Rain

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For nights and nights and nights I lay on my pillow, worrying, listening to the rain, even though the skies were clear and starlit and the moon shone through my window like a lantern and I wondered what else I was hearing that wasn’t there or not hearing that was until one day I had my ears syringed with warm water and the wax flowed out in little honey-coloured clumps into a dish the nurse held for me and I no longer heard it rain except when it did.

Runt

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“Bugger”, says Scruff. “Bugger”.

He’s back to his old intemperate self.

“What’s got your goat now?” I say.

“How am I supposed to get to the top branch now?? You know how I love the top branch. Someone took the tall ladder away and replaced it with THAT RUNT!!”

His wing is pointing at the little ladder against the weeping myrtle.

“Excuse me,” I say, “but you can’t expect the gardener to consult with magpies every time he shifts a ladder.”

Scruffy has that evil look in his eye.

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“Besides”, I add, “has anyone ever pointed out those two appendages, one on each side of your body? They can get you places.”

“Sarcastic snob!” he snaps. “I use them all the time like you your legs. Aches and pains. I prefer to hop up rungs.”

“Have it your own way,” I say, but my heart goes out to him all the same. “I know what you mean,” I add. “I’ll speak to the gardener.”

I notice a little spring in his hop.

On Cannibalism

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Montaigne wrote an essay on Cannibalism

But he was not thinking of the literary kind.

Lately, having been ravaged by an uncontrollable

Hunger for poems to post, I have begun feasting

On a number of my haiku, being both salubrious

& delicious, not to mention efficacious. No one else’s

poems were hurt during the making of this poem.

The proof, they say, is in the pudding, which

I will set out before you to decide whether

Such a practice should occasionally be condoned.

 

 

At the Physio: A Humerus Poem

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As soon as you walk in you see them paraded

along the walls

exemplars of Beauty and Strength:

Warnie unleashing a leg spinner,

Its eye on middle stump, Krygios rocketing another ball

past his opponent,

Thorpie diving into glory,

even one of cane growers in Queensland,

big blocky blokes in blue singlets

bringing in the harvest;

of Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics.

But my humerus and hamstrings

were playing up.

On good days

I can do almost anything, but

on bad ones I can barely put one foot in front

of the other, bounce a ball

let alone slam it down centre court

at 200 kph

and the only way I could get in a pool is to fall in it.

The Perverse Mathematics of Anxiety

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Something niggles you

All week

Like a nail

 

in yr shoe

And you put up with it

That’s what

 

You do.

And then it’s all over

In two minutes

 

Flat

and you wonder

hey! why did I

 

Ever worry that?

But listen up! here’s

the sting:

 

The very thing

You gave no thought

to at all

 

burdens you all week

like an extra ball

in yr pants.

 

Life is brief.

Loosen up. Don’t worry.

Dance

Cake

icake

It simply is not true.

You can’t eat your cake

And have it too.

I tried it once.

It does not work.

Someone always ends up hurt.

 

Take a slice maybe two.

Leave some for others too.

And if the cake

is truly sound.

There should be enough

To go around.

What Happened Out There, Out in the Garden?

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Stephanie was out in the garden, chasing chooks out of the vegetable patch. She was some way from us, out on the back porch, so I was surprised that she responded to something I said.

“Yes. I remember when …” and then her voice seemed to get swallowed up.

”What’s that?” I said.

But she stood there helplessly waving her hands as if signalling to us to disregard what she had to say and to carry on our conversation. We did and when my friend left, Stephanie came over and sat beside me.

“What happened out there?” I asked. “Out in the garden?”

“What I was about to say got swallowed up,” she said.

“Like in a sinkhole?” I said. They had been in the news lately.

“Like in a sinkhole.”

“It’s all right,” I said. “Tell me when you remember.”

Bar Room Brawl

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You had to fore warn people.

It was not a good look.

Scabs and bruises on the upper lip

Sores on the nose

So you said, “bar room brawl”

Half jokingly, “but you should have seen

The other fellow.”

It was more dramatic, more grunge-romantic

Than humdrum “cold sores.”

Zombie

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A good book is like a good fire. You warm to it. It glows for you. When you’re not with it, out in the world, in the cold cross currents of life, you long to get back to it. It is self sustaining like good food or drink. I always like to come home at night and cuddle up with a good book.

‘Zombie’ and ‘Motherlode’, two short stories by Thomas McGuane are what I’m into now. That I’ve read them twice before doesn’t matter. They give off warmth and comfort. ‘TEOTFW’ by Charles Forsman is a short graphic novel that gives out the furious energy of a blazing fire.

 

Which books have you read that do this?

Green Gazebo #4

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We sat beneath the green gazebo

Just me, myself and my mate Zero

No chances had come our way

We had nothing much to say

But our hearts were big and bold as Rio

One day, we dreamt, we’d all be heroes

 

[ apologies to David Bowie ]