I want to photograph the galahs
clowning on the bare limbs
of the Norfolk pines
but the buggers won’t keep still
racing around like particles
inside a Hadron Collider.
Just as you line up a couple
They’d be elsewhere.
All I needed was a panoramic shot
But then they’d be off
Across the river, raucous as a footy crowd..
Better off snapping flowers,
Can someone feel like a car?
A burnt out car?
That’s how he feels at the moment.
Run down. Abandoned. Torched.
Oh, he’s bit of a drama queen, he knows
But it helps if you’re a poet.
Conveyancers, Real Estate Agents, Bank Managers
& the endless decluttering.
He always wanted to be a minimalist
So now he is.
And that countdown. Prisoners on Death Row
Must feel it.
The drama queen again.
Less than three weeks now.
He better get on with it and stop blogging!
Perhaps I’m missing out, I thought, but the more he banged on about his lathes, routers and table saws, whipping out his mobile snaps of bench tops, bread boards, dodgy cricket bats and the blocky blokes around him in the Men’s Shed, I thought not and when he finally asked me what I did and I said chirpily, I write poetry, conversation shut down like a roller door.
.Look, she says. Look. There are two moons tonight. Do you think that means anything?
Like end times, you mean?
I don’t know, she says. It can’t be good.
We move closer. There they are above the rooftops, one higher and to the right of the other.
Someone in the ranch-style house switches the porch light on and joins us.
My ex-wife phoned, he says. She saw it too. She’s bit of a sky watcher.
So we stand there out the front as one then the other veer off in a north-easterly direction, silent and glowing as moons.
You shouldn’t have written that poem, he said.
That short one about brain tumors.
But I wrote it before her daughter …. I protested.
Doesn’t matter. She needn’t be reminded of it.
I can’t take it back. It’s out there now.
You didn’t have to give her the book the poem was in. Each time she reads it she’ll be reminded.
You could have pulled it, he said. It didn’t have to be there.
He was right. It didn’t. But it was a good poem. My editor said it had to go in. Anyway it wasn’t about Jess. It was written about a tumor I had seen in Scientific American, how beautiful it was, how like the wings of a butterfly unfurling into the hemispheres of the brain.
Are there subjects we should not write about?
I caught an intruder in my kitchen just now. He was trying to break into the wine bottle. Anybody who knows me knows this is an intolerable act. I pulled out my gun and immediately ordered him to put his hands up. Thankfully as this photo demonstrates he was compliant. Henceforth I will keep my wine under lock and key.