'Charlotte's Grace' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

(For my grand-daughter)

Coming in with stones from the garden
your first impulse is to make them shine.
Washing rocks, you call it, and give them
full treatment, soap and flannel and rinse,
your three year old hands and eyes intent,
absorbed, and this not a one-off game;
it becomes a favourite as if
to establish your own ritual
you show the specimen to me gleaming
in your eyes and palm the offer of a gift;
I finger the treasure smooth and damp
and see how even grey can offer a gloss
on elemental wonder and variety;
though it dries back, the sheen gone,
stone and water and gift abide
suggesting through silent invention
sermon and parable: child's play.

Adrian Caesar

 

Recording ('Charlotte's Grace' begins at 1:58)

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.