Online Submissions for Fresh Poetry December 2007 issue. Scroll down the page to read new works by WA Poets:
Minutes in a Life
cream-coloured walls close in on sterile emptiness
a stainless steel sink and wool, forgotten.
the dishwasher’s mouth yawns open
wordlessness reaches out,
out to a watery sound and swirling.
the stepladder cries in the rain, forgotten.
trees, leaves, shed, stand naked
acceptance of winter's burden
while the ceiling fan rotates,
rotates above the scallop-boats in Mornington.
silently the picture speaks
crystal glasses wait for the sweet taste
of medium-dry sherry
the decanter sits quiet, aloof, above it all.
it is unavoidable that they are drawn together
all that’s required is acceptance
tick-tock, tick-tock, the mantle clock
minutes in a life.
I grumble in the driving wet,
as I do my chores, put dishes away.
while inside, the armchair awaits my comfort,
the taste of medium-dry
inevitably, the armchair sighs in comfort.
Somewhere in the southern universe
rain has disappeared.
Even the palest flowers have flown.
This river can’t move through the bright fields,
can’t dampen a platypus’s young.
Boughs have fallen in, along with currawongs.
And the message reads dry bones of a dung-heap.
You hear the river cry in the darkness.
It takes a breath over trickling stones,
over endless white cracks where even
the lilies are ornaments in mud.
Insects work in the darkness,
so the owl is not alone.
Every year, now ten, the geese return
to the dung-heap,
to the bog’s soft heart,
to the cold stones
that run forever.
Still Life with Lemons
picked ripe, body soft
snug fitting hat on juicer –
two firm halves of breasts
friends in company
all dressed in lemon
drinks in green houses
one, two, three, four twists and there’s
juice on the table
when Good Friday comes
mine is a fly-in, fly-out Christ,
sandals off in first class, no hard hat
on site, always home at Christmas
mine is a Festival Director Jesus,
putting lab rats on stage for a
slice of corporate sponsorship pie
mine is a bored-again Saviour,
levitating during power-point presentations,
feeding Nice biscuits to ants at morning tea
mine is a shock-jock Son,
devil’s advocate for the right cash offer,
delay button when Good Friday comes
find the white, the forget. trace
its outline with finger. don’t
move. notice its trajectory,
how it seems to hint at all
directions, then more. sidle
closer such that one cheek might
rub then release – call this
accidental warmth, because,
although apparently radiating
heat, this is transference,
forget being but a knapsack
of guilt and remorse. try it on –
straps may not even need adjustment.
comfortable? should be, it’s yours
I am holding / alienation
I am holding
with a space at one end for my thumb
and a spike at the other for my hide
Its hull pressures my joints
I squeeze but it remains solid
I pick it up, I put it down
It is icy tiny gravel, abrasive
even on my tough skin
I am holding
Let's get really
The shell at my ear whispers
of screaming things.
Miniature lifeforms drowning in waste
and seals in oilslicks
and whales speared songless
and shells bleached silent on laminex tables
I love what you’re turning into,
shifting the shape of your
watching with brown-seed eyes,
birds nest hair.
This is your unraveling.
I love the easy length of you,
the sudden song and flit of you.
How comfortably you hang
yourself on a wicker chair,
wear your wide smile.
I love the summer of your breath,
the cellophane crackle of thoughts,
the bravado of your long fingers.
And when you sleep I will
gather your closed-bud lids
like pebbles on soft sand.
Collars turned up,
finding things to say
along the old timber road
snaking between ancient karri.
Under a muffled moon
and silent stars
my father’s ghost
Autumn wind in our eyes,
things to say about guilt,
things we built.
Getting them out of the way
before the whims of winter
make mush of the track
and our short, wonderful