Compared with my true patriotism, the imperialism of my legs and bowels, the suzerainty of my eyes, grave hemispheric rulings of the wide Porterian Peace, my love of country is a pallid passion. So when they say we’ve dwindled to a Third Class Power, a Banana Republic without a decent satellite to spy from, I recall those old inheritors of fear, dirt, sickness, snot and rickets who crawled out of their burrows to hail Ladysmith’s Relief and bray the victories of their rulers on air they couldn’t warm. Let us therefore handle the word ‘great’ with circumspection. It fits Blake […]
Like a walking footnote to amuse or a laugh going backwards up the arms silly ideas slip into the mud aided by a well timed combination of kicks & punches. We invent the fruit salad quiche only to eat it. Dammit, writing another standard letter — this creating records of records as fruitless as it seems, keeps the world working. But I have drifted with my gaze to the glare of an afternoon hotel & cheerful children drinking in the sun, after school. SK Kelen, is an Australian poet and educator.
Someone is walking at the back of my head. The long black legs, Anna your hands’ sallow grace as you speak or smoke, the fluttering anorexic trails between us; glances — polished wide-angle shots along a wall. We look at each other sideways, the abstract frames. Music: it’s both director and audience — knits our rhetoric. You talk about lovers, of the friend who one night, walked off The Gap. The labyrinth of your life is laid out in your face your eyes two blue spiders. I could take their thread and arrive back at the place where Rimbaud […]
Midlife stalled, I look for women. Where are they, my mothers and sisters? I listen for their voices in poems, Help me. I’ve fallen asleep, fallen With sleepers. These women have murdered Themselves, violent, wrenched from home. Grandmother was barren. She died. Tubes in nose and green shanky arm, Hair yellow, a dirty dye, patches Like fungus on a stricken pine. I read terrible stories — Hate, rage, futilities of will — And look for women, the small Sufficient swans, showers of stars.
Roses, the single scarlet sort, open at the throat as if for coolness, sprawl at the window; you heap on my plate a pile of potatoes, steaming and small, smelling of mint. ‘They’re basic’ you say, as we go at them lustfully, ‘they grow by the door; you have to chase meat’ — and I notice a certain vegetable poise, not striated, like the fibrous deposits of a more strenuous growing, but smooth, opaque; placid testimony to the sufficiency of flesh. ‘Of course you do have to hunt —’ I say, thinking of hopeful burrowings in the soil, wresting […]
Wanted some good moments. Some hot times, Some sharp things that I couldn’t, forget. Hotter than life to feel like that. Something great. And proud. More or less like that. No small time low down. No just so and so. I was after bull’s eye. And perfect. So it couldn’t be more taut. That it was in the right spot. Want to be a star. Not the fourth girl in the back line of the chorus. But centre forward. Had enough playing half-back. Don’t, want to be half-back anymore. So I wanted to be right there in the front. And […]
Miriam in skinny grey with matching topknot hair-pin spined disappears like a wraith cat cutting corners on the castle’s back stair. Neither servant nor master accept the connection of her lineage. Perhaps she represents hair-breadth escape. The stirrer In the Cinderella corner overturns fires into the room laughs when the others run with buckets. Smouldering air agrees with her.
On the surface of the bay air quivers like a fish about to jump. On my pillow old tales & journeys, full of quiet despair. I hear you speaking and I hold your head so carefully, afraid how close you come. In my dream I hear you walking on the sleepless wharf, a bright fish hooked by the tiny sounds that night makes in the water. In your step there is some sureness of direction and some lightness that is quite beyond the world that we inhabit. The wharf that makes the bridge joins you wholly to some other place. […]
That is a sound Of Sunday night walking, Road-walking On cooling bitumen, Steps ringing clearer To my sheltered listening ear, With the whole curved sky To give back their echoes, A lifetime of echoes Of ringing articulate Centre-of-the-road Sunday night footsteps Under an echoing sky; And a sound of dogs barking, in air No longer of summer, Accompanying The solitary walker With a voice after all companionable, Even if protesting At the solitary walker going home Late on an autumn Sunday. Lyn Brown was born in 1918, lived in New South Wales, and has been writing and publishing since […]
Minjerriba was a giant in the sun
His green back coated with cyprus and gum.
Black child’s soft mouth atremble, Angry tears in innocent eyes. Agony in a mother’s heart. As they hear the white man’s lies. Black child is hurt, and puzzled, ‘But Mother loves you, Son’, she cries. But all a mother’s love can’t dry The tears in a black child’s eyes. Child grows older, and he’s off to school Mother waves her babe goodbye. Faltering smile upon her lips. But tears shine in her eyes. And there’s anger in a brother’s fists And shame in a father’s heart, That he sees his people suffer so. And a black child’s world falls apart. […]
III Live with the bones of private parting The propaganda is out and I am a wanderer in my own space a woman talking to herself under her umbrella You take my arm How you feel for me for us You point out the chestnuts They are wonderful I agree What will our words be in a context of five hundred years Stone Bridge I lean into a memory Time after time it has […]