The Loves of My Life


 
I love
Peroni pint glasses
Ohio
Blue Tip Matches
& the waifs of light
the sky at sunset snatches
 
I love a cutting comment
but not at my expense
I love Jabberwocky
though it doesn’t make
much sense
 
I love the nonchalance
of cats
who’ve mastered
the art
of just getting on with it
& not giving a fart
 
I love the lilt & lift
of ‘a brown-eyed girl’,
the ballet of a kite
& how we enter
the world
in a rush of light.
 
*what things do you love?

If you go looking for me

If you go looking for me sometime after dark

I’m out with my flashlight, hunting for a snark,

a perfect metaphor for an imperfect poem

so I can bag it briskly and bring it home,

a perfect metaphor, so rare and so apt

that captures the mood, the Magnificat

of the vision splendid I hope to impart,

the perfect, perfect metaphor somewhere in the dark.

Love on the Wing

When I was a kid I used to wander down the park and watch dragonflies flitter over the pond like tiny, restless angels.

Later I wanted to write poems about them the way Monet would go down to his garden at Giverny to paint water lilies.

The only difference is that water lilies stay still. They don’t dash and dart about the pond at 100 ks an hour. Even when they have sex they’re on the go, coupling like planes fuelling mid- flight.

I almost got one once when a dragonfly dawdled on the front doorknob one drowsy afternoon, after summer rains, then saw me and took off, its gossamer wings flashing rainbows.

Perhaps I should turn like Monet to waterlilies. He got 250 paintings out of them. I haven’t got one poem though I reckon I’ve made 250 trips. [ pic by loriedarlin on pinterest ]

Shambala

Shambala
 
I like to stand beneath the stars
on the road to Shambala
wild, dishevelled, totally free
pissing ‘neath the lemon tree.
 
There is no more pleasing sound
than someone piddling on the ground,
wide eyed, loose, totally free
like a surfer in the sea.
 
I held a star in my hand
Immediately I could understand
how beautiful you truly are.
on the path to Shambala.
 
 
 

A Magnificent Lockdown

I almost tread on this fuzzy little chap on the sidewalk, out for a stroll, soaking up the mid-winter sun.

How’s it hanging? he asks.

Oh , you know; not bad.

He looks up. You out of lockdown yet?

Almost, I say, one day to go but we’re allowed to walk. How about you?

I’m about to enter the biggest lockdown of all, he says in a tone half way between excitement and trepidation.

Wow! I say. Really?

Yes, he says, metamorphosis. You heard of it?

Why, yes. It sounds magical.

Up to 14 days, he says. No food. No visitations. Reckon you could handle it?

If I could turn into something light, winged and beautiful, like a butterfly, I’d give it a go.

You humans can’t have everything, you know.

I nod my head sagely.

True, I say, true. Well, anyway, have a good …. metamorphosis, and off he trundles on his way, giving me the thumbs up, a tricky thing for a caterpillar. Such a clever chap.

Spent

Now it is spent and lying limp

and placid at my feet —

a contentment of inky blue

but the other day if you

could have seen it bucking

with energy , flailing its

wild hair and arching its back

[ sea mountains surfers abseiled

down ] you would not have been

surprised to see it thrust

its loins again and again against

the soft white dunes nor after

to see the body of the foreshore

bruised and torn nor its rump

so foam wracked .

pic by Lachlan-Ross on Pexels

His Arms Were a Graphic Novel

It wasn’t the person from Porlock; it was my aunt

Who got on the bus, brought my poem to an end.

My notebook slumped on my lap as she told me

The long sad story of a friend.





When she got off I had my chance but this young bloke

Sat next to me, iPod blaring, hair swooped back.

It was the White Stripes live from Splendour.

How could I not listen ? It was Meg and Jack.





But then a cross-eyed biker got on, hair in a rat’s tail,

Skin graffitied with tatts. How could I not look?

His arms a graphic novel. Then a woman got on

Shouting into her mobile, angry as ‘The Angry Book’.





The sad sack on the other end was out for the count.

Luckily Coleridge didn’t board this bus

while he was dreaming ‘Kubla Khan’. He wouldn’t

have written a word. The poem would be dust.





  • picture courtesy of Pinterest by TheTatt

Okay, I looked but I didn’t stare

On a road trip the other day

we got talking about birth defects you don’t see

any more

like hunchbacks, birth marks, cleft palates

though Simon

whose father was Lord Mayor of Mars had one

and spoke with a lisp.

Then at this café in the mountains

we were served

by a barista

with a raspberry stain on his left cheek

the shape of Africa.

Is that a birth mark, I asked him. We were just talking about them.

Yes, it is, he smiled.

It was just another feature on his face, like his nose.

or a mole

It was nothing special.

Yet it had a strange sort of beauty.

He poured me the greatest cup of coffee.

I was glad that I had asked him, that I didn’t wuss out.

It’s okay to be curious.

Ambush

Whenever I come across you, you light me up.

You are

Helen of Troy,

Layla,

that host of golden daffodils Wordsworth came across in the field,

I drop everything,

reach for my ruler, my pen and underline you

firmly and lovingly with indelible pink:

you are the amazing phrase,

the freshest of images,

the startling sentence,

the delightful ambush hidden in my reading.

pic courtesy of Unsplash by Alexander Krivitskly

A Thing of Beauty

Five skips in a row

is a thing

of beauty

says

Nik

in ‘Wakefield’

referring to skimming a flat rock

across the smooth

surface of a lake;

so too

is that bamboo toothbrush

I used this morning

light as those balsa wood gliders

I flew as a kid

over the paddocks

behind the school;

and those opening chords of ‘Sugar, Sugar’

like being tasered

by God





+pic courtesy of Wikipedia