States of Poetry 2016 - New South Wales | 'From the Balcony: Sunday Afternoon' by David Malouf

Today in Sunday weather grevillia leaves
in turmoil, no evident breeze. A sugar hit. A honey
-eater, upside down at tilt and tumble.

The body also in Sunday mode. The mind
idling on automatic with no need
to be occupied or coloured, having come at last

to the end of a long apprenticeship in learning to leave
well alone. No empire to account to. No
account-books to square. The anxiety of nothing

in hand, nothing in prospect, set aside for
a bird in a bush, just one, warm air at play
in the windchimes; whose only news is that our missing

sea-breeze has clocked in, and from further
off, instant, astir, the air-borne voices
of children in a world all swing and seasaw.

 

David Malouf

David Malouf

David Malouf

David Malouf is the internationally acclaimed author of novels including Ransom (2009), The Great World (1990) (winner of the Commonwealth Writers' prize and the Prix Femina Etranger), Remembering Babylon (1993) (winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), An Imaginary Life (1978), Conversations at Curlow Creek (1996), Dream Stuff (2000), Every Move You Make (2006) and his autobiographical classic 12 Edmondstone Street (1985). His The Complete Stories, published in 2008, won the Australia-Asia Literary Award of the same year. His most recent books are A First Place (2014) and The Writing Life (2014). He was born in 1934 and was brought up in Brisbane. David Malouf is the ABR Laureate.

 

(photograph by Conrad del Villar)