
and I see broken, unfixed water pipes
beside the train line I’m overwhelmed
by how little we care

 

Image: Pacifica Australis #3 – Tiger Nautilus Shell by Christopher Diaz (sculptures at Killalea). Photo: Claire Doble