Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Past Poetry

Following up on Flashpoint and because I've been a bad writer and not actually written anything, here are two poems I wrote for the same course last year.

The first is about how nice a really early morning train ride can be, and the second an attempt at collating my thoughts about Australian identity.

Dawn Start

Darkness, outside and in,
from which voices call
you out of slumber
You silence them
before they harshly resolve
The cosy quiet of
the sleeping house surrounds
your mind unwalled, ungrounded
as you go through
the daily routine, into

Half-light, rising gently
falls upon your cheeks
as you descend a hill
(Everest in the evenings)
You feel a cool wind
finishing the shower’s task
Duties try to worry weakly
through the heavy hush
you dismiss them
Colours awake with

Dawn, entering shyly
forms while you wait
You feel the day
the hint of heat in the air
(a taste of the hell ride home)
So subtle it can’t be felt
you can smell it (just)
The Alamein arrives
(nursing wounds from last night)
Wordless you watch as

Full light, rallies around
you sitting in sociable silence
Eyes wide, mouths closed
A quiet opposite to the day’s end
(a crush of stares, loathing, exile,
anxiety, fear and accidental guilt)
Outside the window, unheard,
an eucalypt drops a limb
Discordant, screeching voices enter
The moment breaks

[+/-] show/hide poem

Core of My Heart

I love a sunburnt country
Thought I was born elsewhere
Come with me as I search
To find the heartlands
Like Sturt and Hume and Hovell
We’ll cross the Great Divide
To find the Inland Sea
Where our Aussie Spirit lies

The skies are grey, the winds cool
But you cannot trust them
It’s not our sung harsh clime
Even Mild Melbourne
Rains floods once or twice a year
So swirling chaos drowns
And shares months of scorching nights
We heat stroke to black outs

I’m born of old Britannia
My brother in Sharjah
We came on an aeroplane
Stunned by a land bizarre
Dad was born up in Eildon
Amidst a thunderstorm
Is it his blood I follow?
Five steps back over countless?

The tragic ring barked forests
Replaced by sprawling roads
On this eldest continent
We pass an ancient train
Graffiti Rainbow Snake
Sloughed by an urban life
Of flying footy saints and
Slithering liberal demons

The hot wind of the desert
Is sung to be our soul
It has many other names
Mateship and the Fair Go
The old adage She’ll Be Right
All these part of the truth
An impossible platypus
Yet real, with a sting, streuth!

As we walk through the bustle
A colony in dance
We might chance a glimpse of it
Matilda’s waltzing prance
Ned’s black box, the ghostly gums
All facets of the Spirit
It’s hidden inside, outback
Where we rarely visit

I tried to reach it once
Hiked four days and three nights
One day we’ll roam the desert
See the wildflowers
Radiant Southern Cross above
We’ll as prophets search
But I can guess what we’d find
There is no Inland Sea

An opal hearted country
Black veiled rainbow gold
Changing with every look
Contradictions unfold
City dwelling, bush yearning
The platypus returns
Although we didn’t catch it
We know now where it dwells

[+/-] show/hide poem

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