poetry

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

fingernails

In the 3.30am

wake to the lurch of

oh no

drinking again

lacerations and sharp cuts

hatred and harm

half asleep

haven’t

don’t do that any more

old habits

the gut of fear

try to make good

fingernails flayed raw

fault lines begin

deep

where the mouth worries

spoiling each side

it’s raining

and blowing

spinning through grey air

not sure

we’re in Kansas anymore

 

Image: cyclone scene from The Wizard of Oz stolen from https://www.ifc.com/2009/08/movie-tornadoes

these waves

these waves

stacked like trays

in the corner of Vinnes

a mess of levels

all over the place

and whoever said

liquid is flat

a plane of rock

like a jewellery box

glory spots, lots of treasure pools

the smooth grace of sea

draws up her skirt

gathers into a bastion

of Prussian blue and

as wind stipples the topfoam

back in a cockatoo crest

and the rest

tips forward

crashes on and over

those uneven shelves, the

cutlery drawer

of my coastal shore.

elephant-hide stone, I hop

from plane to plane and feel

brave

like the water could

engulf me

at any stage but of course

I’m safe

not near enough the edge

prefer to watch

put my mind

in the boiling blueturquoisewhite

cauldron and thrill

to the thought of

how I’d die, cold and afraid

while a cormorant

slips oilsmooth

quicksilver, alive in the place

that would surely be

my grave

 

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Finally recorded one!

Link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/these-waves