States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Avila' by Graeme Hetherington

Avila

 

(1)

 The badly wounded and the poor
Move round the city with the sun
And little else to keep them warm,

While time softens cathedral stone,
Plucks eagles bald and breaks the wings
Of St Teresa's doves in flight.

 

(2)

 A fine day shows up broken teeth,
Club feet, ten thumbs and squinting eyes,
The signs of under-privileged genes.
Such people built the city walls,

Served church and king in countless wars.
The past has much to answer for
When sunlight's only kind to stained
Glass windows and bejewelled swords.

Graeme Hetherington


Graeme Hetherington

Graeme Hetherington

Graeme Hetherington, born in 1937, grew up on the west coast of Tasmania before attending boarding school and the University of Tasmania in Hobart, where he became a lecturer in the Classics Department. Not finding any Hittites, Greeks or Romans in Australia, he went to Europe for a more substantial contact with them. Most of his adult life has been spent there, but he now lives back in Tasmania. He is the author of four books of poetry, and has another two coming out in 2017.

One of the themes of his work is disorientation à la Richard Mahoney!