Saturday, 23 December 2017

Changing patterns:

Moisture on the glass,
frost on the grass
and smoke on the breath —
when I was young, feet
in the sub-zero morning
left footprints upon the lawn
 and my hands ached with the cold.

There was the time we found the sheet,
abandoned on the line overnight,
hard as cardboard —
mum gave it a whack with the wrong end
of a broom, the ice fell off
in a sudden burst of laughter.

Buses came late in winter,
pies were too hot at school
and in the afternoon, frozen,
I’d sit before the old briquette heater
hurriedly splicing kindling,
scrunching the newspaper, setting the fire to burn.

Now weather patterns are tamed
except in catastrophes, some days are summer,
then winter and back again;
plants bloom, turn to seed and flower over
as rain sweeps across, disappears
for weeks into months
and comes in flood
like an old man who forgets everything
until he remembers in a torrent of words.

We have caused the world to over-compensate,
I can see it in my garden —
everything adopts a haphazard approach,
falls in despair
then sprouts again with hope;

in the soil, worms gather, witches
around a cauldron, know no matter
the magic they weave
they cannot bring the time that was back.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Relentless weather:

Clouds gather, curious cows
push to the front…in the grey,
bright bursts of lightning,
father’s unexpected rage;
each anticipated and surprising.

Thunder stuck within the count;
each bared arm’s hair
mimicked a preying mantis;

rain fell…washer-women
dumped water on broken soil:

The garden,
that had wilted
suddenly found a jig,
leaf and twig
click their green heels…
a grave day survived.

Fallen fruit draws wasps,
lettuce quickly flowers,
tomatoes rot…

yet all will seed
for the sake of future possibility.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Garden construction:

The soil tilled, watered,
made fertile; each clump
a mouth waiting to be fed.

seeds scattered by hand
into the striving green dreams
of what they might become.

Structures decided upon, the where
and when; Goddess moon guides
from a sympathetic distance.

Stakes and strings wait,
tiny tendrils, like fingers,
clasp and lift towards the sun.

Come harvest, the poem
is spread before alert eyes
for readers to feast or shun.

Friday, 15 December 2017

wise little prophets:

The tree expects bananas,
the bulge at the crown

proudly born as any wife in her
yellow chiffon, maternity gown.

I didn’t but there they hang,
a quartet of proofs
that the climate has changed.

This is Melbourne
tropical fruit does not grow
this far below the imaginary line

yet they are there still,
each a yellow smile,
a grin at man;

as the tongue-shaped
banana leaves whisper,

“I’ll be here long after
you’ve been and gone mister.”

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

next year, perhaps...

The apricots were bursting,
the tree, in its second year, bowed,
as if the gods were passing,
under the weight of tiny gold and orange suns —
the expanding universe fathomed
in the corner of a suburban backyard.

Then rain came, unseasonal, violent;
my watering mouth dried
as I watched those golden orbs
suffer in the rain, their bright fires
extinguished and they fell
one by one, rotting and useless…

This is how the universe ends —
with stars falling
into the rich loam of missed opportunities.

before too long:

Today I cut five zucchinis
off the plant before they grew too large,
I still had three in the fridge
so I placed the five
in a crisp, white plastic bag,
delivered them washed and still wet
to my neighbour on the right —

it is best to pick zucchini small
otherwise they pillage all goodness
and lose their succulent edge.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Time travel in the garden, by the compost:

In this slice of soil,
balanced in the spade
held near its blade
by my right hand,
tiny worms wriggle;
vampires exposed to light.

The dirt is moist
wood broken down, leaves and refuse too,
everything decomposed, made new;
ready for the seed to find sympathy with the moon,
shatter the shell, let loose a tendril,
open two petals; solar panels
long before we built a road or a city.

This afternoon, as the sun
hung so low the edge of the world
caught fire, I fill
two large pots; ready
for two olive trees.

I can taste the sea already and imagine
ancient Greece, goat’s cheese
and baked bread; the warrior
on his haunches chews
and swallows before the walls of Troy.

Greek and Trojan bodies
become soil, end differences
unassailable when they breathed.

Worms come to feast;
hidden in the dark
until the spade slides through years
and in my back-yard they wriggle;
I can taste the fruit
before the trees have been planted.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

second go at the poem - edit 30/11/2017

there are some places from which there is no coming back

I stood, hose in hand,
water pushing out the bronze nozzle,
catches the sunlight, sparkles,
a tail of hope; leaves that should
have been green and gently serrated,
instead bronzed and curled.

Crowning each branch, petals
that had never opened, defeated;
limp and browned, like hats
fallen over faces that frowned, forever
swallowing what colour
might have been presented.

Everything clutched inwards,
shrunken by the search for shadows
where none existed; on the burnt ground,
around its defeated trunk, leaves shed
before their time; each a story to tell,
each the same tale, defeat ruins everyone.