Have you ever noticed how placid an ad becomes
when you put a cow in it?
Farmers too when they milk?
All my good ideas came to me while I was milking a cow,
the American painter Grant Wood
Have you ever noticed how much more pleasant
‘The Farmer Wants a Wife’ is
compared to the bitchy, sniping
‘Married At First Sight’?
We should all pat a cow in the morning, hug a tree
if we are to start the day right.
Riot-prone areas, prisons too should be equipped with cows
their melodious moos
soothing the seething masses.
emblems of placidity
a state we aspire to in these troubled times.
My mother always warned me about loose women
to avoid them at all costs.
But what about loose lemons?
That’s a whole new ball game.
And I need one for my fish tonight.
Do I risk it?
And what about loose thoughts?
Isn’t that where creativity comes from,
thoughts that amble along like a jazz tune that’s lost its way?
I posted a poem last night about an invisible dog
that turned out to be a bit of a lemon.
Talking of which….
I’ll take one loose lemon, I say to the check-out girl,
and o, excuse the loose change.
There are no fairy tales in these Tower Blocks
No Rapunzel leaning from a window
to let down her golden hair
for some prince to climb up,
no balcony for a Juliet to stand on
and gaze out at her Romeo romancing her
no Dire Straits song to celebrate
no tower of hope and dreams
no clambering prince
only a vicious virus climbing
the tower walls
*pic courtesy of Wiki Commons
While I was sleeping
the nine towers rose
in my head
from the TV news
the night before;
They were nothing like
the Eiffel Tower
or the Burj Khalifa
not even the Tower of Babel
though their residents spoke
in a multitude of tongues,
Instead they were the nine
po-faced Tower Blocks of Melbourne
ringed by police
like a besieging army
in ‘hard lockdown’:
a term we had never heard before.
They looked more like the Grenfell Towers
though the fires consuming them
were a virus and fear
Nice bag, she says as I place it on the chemist’s counter.
Thank you, I say.
Yes, she says, admiring it.
Not likely to topple over.
A bit like me, on a good day, I reply
She smiles, the sort of smile that says, I better humour this guy, he might be dangerous.
You have the attention span,
of a gnat.
I thought [briefly]
not the book;
not the CD;
a movement not
the whole symphony;
the single poem—
a story won’t do—
especially if short
Try this, that.
says the gnat.
You don’t know what’s coming down the pike.
No one does.
Covid-19 showed that.
Now there are rumours of something else.
It doesn’t have a face or name
but the word ‘China’ is often invoked.
But no one knows.
But something is coming.
You can see its shadow.
Hear its footsteps.
Feel it breathing down yr neck.
And I feel like the poet Mark Strand
who always saw something coming down the pike
which is why he always slept, he says,
with one eye open.