Posts tagged ‘1995’

Wednesday, 28 December 2022

The Wind Chimes by Shirley Buettner

Two wind chimes,
one brass and prone to anger,
one with the throat of an angel,
swing from my porch eave,
sing with the storm.
Last year I lived five months
under that shrill choir,
boxing your house, crowding books
into crates, from some pages
your own voice crying.
Some days the chimes raged.
Some days they hung still.
They fretted when I dug up
the lily I gave you in April,
blooming, strangely, in fall.
Together, they scolded me
when I counted pennies you left
in each can, cup, and drawer,
when I rechecked the closets
for remnants of you.
The last day, the house empty,
resonant with space, the two chimes
had nothing to toll for.
I walked out, took them down,
carried our mute spirits home.


Date: 1995

By: Shirley Buettner (1934-2008)

Monday, 26 September 2022

A Palinode by Philip Ian Hodgins

My second childhood has begun
but the rhythms and the rhymes aren’t quite right.
The way my cells increase
is not unlike the vague, unbitten child
reaching up to childhood’s end.
But with one difference.
My half a bucketful of blood
is filled with rumours of an early death
and I am alone in a room
full of dying flowers.
I think it is the body’s palinode
and as far as I can see there is no God.

From: Hodgins, Philip, New Selected Poems, 2000, Untapped: Sydney, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 1995

By: Philip Ian Hodgins (1959-1995)

Friday, 1 April 2022

April Fool’s Day by Peter Halstead

The vernal equinox again.
Not so vernal, this time,
As eternal. Not so equal, either,
As just another wintry sequel.
The divided sky, cut in half by sun and ice,
Riffles through the branches twice,
As the rime of history dies
And the summer slowly multiplies:
Woolly clouds resemble glaciers,
Undermined by warmer natures—
Time is cold and close today,
A solar cloisonné.

We are the hours we replace,
Not clock innards, but their face,
And the planet’s penduluming trips
Are more about its balanced drips:
The gist of the galactic chase
Leaps in us through empty space:
Not from any godly knack,
But from creation’s partial lack—
Not from the worlds growing here,
But because they disappear,
As far as I can see,
Springs the night’s equality.

Tippet Alley
April 1st, 1995

Rue de Varenne
September 19th, 2004; May 24th, 2005


Date: 1995, 2004, 2005

By: Peter Halstead (19??- )

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Legal Is My Love by Bernadette Mayer

Legal is my love, not altered
i find him loved for being so
even if my love were illegal, you and i
would love him more, right? come home where
all is legal then, it’s illegal to smoke
in restaurants, you must smoke in the cold
parking lot, allocated to punishing environments
when you light up as if with love

i guess patriots don’t smoke; in new York city
a fancy restaurant has a heated stretch limousine
parked outside to smoke in after dinner
as in zeno’s paradox (even if you are a sinner)
reality does not reflect rationality (or vice versa)

From: Mayer, Bernadette, Poetry State Forest, 2008, New Directions: New York, p. 22.

Date: 1995

By: Bernadette Mayer (1945- )

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Stars by Patrick Lane

Those lights in the sky.
Little butterflies of the night,
little dreamers. Each time my lover
rises to walk in the early garden
I watch her from the window.
I cannot take my eyes from her.
See how she leans inside the dawn,
the cherry blossoms on her shoulders
as she touches the cat
who follows her everywhere, wanting
only to be with her
among the dark mosses.
How much light there is
in the high window of the night.
How I wait, knowing, for now
she comes to me,
her small feet wet with dew,
white as stars
in these last hours.


Date: 1995

By: Patrick Lane (1939-2019)

Friday, 23 April 2021

Anzac Day March: The Mateship and All by Andrew Burke

Again our son marches for Skin,
his great grandfather on
his mother’s side, in the Anzac Day parade.
I don’t want to tell him about
the kitchen commando, the drunk waster.
He marches for an ideal and
an innate sense of Aussie mateship. They’re
true enough. His mother and I
watch the parade, have a coffee
during the speeches. Our son is
a born leader, doing the right thing
since he was tiny. We have marched
to a different drummer …
After the march we drive home,
my wife enthusiastically recalling
old codgers on parade. Young Aussie males
cop her scorn more often than not …
It’s definitely on her mother’s side, only
infant males and old men get the nod …
We arrive home and turn footy on TV.
I see the son of a park drunk playing
for the opposition, wearing a black armband.
His dad was unwell last time I saw him —
I held him up to shower in a detox centre,
then shaved his cratered face. He was
losing a battle in ‘Nam. The next day
we watched footy on TV. He leant forward,
‘That’s my boy, in the pocket.’
‘Yeh?’ I was impressed, ‘Ya want me
to find ‘im, tell ‘im you’re here?”Nah,
we’re worlds apart, he wouldn’t wanna know.’

These gladiators are heroes of peacetime.
The unarmed combats are in the bars
and kitchens where the umpires look
the other way and nobody wins.
‘Did ya see that?!’ my son yells, amazed.
I’ve got to say I didn’t see anything,
wrapped up in my own tales of mortality,
a park drunk’s son kicking two goals in
the first quarter, the commentators
proclaiming ‘a new lease of life’.
Skin never met the boy who marches for him,
never saw him ruck in Sunday footy, or
open the bowling against the breeze. Skin
was a real bastard when it suited him,
an Ocker of the old school, but
who’s to judge … Let he who is
without sin, I say, and leave it at that.

From: Burke, Andrew, “Anzac Day March: The Mateship and All” in Westerly, No. 2, Winter 1995, pp. 25-26.

Date: 1995

By: Andrew Burke (1944- )

Monday, 4 January 2021

Tell Me by Joan Whitehead

Tell me, can one raindrop raise the ocean?
Can two hearts beat as one?
With love so strong, full of devotion
without it, can life go on?

Tell me, can one raindrop raise the ocean?
I’m so sad now that we are apart
I still exist, going through the motions.
Without love and without a heart.

Tell me, can one raindrop raise the ocean?
Can I love again some day?
Can this heart of mine feel real emotion?
This I really hope and pray.

Tell me, can one raindrop raise the ocean?

From: Private source

Date: 1995

By: Joan Whitehead (1942- )

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Sister Cat by Frances Mayes

Cat stands at the fridge,
Cries loudly for milk.
But I’ve filled her bowl.
Wild cat, I say, Sister,
Look, you have milk.
I clink my fingernail
Against the rim. Milk.
With down and liver,
A word I know she hears.
Her sad miaow. She runs
To me. She dips
In her whiskers but
Doesn’t drink. As sometimes
I want the light on
When it is on. Or when
I saw the woman walking
toward my house and
I thought there’s Frances.
Then looked in the car mirror
To be sure. She stalks
The room. She wants. Milk
Beyond milk. World beyond
This one, she cries.


Date: 1995

By: Frances Mayes (1940- )

Monday, 20 July 2020

The Step-sister’s Story by Emma Bull

I knew you, dancing.
She said, “Who is that?”
The others said it, too.
But I knew.

I thought the word she would not let me say.
Sister. You danced by so close.

I could have touched the tiny buttons down your back.
I kept your secret, as true sisters do.

You were not more beautiful
Spinning in a cloud of silk,
Laughing in spangle-light,
Than on that cold hearth.

Not more beautiful
Than when my eyes crept secretly toward you
To the line of your bent white neck
And I thought, Sister.

Not more beautiful
Than your fair closed ash-marked face.
Ash-bruised fingers took the poker, made the fire dance
And I thought, I love you.

Who closed the tiny buttons down your back?
I would have done that sister’s work.
You would have made the boys who loved you
Dance with me first.

Oh, tomorrow, don’t let her see
That fallen sequin, that unguarded smile.
She’ll be wild to think that you were happy.
Never be happy out loud
And I’ll keep the secret.

The shoe came.
She locked you in the pantry.
She brought it to me, still full of spangle-light
And the chime of your laugh.

I did it to share your laugh and the cloud of silk
For don’t true sisters share?
I did it to dance away from fear, from her,
To dance you away in my arms and call you sister.
True sisters ride to rescue, and I would
Only if the shoe fit.

We’ll make it fit, she said.
The kitchen knife was not full of spangle-light
And this is not how I meant to share with you.

Light-headed, I rode away,
My arms around the prince’s waist,
Blood welling from your shoe
To stain the horse’s white flank.

And as the spangles danced before my eyes
I thought I might be you, riding safely away,
That I was the one she’d shut in darkness,
That we’d both slipped from her grasp at last.

I can’t dance now.
But I would sit on your hearth
And stir the fire to dancing with a crutch.
Let me sit near your happiness.
Let me warm myself at your laughter.
Let me say at last, where she can’t hear,
Sister, sister, sister.

From: Windling, Terri (ed.), The Armless Maiden and Other Tales for Childhood’s Survivors, 1995, Tor:  New York, pp. 85-86.

Date: 1995

By: Emma Bull (1954- )