Click on the titles to read.
From behind the easel
he looks out through the window,
through buds, leaves, branches
and the shrivelled berries
of the myrtle in his front garden,
at Gatsby Villa across the street.
He mixes a yellow,
paints the glass of the fanlight
above the door, glass turned
golden on this dim afternoon
by the hall lamp they don’t ever
switch off. And he places
a slab of blue-grey
hard against the yellow for a leaf
that catches the dull shine
of the sky, then next to it
turquoise for a half-open shutter
and day after day he goes on
with his patchwork of near, far,
near: bits of porch, myrtle stem,
brick, hedge – working
towards that moment just before
the painting would have locked
and shut everybody out.
Nice-toed, Bluff, Fresh, Nonpareil
My man knows a hat when he sees one. His
is yellow. He’s good on shoes too – my sorrow:
they cover his lovely feet. Nice-toed man.
His smile is a row of suns – how his lips stretch!
He looks straight at me if I go on and on – no
nagging or womanly smart-alecking fazes him.
My man’s got a click and a clack to his fingers
you’d die for. Sometimes he’s bluff, sometimes
he’s chic, sometimes he jiggles about. Mint mad
he is: keeps him fresh . . . oh, and isn’t he fresh.
He can scoop me up under one arm, the kids
under the other, joggle up and down, and run
us all into the waves, or off to the Handi - Pandi
which, in our part of the world, responds well
to a fella who’s not only It, but nonpareil.
The stars were just there – there, just beyond our reach,
the black between them and us, between each of them
and between each of us the same black.
We lay three feet above the red, warm dust
in the bare garden of our new white homestead, on camp beds
our father had placed across forty-four gallon drums.
Perhaps it wasn’t quite so hot out of doors, perhaps it was,
but nothing could beat the way
sounds came across to us in the open air – snorts of the horses
at the trough and the clatter of their hooves against stones,
a dingo’s howl, urrk-urrking of chooks,
the flap-rattle of ears as goats under the gidgee
shook their heads. And nothing could beat
having poddy lambs beneath us. They bleated now and then,
rubbed against the drums and pestered the collie
till he snarled. Above, the whoosh of an owl,
star after shooting star, and, the only clouds in that clear sky,
those in space: the Dark Clouds and the Magellanic.