'Crafting Consolation' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

Your kind friend sent a condolence card
and in the envelope a small white feather
which, she said, seemed to come from nowhere.
Angel's wings obviously, I wrote in my reply.
And for days after everywhere I went
I found small replicas, as if some tiny
feathered thing had scattered its moulting
on urban pavements, in shops and unlikely
bathrooms, as well as in gardens shocked
with loss. I fingered the delicate plumes
and hoped they were tokens from some
unlikely messenger, saying you were safely
wrapped in God's eiderdown – how reason is
undone by grief. Later, in answer
to my penned bewilderment a suggestion:
Death is like a going home.
I want to believe, but if that were so,
surely you'd like us to be there too
not left out here puzzling in the cold,
trying to fashion from nature's casual
droppings a scarecrow angel,
like children gluing tufts to lolly sticks,
who dream of trumpets announcing
a perpetual Christmas and forget
the frozen shepherds cowering
as they stare at the inexplicable
in the pitch black night.

Adrian Caesar

Adrian Caesar

Adrian Caesar

Adrian Caesar was born and educated in England, but has lived and worked in Australia for more than thirty years. He is the author of three books of literary and cultural criticism and an experimental 'non-fiction novel', The White, which won the Victorian Premier's Award for Non-Fiction in 2000 and the ACT Book of the Year in 2000. His novel, The Blessing, was published by Arcadia in 2015. He has also published five books of poetry, the latest of which is, Dark Cupboards New Rooms (Shoestring Press, 2014). High Wire (2005) was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Prize in 2007. His work has recently featured in The Best Australian Poems 2014 and Dazzled – an anthology of poems long-listed for the inaugural University of Canberra's Vice Chancellor's International Poetry Prize.

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