Poem
Sunday, 26 February 2012 21:01

'Oscillations', a new poem by Toby Fitch

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After Devotion

Annamaria Weldon

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    1

    The far margin of wintering wetlands,
    mist before sunrise. Outside my window
    a rock parrot is perched on its fence-post.

You’ve always associated the two terms together
partly due to your reading of Schiller; partly due
to your watching of Kimba. Kimba sublimates
his mother in the water. You’ve always thought
your mother a baroque figure. You go into the
forest. You make something from a tree: a book
a club. Material comes from the mother; also
happiness, and therefore beauty. The mother
expects love and finds it, finds it beautiful. The
son cries white tears, imagines them surf, a cliff
an iceberg with beer beneath its surface. The
book says tree or mediation; the club says tree
or mediation. The Virgin Mary is prompted to
speak by the movement of the baby in her womb
She speaks Hebrew: ‘ממזר כמו בועט הוא’– ‘He
kicks like a bastard’. She defines a kind of
democracy. Her followers meet with her at the
temple. Her son, now twelve, is somewhere
swimming, or sublimating his mother in the
forest. He is a kind of book or club. He starts
drinking wine early; he refuses to go into the
army. He has to go across the border to another
country. He works at a cement factory there
When the men knock off the women dance
with him. He’s homesick and drinks whiskey
Eventually he swims back across the border
The trees hang over the river. He can’t tell
whether he or they are happy or beautiful; he
sees his mother in the sky. The stars are heavy
dramatic. The army still desires him. There
is book and club mediation. His mother prays
for his happiness. He builds a tower out of
beercans and critics say it’s beautiful. So he
builds a whole city and people start to live there
practising a form of democracy. Eventually
the area is annexed by Spain. You tell me all
this, mixing art history together with stories
of your mother. You didn’t want to go into the
army either. But it was in the army that you first
found love. It was a secret you kept from your
mother. Your mother was not a cartoon, nor
was she a political or religious figure, yet you
mapped her, in a sense, in the sky. She spoke
about you quite differently. She said that she
had taken you from a tree; it was dark and she
hadn’t known exactly what you were, whether
text or weapon or musical instrument. That you
were a wooden boy was a complete surprise

 

 

CONTENTS: MARCH 2012

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  • Custom Article Title 'Beautiful Mother', a new poem by Michael Farrell
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    partly due to your reading of Schiller; partly due
    to your watching of Kimba. Kimba sublimates
    his mother in the water. You’ve always thought
Sunday, 26 February 2012 20:57

'Bayside Suburban', a new poem by Anne Elvey

Bayside Suburban

Anne Elvey

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    1.

    Port Phillip rucks & tears in the wind
    and where the creek joins the bay, the lace
    is tattered marl. Wild gulls pick

Sunday, 26 February 2012 20:53

'Provenance', a new poem by Gareth Robinson

Provenance

Gareth Robinson

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    Taking note might prompt some things:
    look! Even a colon finds correlation
    with the eyes of Hoji’s frog, and the king’s.

Friday, 20 January 2012 05:18

'Deep River' a new poem by Jennifer Maiden

Deep River
(Kevin Rudd has named Dietrich Bonhoeffer as his inspiration)

Jennifer Maiden

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    Dietrich Bonhoeffer woke up in a plane
    to Australia, next to Kevin Rudd, who flew
    from India, still astounded that Julia
    Gillard was selling it uranium

Thursday, 19 January 2012 18:14

'Grade', a new poem by Peter Rose

Late afternoon. Another forty degree day.
Sick of ecological talk I decide to meet it,
take my book into the park,
not sure how far I’ll go with Against Nature.
Rare grass crackles beneath my feet.
This is not turf but a shell oval,
yet die-hards play in their filthy whites.
Only clouds billow, lyric.
Dog after dog sniffs my rug,
preferring the plastic hats ringing the oval –
odoriferous boundary. Impatient
with Huysmans I sit gathering
impressions like someone weaving
a garment that will never cloak.
Despite the heat, the cricketers play on.
This is the kind of bowling my brother
would have dismissed as ‘poop’.
Ball after ball is clubbed to the boundary
by the principal red cap. I think of someone
carved in marble, adamant – Moses, Ahab.
Week after week he humiliates
the brotherhood of salesmen.
One of his sixes clears my rug,
sends up a cloud of dust,
as if drought too will applaud.
Someone must be keeping score
but there is no board, no crowd,
only a few girlfriends, smoking, bored,
and the captain’s century,
when it inevitably comes, is like
a minor miracle among the poplars,
the aching poplars soon to be removed.
The red cap, having none of this applause,
smites the next ball into an oak.
Nearby at fine leg, so close we almost speak,
the sole handsome blue cap –
nimble, no stomach, but a woeful catch –
slaps his thigh inspirationally,
twitching for a bowl but never called.
Futilely he exhorts his mates, the last fanatic.
Urging them on, his martial cries
bounce off the apartment blocks
that ring the oval, cool, shining, indifferent.

 

 

CONTENTS: FEBRUARY 2012

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    Late afternoon. Another forty degree day.
    Sick of ecological talk I decide to meet it,
    take my book into the park,
    not sure how far I’ll go with Against Nature.

Penillion of Tuning the Harpsichord (for J. Mattheson’s Harpsichord Suite no. 12 in F Minor as tuned and played by Dan Tidhar at the Fitzwilliam)

John Kinsella

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    Head tilts to strings
    beyond setting –
    cross-notes of talk,
    gallery folk

Thursday, 24 November 2011 23:41

'Savonarola', a new poem by Gig Ryan

Savonarola

Gig Ryan

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    Cheerily inquiring, I came to Heaven’s gate open to a simple throne,
    the sky perforated with stars
    and Jupiter’s two-faced moon trailing its orbit
    ‘Teach my walking soul’

 

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    Night’s the ground beneath my feet
    since I learned to walk with you.
    Scented guide with birds and flowers on your breath,