Monday, August 22, 2011

Tuesday Poem - Leaving Home by Andy Kissane

Leaving Home

The oven door was permanently ajar,
hanging by its last hinge, when my mother
crossed the kitchen and planted a kiss
on my father’s bristly cheek, just below

his grey-flecked, neatly squared sideburn.
She didn’t say anything or look back
as the wire door slammed shut. Striding
calmly towards the oak tree, my mother

glanced at the clothes line spinning idly
in the breeze, smiled at the garden gnome
lounging by the pond, his fishing rod poised
above the lily pads. Free from the ache

of varicose veins, she climbed the tree.
“At last,” she said to herself, “I have managed
to get my priorities right” — and with that
the feathers sprouted from her scapula

and her dentures dropped, orphan-like,
from her lips. High now, dangerously high,
she stretched out her supple wings
until they were as flat as an ironing board.

Sensing the far-off salty air, she hesitated
for a moment, then leapt into the wind. She circled
the house once, gliding over the FOR SALE sign
in the front yard as if she might just perch

there, before rising up again. My mother
felt her heart beat with wonder at the way
the rolling air held her aloft. Her nomadic eyes
scanned the darkening north and she flew away.

Andy Kissane was born in Melbourne but now he lives in Sydney. This poem is from his latest book 'Out To Lunch' published by Puncher & Wattmann.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tuesday Poem - The Toppled Head by Les Murray

The Toppled Head

The big bald head is asleep
like Lenin on a pavement.
Tipping backwards, it starts
a great mouth-breathing snore
throttling as stormwater
loud as a hangar door
     running on rails
but his companion gently
reshapes his pillow, till his
position's once more foetal,
breathing towards his feet.
His timbre goes silent, and
the glottal dies in a gulp.

Something amusing from Les, just to keep the pot boiling.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tuesday Poem - I Came Home With The Shopping by Jennifer Compton

I Came Home with the Shopping

And I said to him as he opened the front door -
Do you remember what day it is tomorrow?
And he said - No. What day is it?

Then I said - Do you remember who you married?
Yes - he said. Yes. I do remember her.
And then we both said – How many years is it?

Should we do something? - he said. No - I said.
Let's just do what we always do. I like doing that.

I feel quite stunned at the moment because while I was in New Zealand trying to do my Brilliant Book Tour for This City my mother dropped off the twig. Her timing was exquisite, as was her triumphant reconciliation with me in the corridor of Wellington Hospital. I never thought she would be able to find the right thing to say, but she did. So, I ended up going to her funeral in St Judes Lyall Bay the day before I was booked to fly back to Australia. St Judes was the church where Matt and I got married in 1971 on 31st July. So her timing wasn't quite consummate, because her funeral was on August 2nd. Anyway, I just went and forgot our wedding anniversary because I was in the thick of it, so tonight I am posting one of the few poems I have written for my precious husband Matthew.