States of Poetry
The Undiscovered Country
tears itself from its own body
Minos condemns it to the seventh abyss.
wherever Fortune casts it, and there
it germinates, like a dropped grain of spelt.
The leaves here are not green, ...
What you get when you search for silence
(poem composed of Hansard search results from November 1962)
one of his colleagues has gone into a significant silence
to silence us, but this is having no effect
listen in silence
spoken and heard in silence
the Prime Minister has observed an unusual silence on this matter. There was an old Australian ...
(translated from a Persian ghazal by Rabi’a Balkhi)
I am back, locked up in this love again,
all my daring escapes end here.
Love is a broad shoreless sea
tell me, o wise ones, who swims it and lives?
To take love all the way
you must embrace every horror;
adore ugliness like a fair face;
make sweet delight of poiso ...
tall classy lady
cradling a listing turpentine
(shaggy old top-heavy
she props him
takes the strain
holds her own line almost true
that’s what you get
when you get
married in a windstorm
but the wind always changes
strands you in strange attitudes
let him slid ...
The colour of eyes
For Banduk Marika, Aboriginal artist
1. After your story of the funeral, August 1991
Black, Banduk, is the colour of eyes
like night shrunk
when grandma tidies after grief.
Perhaps she could not spill
to stain the room.
this quaver fisted
in her throat –
it has no moon,
it ache ...
An argument in glass
For Jenni Kemarre Martiniello,
As you hold me,
you think your fingers know
I’m glass magic,
this slip and slide on cool satin,
then suddenly I’m water
and an eternity of greens —
O song of sea flowers,
you make drowning
Or so you say.
But what of other ...