Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Two Seats

Down the back of the house are two seats
made of simple wood and wrought iron, old
garden benches riding the slope of the yard.

In the late afternoon sun, now the trees
are bare, they proclaim their solidity and offer
sanctuary for an agitated soul. I settle,

shift about a bit, and my eye is drawn
to the pile of leaves under which Michael
is buried. His short, rambunctious life

disturbed the place for only three months
with a manic headlong rush of tails and claw
before his back was smashed on the road.

We put him in the ground and placed rocks
and crystals about the spot to remember
him by. A shrine to a flare.

Somehow, I’ve survived my own wildnesses,
and with the cancer scar healing I’m happy
to abjure public display and stay hidden.

I watch a currawong glide past the maple tree
soundlessly. The leaf carpet almost rustles
in the fading light. There’s a red streak in the sky.

24 May 2017


I’ve been raking slowly so my stitched arm
can ease its way back into use. The maple leaf
carpet covers the whole lower garden
with a red that leaks into brown. I pick up twigs
for kindling. Sitting to rest on the aged seat
angled awkwardly near the roses I gaze
through branches at the still hazy morning sky
and notice a parrot high in the tree. A slash
of green it quietly worries away at a leaf
or bud I can’t really see. As I watch
I see another one lower down
hard at its work, and think how you always
encounter these ones in pairs. Minutes pass
and then my eye is drawn to the very top again
where a third bird is hanging upside down
on the very end of the smallest of stems,
an avian acrobat curled in the air
with confident ease. Now I have three birds
and I sit with them till a breeze stirs
and they burst away with feathers flung at the sky.

I am not thinking of my arm when I rake on.

23 May 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Dishes

The dishes are stacked casually
in the rack by the window.
A breadboard
leans against the glass
and some plates and a frypan rest
like flat piled slate
at the base of a tor, falling
into a jumble of mugs and glasses.
A pair of scissors, open, stands guard
over cutlery dropped anyhow - the glint            
of tempered steel exposing a knife.
The dish brush is starting to look ragged.
Outside, after days of rain, the weather
is trying to lift. Inside, the ground
is shifting again.

I look at that knife

and remember its call

5 March 2017


I watched a video today
of a kitten and a bird
playing rough and tumble.

They rolled around, took swipes
at each other, backed off,
grappled fiercely.

They were intent, gentle,
and completely committed
to the game.

I had the sound turned down
and my back was aching
from sitting all morning.

I could hear the clock ticking.
When I looked up

the mist

was lifting

3 March 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Opera House

The city beams.

The great grey bridge throws its strutted frame into the sky,
leaning on blue, arching. It’s like a feathered weight hanging
above me, watching the milling throng around the Quay.
There’s always movement here. Ferries churn scummy water
as gangplanks slide into place and people surge ashore, trains
roar overhead, the low thrumming growl of a didgeridoo attracts
a crowd. There are briefcases and backpacks, suits and sandals.
A child runs at pigeons, a homeless woman shelters by a wall.

There’s a lone, jaunty toot piercing the air.

I’m walking in the sun, taking it all in. I’m working, today,
at the Opera House. Conducting a Playback performance.
I’m wearing my best jacket and trousers and carrying a briefcase.
We’ve done several of these shows and I’m well prepared.
Experienced, I know I can take it in my stride. This is my calling.
I catch a glimpse of those curved sails with their white tiles
and my heart leaps. I love this building. I love this city. Here I am,
I think, going to my work in my city - out in the world.

My heart swells as light glances off the water. I smile.

17 January 2017