On Reading Carolyn

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All week I have been reading Carolyn,

Her chapbook of twenty poems focused

on one anatomical feature — the ankle.

 

How could anyone do that? I wondered.

Breasts, yes, the penis, body parts

with a sexual agenda. But the ankle?

 

I read on. Carolyn fractured hers

recently in a fall so that provided the bones

of the material.

 

Wonderful, warm, poems,

inventive and insightful that trace her

journey towards wellness.

 

My favourite?

‘Zero Weight Bear’ with its zen-like title and

witty word-play. ‘Gravity Sucks’ runs a gamut

of emotions but ends like the collection itself

on an optimistic note.

 

  • books can be purchased through the publisher: Ginninderra Press

The Slippery Other Side

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We came to a fork in the road.

Damn! Which way? Daz asked..

I don’t know, I said.

Never mind, he said. Hang on.

Daz wanted to hoon the car and revved up over a spoon drain.

We went flying over the slippery other side and jack-knifed

Into a guard barrier.

Damn! Said Daz. Damn!

That Green Day song about another fork in the road

playing in my head

 

  • pic by Oliver Roos from Unsplash

 

Still Waters

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Still waters run deep, his mum said

What did she know?. He took the plunge anyway

Swept up in its flow.

Emerged twenty years later,

Three kids, a mortgage, wife in tow.

Was it worth it?

Hell, yeh. Wished he could have let her know.

 

* photo from pexels.com by Gabor Coyamo

 

Off With the Fairies

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Where’s Uncle Midge? I asked

one sunny afternoon.

He’s off with the fairies again, aunty said

Then quickly changed the topic.

Off with the fairies? How did aunty know?

Did he leave a note saying he’d be back

By so and so a time?

It was hard to imagine Uncle frolicking with the fairies

if that is what

One does when one is ‘off with them’.

He seemed too weighty and substantial for that.

And anyway where was he off to?

Where does one go when one is ‘off with the fairies’?

I looked out the lounge room window out

To the backyard where uncle often used to wander

But there was nothing — only a pair

Of garden gnomes who seemed to be smiling

As if they had seen something.

Ark

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Once it carried five

of us

and two pets

towards a bright new future

but it was anything but

plain sailing

 

with a son who rocked

the boat

a daughter who kept throwing

herself overboard

and a younger afraid to put

her head out

in the storm

gathering hard above us

 

but the dove came back telling us

things had eased

 a shaft of sunlight spotlighting

our position :

our son had found calm

the elder daughter steadfastness

the younger courage

 

now it’s just us

sailing ahead

my wife and I ,

a pair as God

commanded .

Tip-Toe Heart

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I take my beanie off to Job,

That Biblical figure who had

The patience of a glacier.

Me, I have the patience of a gnat.

I roller-derby my way through life

With predictable results.

Maybe it’s time I calmed my farm

trod quietly through each day,

Just me and my tip-toe heart.

The Last Farewell

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I thought I’d sit down with it

Knock back a few beers

Chew the cud of all those years

But I couldn’t get into it

I couldn’t be bothered

I just wanted to get out

No tears, no recriminations,

Start a new life

Go on perhaps my last adventure

A modest one but still.

The blossoms were out

And so was I.

I wasn’t over the hill

Yet.

When people down the track

Ask me, how was it?

I’ll say, read this poem.

This is how it was.