Friday, 15 December 2017

wise little prophets:


The tree expects bananas,
the bulge at the crown

proudly born as any wife in her
yellow chiffon, maternity gown.

I didn’t but there they hang,
a quartet of proofs
that the climate has changed.

This is Melbourne
tropical fruit does not grow
this far below the imaginary line

yet they are there still,
each a yellow smile,
a grin at man;

as the tongue-shaped
banana leaves whisper,

“I’ll be here long after
you’ve been and gone mister.”

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

next year, perhaps...


The apricots were bursting,
the tree, in its second year, bowed,
as if the gods were passing,
under the weight of tiny gold and orange suns —
the expanding universe fathomed
in the corner of a suburban backyard.

Then rain came, unseasonal, violent;
my watering mouth dried
as I watched those golden orbs
suffer in the rain, their bright fires
extinguished and they fell
one by one, rotting and useless…

This is how the universe ends —
with stars falling
into the rich loam of missed opportunities.

before too long:


Today I cut five zucchinis
off the plant before they grew too large,
I still had three in the fridge
so I placed the five
in a crisp, white plastic bag,
delivered them washed and still wet
to my neighbour on the right —

it is best to pick zucchini small
otherwise they pillage all goodness
and lose their succulent edge.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Time travel in the garden, by the compost:


In this slice of soil,
balanced in the spade
held near its blade
by my right hand,
tiny worms wriggle;
vampires exposed to light.

The dirt is moist
wood broken down, leaves and refuse too,
everything decomposed, made new;
ready for the seed to find sympathy with the moon,
shatter the shell, let loose a tendril,
open two petals; solar panels
long before we built a road or a city.

This afternoon, as the sun
hung so low the edge of the world
caught fire, I fill
two large pots; ready
for two olive trees.

I can taste the sea already and imagine
ancient Greece, goat’s cheese
and baked bread; the warrior
on his haunches chews
and swallows before the walls of Troy.

Greek and Trojan bodies
become soil, end differences
unassailable when they breathed.

Worms come to feast;
hidden in the dark
until the spade slides through years
and in my back-yard they wriggle;
I can taste the fruit
before the trees have been planted.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

second go at the poem - edit 30/11/2017


there are some places from which there is no coming back

I stood, hose in hand,
water pushing out the bronze nozzle,
catches the sunlight, sparkles,
a tail of hope; leaves that should
have been green and gently serrated,
instead bronzed and curled.

Crowning each branch, petals
that had never opened, defeated;
limp and browned, like hats
fallen over faces that frowned, forever
swallowing what colour
might have been presented.

Everything clutched inwards,
shrunken by the search for shadows
where none existed; on the burnt ground,
around its defeated trunk, leaves shed
before their time; each a story to tell,
each the same tale, defeat ruins everyone.


Wednesday, 29 November 2017

I wanted to save it:


Leaves that should have been
green and gently serrated, instead
bronzed and curled.

Crowning each branch,
petals that had never opened, defeated;
limp and brown, like hats
fallen over faces that frowned.
Darkness forever swallowing what colour
might have been presented.

It had shrunk in
on itself, as if it searched
for shadows within.

On the burnt ground
around its defeated trunk,
leaves shed before their time;
each a story to tell,
each the same tale,
defeat ruins everyone.

I stood, hose in hand,
water pushing out in a tail
of hope;

too late,
there are some places
from which there is no coming back.


Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Minotaur dreams:

The Minotaur saw his many-mirrored reflection
in the sweat-beads gathered on the foreheads
of girls who fed him; cried out to his Father  
not knowing if it was to the King Minos
or the god-bull his pleas flew towards.

Each morning the guards reported to Minos
his nightly pleas and the witnessed torment
as they girls drew close and fed him.
They noted his horns bent towards the girls
as if their tips hungered for the touch of flesh.

Each girl attained the moment when she could resist
no longer; liquefied fear, like lava, carried her
onto his horns; the still breathing, bloody body
then dragged to the King’s bed, mute and vacant,
ruined for a second time, sent home in a casket.

The monster was blamed for each maiden’s death,
so the Minotaur’s legend grew, the monster oblivious
of his crimes, unaware his name filled the ears of children;
he remained deep underground, dreamed of light, of air
and the feel of a grass stem chewed between his lips.