Posts tagged ‘poetry’

Sunday, 23 January 2022

She Comes as Comes the Summer Night by Frank Samuel Williamson


She comes as comes the summer night,
Violet, perfumed, clad with stars,
To heal the eyes hurt by the light
Flung by Day’s brandish’d scimitars.
The parted crimson of her lips
Like sunset clouds that slowly die
When twilight with cool finger-tips
Unbraids her tresses in the sky.


The melody of waterfalls
Is in the music of her tongue,
Low chanted in dim forest halls
Ere Dawn’s loud bugle-call has rung.
And as a bird with hovering wings
Halts o’er her young one in the nest,
Then droops to still his flutterings,
She takes me to her fragrant breast.


O star and bird at once thou art,
And Night, with purple-petall’d charm,
Shining and singing to my heart,
And soothing with a dewy calm.
Let Death assume this lovely guise,
So darkly beautiful and sweet,
And, gazing with those starry eyes,
Lead far away my weary feet.


And that strange sense of valleys fair
With birds and rivers making song
To lull the blossoms gleaming there,
Be with me as I pass along.
Ah! lovely sisters, Night and Death,
And lovelier Woman—wondrous three,
“Givers of Life,” my spirit saith,
Unfolders of the mystery.


Ah! only Love could teach me this,
In memoried springtime long since flown;
Red lips that trembled to my kiss,
That sighed farewell, and left me lone.
O Joy and Sorrow intertwined,—
A kiss, a sigh, and blinding tears,—
Yet ever after in the wind,
The bird-like music of the spheres!

From: Williamson, Frank Samuel, Purple and Gold: Poems and Lyrics, 1912, Lothian: Melbourne, pp. 53-56.

Date: 1912

By: Frank Samuel Williamson (1865-1936)

Saturday, 22 January 2022

What On Earth!? by Π. O (Peter Oustabasidis)

Every S is a P.
This S is not a P. S must be a P.
S is not a P. (If something exists it must be
a Tree). A Tree is a Tree.
Either its a Tree, or its not a Tree.
It can’t ‘be’, and ‘not-be’.
Hot things grow — cold things don’t —
Wet things drain off; and the Earth
gets drunk. If it rains tomorrow: P, i will wear
a raincoat (Q) ////////////// PPPPPPPPP//////////////: Q!
Someone sees smoke, and shouts ‘Fire!’.
Shoes, ships, cabbages, and Gaia.
‘therefore’, and ‘in as much as’ i speak
the Truth, the cloud (on the horizon)
looks like ‘cotton wool’. A fish, is a fish.
A fin is a fin. Hesperus is Phosphorus.
Phosphorus not Hesperus. Hesperus and Phosphorus.
/// PPPP ///// Q! A possum curls up on a Tree.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc the Sun is
larger than the Earth. A flower is a flower,
a seed is a seed. (Why don’t they
just put down that parrot, and call it quits?!).
How do you do a Rule of Thumb?
The Theory-‘T’, predicts observation ‘O’.
— ‘O’ is observed, therefore ‘T’ is True. (6 to
the power 2); the Earth is hotting up.
Count out the Sums: A is True
because B isn’t. B makes ‘sense’, cos C doesn’.

From: O, Π, “What on Earth!?” in N-Scribe, Volume 9, 2014, p. 16.

Date: 2014

By: Π. O (Peter Oustabasidis) (1951- )

Friday, 21 January 2022

Deflated at Dusk by Rebecca Jessen

xmas lights trapeze across campsites. all-day
bbq smell makes me reconsider my vego status.
no-one tells you swimming is more fun
in the wading pool. has Mum ever existed
without a cigarette in her hand. smoke
and Reef Oil wafting from the porch. two essentials:
Aeroguard and Masterfoods tomato sauce.
so what if I still check the news hourly.
life moves fast elsewhere. here
the easy affection of toddlers
is life-affirming. sometimes a bucket really is
just a bucket. we are all deflated
at dusk. Mum narrates the weather
with every vagrant cloud. I don’t even mind
the sand in my bed or the mirror
of my alternative life. I’ve never been less.


Date: 2021

By: Rebecca Jessen (19??- )

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Brush Turkey’s by Sue Watson

powerful claw
scrapes  leaves
into a metre high
incubator   eco-mound
for the eggs of many hens
it’s shoulder peak season
he has a Rolls Royce address
instinct outweighs his beauty
given an ugly head & neck
of the worst sunburnt hue
a goitre of bright yellow
ruffles the base of his throat
contrasts with the blue black
of his feathers   his walk is neither
swagger nor trot
he’s reclaimed his spot on the hill
in flannel flower cul-de-sac.


Date: 2010

By: Sue Watson (19??- )

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Boxing On by Bruce Dawe

‘Little boxes, little boxes …’ – so went that sixties song,
along with other youthful Woodstock sneers
-and still suburbia’s moving right along,
undaunted, in both human hemispheres …

Media focus on those odd disputes
concerning trees, and rights-of-way and such
particularly, but suburbia refutes
claims such communities are out-of-touch.

Indeed, the spread of suburbia is ever
aware of the inner cities increasing cost,
challenging bland utopias and those clever
green dreams of urban dwellers hopelessly lost.

For most of my life, suburbia’s been my home,
and I still see new suburbs, east and west
(and north and south), defining themselves like families who come
seeking the better, hoping for the best,

Supposing in distance habitable space,
those things the clamorous outer life denies:
room to turn round twice and not grimace
and find some sympathy in unburdened skies …


Date: 2018

By: Bruce Dawe (1930-2020)

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

The Two Beaches – Manly by Elizabeth Matilda Manning


Thundering rolls the storming ocean, foaming on the golden sand,
Rising high in purple anger, frowning on the silent land;
Ridge on ridge of heaving billows, buoy’d upon a giant breast
Palpitating with a passion of eternal fierce unrest.
Manlike in its daring fervour, grand in savageness of force,
That must break or self be broken by whate’er shall mar its course:
Now its utmost force it gathers, deep a mighty sob resounds,
In one surging arc of waters, res’lute to o’erburst its bounds.
Vain! The war-plumed heads must lower, Nature’s law shall be obey’d:
“Thus far, never farther!” conquers; prone the haughty waves are laid,
Humbled, frothing with the struggle, sweeping in, then backward drawn,
Leaving but the tiny furrow that their utmost throes have worn.

See, the western sun is sinking, grim the stolid headlands gloom,
Rising dark above the spray-smoke and the loud attacking boom
Of the cannonade of waters, lit with fire of sunset gold,
While the glory-mists of evening bays and hillsides sweet enfold.
Glare the rocks their salt-tear’d parting, earth in quiet slumber rests,
Yet th’ impatient waves are fretting, still they lift their wrathful crests,
Moving black with ghostly aureoles, like a mighty spirit doom’d
Ne’er to cease its warring struggle while the endless ages loom’d,
So it lasheth; seething, panting, with one deep despairing roar,
Image of the world’s unquiet, knowing peace for nevermore.


Calmly, gently, rock the waters, smiling in a maze of blue,
Womanlike, in love reflecting every changing light and hue;
Sometimes creeping into shadow, near a strong protective head,
Then in glistening joy of ripples into wooing sunshine led.
Or like a child at sport with lions, casting silvery shower of spray,
On hard-featured rocks that, moveless, stem resist their graceful play.

Pass the wavelets careless sweetly o’er the lake’s still-breathing breast,
Troubled whiles at Ocean’s portals by the billow’s threatening crest,
Then once more their smile regaining, dancing on with gladsome speech,
Till they lay their emerald crescents fondly on the haven’d beach.
Storming not, nor scarcely whispering, but with kiss and lapping feet,
Rise the waters to their tide-height, with unnoted swiftness meet,
Rarely leaving mark or token where the crystal steps have been,
Yet fulfilling all their portion with a noiseless strength unseen;
Ebbing, flowing, as the Ocean in its due appointed hour,
But like force of love contrasted with the rage of restless power.

Sunlight’s tints have paled to neutral, toned to hues of soothing grey,
And in hallow’d trance of stillness Nature ends her chequer’d day;
Black th’ embracing lands are profiled clear against the evening sky,
Throwing up by darksome setting lucent deeps which quivering lie
Like a liquid sea of opal, hoarding every dying beam,
And with answering light reflecting early stars that faintly gleam,
Till the goodnight darkness falleth, and with breath of rippling sound,
Dreaming wavelets, slumb’rous murmuring, ‘neath the spell of sleep are bound.

From: “Australie”, The Balance of Pain and Other Poems, 2000, University of Sydney Library: Sydney, pp. 87-88.

Date: 1877

By: Elizabeth Matilda Manning (1845-1890)

Monday, 17 January 2022

A Guide to Refreshing Sleep by Ron Koertge

It is best to remember those nights
when grown-ups were singing and breaking
glass and someone who smelled good
carried you up hushed stairs toward strange
cold bedrooms to be launched on a dark
lake of coats.

If Memory does not suffice, you may
summon the obvious mascots of sleep,
but forego counting. It is miserly. They
will come and stand by your bed, nodding
their graceful Egyptian heads, inviting you

across the crooked stile to one of those
hamlets nestled between blue hills
where the curious are curious about sleep,
the enthralled are enthralled with sleep,
and the great conclusion is always,
‘It’s time for bed.’

Look — a cottage door stands open. On the night
table is a single candle, yellow sheets are turned
back, and in the garden are marshaled
the best dreams in the world. Lie down.
The horrible opera of the day is over.
Close your eyes, so the world which loves you
can go to sleep, too.


Date: 1997

By: Ron Koertge (1940- )

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Some Things Will Linger by Emily Light

[Your happiness] is too easy… Nothing costs enough here.
—John the Savage, Brave New World

When he ran his scooter into the stone wall hedging the sidewalk,
my son was gazing at chemtrail clouds lit to beauty by sunset.
Not everything is an archetype, my students often admonish.
Of course that’s true—not everything fits
into clear-cut categories. Not everything is meant for
unambiguous names or histories to bequeath them trajectories.
That’s too easy for the smoke unfolding
from the Amazon Prime truck’s undercarriage,
for the yellowed pines lining the highway,
for the rainbow puddles on the road’s soiled shoulders
where my son now stands, bleeding.


Date: 2021

By: Emily Light (19??- )

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Death and the Miser by Jeff Fearnside

After the painting of the same name by the Netherlandish artist Hieronymus Bosch

When death comes, it all goes:
the fine clothing,
chest of treasures,

old letters (to business
partners? illicit lovers?),
bag of money hidden

under your sheets,
armor cast off,
gauntlet at your feet, unheeded.

Death’s minions see it all.
One peers from above
the death bed’s canopy.

They scurry over and under
everything in the room,
clutching what you once clutched,

barbed tails swishing,
bat’s wings beating,
monkey faces agape.

Your one hope
is the angel behind you,
hand on your pale, bony shoulder,

eyes on the beam
of light from the high
window with the crucifix.

You only see death
gowned in bridal white
peering demurely

from behind the door,
the arrow pointed
at your narrow, wasted gut.


Date: 2022

By: Jeff Fearnside (19??- )

Friday, 14 January 2022

How to Ask for My Hand at My Grandmother’s Grave by Mihaela Moscaliuc

“What a waste of space,” you murmur as the train cuts
through a cemetery whose halves rest like drowsy wings
between two pine forests, then “spooky” as our window
zips by faces smiling from porcelain plates glued to crosses.
You’ve crossed the ocean to marry me, so I cannot say
I knew only one of them, but they are all mine,
these dead turned strigoi who’ll not return
to their bodies because the earth’s too loud
and the town has betrayed them.
But I have to warn you—
We carry cemeteries on our heads,
in our bellies, round our ankles,
we carry them to work
and we carry them to sleep
and when we make love
they moan, they rattle, they sing.
When our spine starts sinking we spit
and curse and dance the pain off.
When I bring you to Grandmother’s grave,
behind the Dacian fortress, she’ll be armed
with questions: how hardy your love, how soft your fingers,
and your dead, how do you spoil them?
“After you cup your hands to catch the soul,”
she’ll want to know, “how do you release it?”
Don’t tell her about ashes thrown to winds, don’t say
you’ve never spilled red wine onto the earth
to quench your father’s thirst, or that you never read him
the Sunday paper. Do not tell her you love him
but have never seen his grave. I’ll translate your silence
and spread a white cloth under the rose trellis. We’ll offer
walnut breads and gossip, and she’ll forgive, and bless us,
then send me back across the ocean with a saddlebag of ghosts.


Date: 2010

By: Mihaela Moscaliuc (19??- )