March 28, 2017
A limited number of autumns
mulched, or tumbled in a barrel,
spread thin, or just allowed to fall.
The angry man with the blower.
The desperate, toothy rake,
plied like a weapon to hold back
swarming leaves of dragon red.
Carpeting drive and inscribing soil —
the pointed, scarlet letters
of a limited number of autumns.
I belong to the ‘let it fall where it will’ school of gardening, which must frustrate those with gardens that look like they were bought from Ikea and assembled with an Allen key. There are many introduced species of trees in Canberra, which provide people with the ideal way of expressing their personalities as they battle the leaves. Or not.
October 7, 2014
Does the tree despise
the last leaf
clinging to a twig
in brown nostalgia?
Is it the wind,
or thin fingers flicking
that drives it on,
and out, at last?
Eager ground calls it —
shepherds it down,
A surprisingly non-speculative poem for one who spent all weekend at a science fiction convention. And a surprisingly autumnal one for the beautiful spring weather in which it was written.
I was on two panels at the Conflux convention: one on editing anthologies and one on poetry. I may write a longer post about it when the energy returns. As the tree said to the last leaf.
Soon I should be receiving the entries in the ACT Writers Centre Michael Thwaites Poetry Prize for my judging pleasure. Second competition I’ve judged in a month, and the third this year. I may write a longer post about it…you know when.
Click this feather for further excellent poetic mulch:
June 25, 2014
A game of two halves
The leaf seemed to be symmetrical,
a neat seam running between halves,
opening into two jagged edged wings.
But look closely. DNA scissors slipped,
so one side is wider than the other.
If it flew, it would flap lop-sided, lurching
like film hunchbacks in mad scientists’ labs.
Nature’s dropped stitches, strict patterns misread
knit perfection. White Staffies’ black eye patches,
piratical, the thrown ink blot puddles sloshing
on magpies, the pale amber stripe that glints,
floats in calm sea blue eyes of my daughter.
She looks unwinking at misshapen leaves,
falling elliptically, ways gone widdershins.
That child is watching, with her opal eyes,
envying my air-stroke. Poor thing, to be always
so rooted to ground, a fleshy turnip, although soon
I too will form one bump, just one, in thick brown
rotting carpet. But I will have tasted wavy air,
felt its shoulders spin me into curved flight.
Bowler has sent me down as googly, circuitously
aimed towards tree stumps. Flocking downwards,
kinked arrows of flight, our debut is denouement,
yet we knot a rug of mulch to warm tall parent.
We never die, you see, for we conjure up spring,
sleeping under us. Or so we will, if that girl,
wound into kicking action, would leave us in stolid peace.
Instead, we leap, and fly again; in jerky errant judders.
A rather confusing title; who didn’t think of The World Cup when they read the soccerific headline? Certainly, I have been losing as much sleep to the round ball as I usually do to Stephen King when he has a new novel out. The sporting metaphors used are mostly cricket-related though. Hence the cicada you may just pick out amongst the leaves in the photo.
That is an unpublished and old poem, from my ‘running on a bit’ period, but I quite like it.
There are many wonderful poems published this week at Tuesday Poem. Hop over and check them out: