States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Waking' by Tim Thorne

Waking

 

Note the passive voice in that last line,
the denial implied. ‘People were shipped out.’
The agent with a conscious brain linked
to a hand with a pen or a gun felt his own grip
all along the neural pathways.

Some noises we can sleep through
but even the softest can be an alarm.
Sailboats in the calmest water are still not swans,
not even, despite voyages and size,
albatrosses. This can only, however,

be a dream resurgent after eighteen years.
Too awake for anything but analysis,
a brain will cling in turmoil to whatever
rock of clarity presents. ‘This is not happening’
is not a valid option. Imagine:

not the slow comfort of waking
from nightmare but its opposite.
The colours of no apparent ceremony
covered not only skin but politics,
history. Most of all they hid the will to act.

Tim Thorne

Tim Thorne

Tim Thorne

Tim Thorne won the William Baylebridge Award in 2007, the Christopher Brennan Award in 2012, and the Gwen Harwood Prize in 2014. The latest of his fourteen collections of poetry is The Unspeak Poems and other verses (Walleah Press, 2014). He inaugurated and, for seventeen years directed, the Tasmanian Poetry Festival.