States of Poetry Poems

'Empirical VI' by Lisa Gorton

Lisa Gorton
05 June 2018

A single cloud now climbing the hill towards me
and the blue-grey shadows in it are in the shape of a fire
and all about it brightness where the light pours through –
Uninterrupted its shadow moves over the craving grasses –
pale seedheads now shaking out light – as with a sound of wings
the scrubwrens scatter out of head-high rubble
overrun with weeds ... More

'Empirical V' by Lisa Gorton

Lisa Gorton
05 June 2018

Now on its stone heaps the tussock is dry
stalks the colour of a scratch in glass and rattling fennel
tendrils from the root – Along the cutting’s side
speargrass with a rain wind in it moves through the shape
of a catching fire – At the level of my eye, its
close horizon, grasses moving many ways
like shivers, incandescent, each force forwards
thr ... More

'Mr. Darwin's Room (National Museum of Australia)' by Anita Patel

Anita Patel
31 May 2018

'A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.'
Charles Darwin

Inside a structure
of rainbow loops and angles
spangle whirling
over a cellophane lake
is Mr. Darwin’s room,
exactly as he left it:
cards tucked in the mirror,
pictures on the wall,
a basket by the fire,
unassu ... More

'Women's Talk' by Anita Patel

Anita Patel
31 May 2018

Have you noticed
how the purl and plain of
women’s talk is tangled
and snarled
when a man enters the room?
Suddenly stitches are dropped
irretrievably
in the middle of a pattern
worked on for hours
and the cosy blend of colours
dark and light is
snagged and knotted
beyond repair.
The ropy t ... More

'Winter Pageant' by Anita Patel

Anita Patel
31 May 2018

Through damp drifts of umber
ducks parade past the National Museum.
A feathered armada,
flashing iridescent epaulettes,
they salute themselves
in plate glass windows.

And a flutter of parrots –
emerald and rose
hails their arrival ...

a flurry of silken scarves
flung in admiration
landing gently on the
ice pale grass.

< ... More

'Wajah/Muka' by Anita Patel

Anita Patel
31 May 2018

Two words for face in my language:
Wajah from the Arabic wajh
rolls off the tongue sweetly
and melts like honey
in our mouths …
Wajah – a fitting sound for
the cherished tenderness of
a human face …
And yet …
I prefer the honest drum beat
of muka. An island word
harvested from salty seas and
More

'Cane Cutter's Bride: Museum of Fiji' by Anita Patel

Anita Patel
31 May 2018

Suddenly you accost me
with silent sepia eyes –
a sallow smudge of newsprint
hidden among weapons and bones.
You shrink and flutter
like a ... More

About Anita Patel

31 May 2018

Anita Patel States of PoetryAnita Patel has had work published in various journals including Conversations (Pandanus Press, ANU), Block 9, Burley Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary ... More

'Balloons over our city' by Mark O'Connor

Mark O'Connor
31 May 2018

Those big laundry baskets heaving at anchor,
a soft lift and fall
like a cat landing on feathers

Nervous passengers toeing the frost,
invited at last, to stand packed
in a cut-down phone booth of wicker.

Each shot of flame brings a slow delaying lift

then the light up-gathering pull of nylon
as tugged seams unite to draw on hawsers, cats-cradl ... More

'John at 70 years, the Marriage 40 years old' by Mark O'Connor

Mark O'Connor
31 May 2018

For John and Bini Malcolm

 

Just when you think it’s all coming together
And you could take a bit more of this partnership,
Time coughs and observes, it’s been forty years now, more than average,
And maybe it’s time to sum up.

In the road to the planets and stars
The step from the croft to the town was the harshest
Then – for a Scot ... More

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