States of Poetry Series Three

'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

'Remembering Diana Spencer' by Mark O'Connor

Mark O'Connor
31 May 2018

Trapped and snapped,
cut from twisted tin,
a blowfly on the windscreen
preening its compound lenses.

Nothing to be done. They sewed her back,
packed the cut flesh in ice and flowers.

Not one for white gloves,
kneeling to the young and the dying
while those lanky knees pushed out,
she proved kings were film stars,
then deposed the prince. ... More

'The abiding remorse' by Mark O'Connor

Mark O'Connor
31 May 2018

‘We were two cranes, each broken-winged,
that hopped and panicked in the dust

till welded, seamless, rib to rib,
we sprang with equal, matchless strokes

to glide above the circling clouds
beyond the glance of counsellors,
perfect, alone, in company’

So wrote the Emperor
of plump K ... More

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