Between the Flags

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Two more drownings down at the Bay.

‘Swim between the flags’, lifesavers say.

Live between the flags, and you play it safe

But against such restrictions, the spirit chafes.

‘Don’t Drink Too Much’, ‘Gamble Responsibly’

‘Wear seat belts, bike helmets, drive responsibly.’

‘Don’t Smoke, Do Drugs’, the flags hem us in

& we’re scared little children, there seems to be no end.

‘Doctors won’t prescribe benzo- diazapines

Or other drugs of dependence’, and please no codeine.

‘Don’t Talk To strangers’, Be careful Online.

Swim between the flags and you’ll be just fine.

 

 

Dodging the Bullet

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So far I’ve dodged the bullet

The Damoclean sword

But I know it’s coming for me.

I have its word.

 

It’s waiting in the rafters.

It’s waiting in the pews.

It has interminable patience

& that is not good news.

 

It knows my area of weakness

My Achilles heel.

It’s waiting for me to slip up.

It knows I will.

 

It will not be beaten.

It will not be assuaged.

I open the door tentatively.

It maybe in the yard.

Unstable Cliffs

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Unstable Cliffs, the sign read. Extreme Danger. Stay Clear.

And I thought of the unstable Cliffs I had known:

The deputy that barked at me when I called in sick,

My cousin’s boyfriend who punched holes in the wall

Whenever he was denied,

And the glue-sniffing Cliff I taught in Year 11 who fell asleep

On the tracks and was run over by a train.

They should have come with warnings too.

Trouble

 

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I can hear trouble brewing

I can hear it in the leaves

I can hear it in the murmur

Of the apocalyptic bees

 

I can hear trouble brewing

I can hear it in the traffic

I can hear trouble brewing

I try not to panic

 

I can hear it in the boondocks

I can hear it in the city

Whatever it is it’s coming

It’s not going to be pretty

 

Now I hear it knocking

Insistently at the door

I pull down the shades

I’m not home anymore

 

But the postman’s shrill whistle

Warns me it is done

Whatever it is has found me

In the mailbox under the sun