Who has written these poems ?
as I browse through the pages
of this commonplace book.
I have neglected to name their authors.
There’s one about
Tennessee Fainting Goats
which calls to mind
my ‘Cows in a Paddock’ ;
another about women in a junkshop staring through a window
at the rain
‘where a taxi as yellow as a forsythia
is turning a corner’,
and a snippet about snow over Xmas and New Year
hanging around long after
‘like the drunk at the bar
who needs to go home’
Could any of these be mine?
But the one about the fortune cookie is Ed’s.
It’s got his mark all over it.
But the others? I just don’t know.
Could I be that good?
I don’t think so.
She loves the word ‘petrichor’
She fondles it like a pet dragon.
She repeats it during meals
The next morning.
What’s that word again.
I tell her.
Her eyes gleam .
That pet dragon look.
I never knew one could love
a word so much.
*are there particular words you love, just for their sound, their strangeness?
- pic by deviant art o pinterest
I remember the poem Beth wrote
about the 31 cents
from Hillman Bailey 111’s open desk
in primary school
and how she made up for it
over half a lifetime later
by leaving change —31c — at the checkout
for the next person to have who might have had a child
who wanted candy
and I thought , yes!!!
that is what I will do with the $250
a children’s literary magzine owes me
for the reprint of four poems
from the early 2000’s.
i can’t be bothered filling out all the forms
so I told them to donate it to a charity
so it goes back into the universe
where my poems came from anyway
Iron Man isn’t up to it today.
You can tell by the way he slopes around
in his baggy shorts and tee
dazed like he’s been smoking weed.
He dawdles a lot between reps.
Guzzles the urine coloured liquid to replace the energy he hasn’t used.
Plays with the machines like a cat with a mouse.
Jabbers at Stella how she isn’t doing it right,
to anyone really with a loose ear.
Truly he is more motor-mouth than Iron Man.
You are the gin
in gin ‘n’ tonic,
bundy and coke;
the abracadabra that transforms,
the fruity little pellets
zest and zing
that put the sing
in snap, crackle, ‘n’ pop,
feisty little metaphors
that needs to lift its lid
let out its Id
roll like a dog
the muck and merriment
Hosannas to sultanas.
*pic courtesy of pinterest
I was talking to my rarely glimpsed neighbour who was out the front raking the leaves.
We chewed the fat for a while
and then I asked him about Gus, his elderly Jack Russel.
He doesn’t annoy you. does he? he asked.
Not at all, I said. I’m a dog person.
Well, he annoys the hell out of me, he said. The other day he was barking at the dining room wall and wouldn’t stop. There was nothing there.
Apparently, they see ghosts, I said. Even in the dark.
He stopped raking.
Or he has dementia? He offered.
Wow! I said. That would open a can of worms. Think how many documented ghost sightings could be put down to dementia.
People don’t bark at walls, he said.
Not even in they’re barking mad ? I asked.
We both laughed uneasily.
Inside, the dog began barking again.
Your canal’s very narrow, he says.
Yes, like the Thai tunnel cave divers had to negotiate to get those boys out. Not much sound can get through. There are no cave divers small enough to help it along.
Like that film in the sixties? I say.
Which film is that?
‘Fantastic Voyage’, where a submarine crew are shrunk to microscopic size and injected into the bloodstream of a scientist to repair his brain.
Can’t help you there, he says.
Is it hereditary then?
Quite possible. The left auditory canal is quite large. Can carry a lot of sound.
Maybe that’s why I lean a little to the left, I say.
Politically? he asks.
No, doc. When I walk.
- pic courtesy of Pinterest
The honeysuckle bush out the back can wait.
I mean, how much more fecund
can one plant get
in 24 hours?
But my sister can’t.
She’s in ICU.
But I need to pick up her walker first
in the maze of streets her house is tucked into.
I just hope the German Shepherds are under control this time.
I’m ravenous but that will have to wait.
the toilet call can’t.
And when I get to the hospital I’ve got to find a park
somewhere in the surrounding street and not get lost again.
My equanimity scrambled like eggs.
So many things to accommodate.
That stobie pole like a Good Friday cross.
Then there’s the vertical coffin-shaped box I have to squeeze into
to get to ICU.
One monster at a time.
A fog comes down between you and the world.
Words have to scramble through.
A dog’s breakfast of sounds.
Turning the volume up on the TV only increases the blur.
Why does one sense desert you when others
Every now and then yr ears pop
and the world of sounds : leaf blowers.
crows caw, the Harley revving up
across the road, the postman’s whistle,
comes rushing at you with all its
clarity and clangor.
Look at him now
bug-eyed with happiness
evergreen with the springtime
Remember him bleached & wilting
on that park bench by the bull-rushes?
Well, look who just turned up.
His life is on an upswing.
Whoopee, he says,
as he goes higher and higher,
his love looking on.