Contemporary Australian Poetry
Untitled by Jonothon Twist
Lucy by Andy Jackson
During the interval of the Haydn choral concert,
my sister (once princess of the dress-up box) said Let’s go...
We went down the side of the church,
slipped through a gate —
the brass padlock a fake for those in the know—
into a flint-walled garden, a kind of overgrown underground.
The light was green.
sparrows finches coo of wood pigeons,
bees on hives and cabbage-white butterflies.
Trees tall as stilts connected earth to sky,
roots tipped ancient graves almost merrily.
I craned forward but could not decipher a name.
It was a dead-quiet afternoon. No traffic.
We looked at each other;
we’d gone back in time, she was nine. I must call her Mary.
She wore a print frock, green herring-bone braid around the hem.
Mine, identical in red familiar soft lawn against my skin.
Thunder rumbled in the distance (furniture moved in heaven).
Bees swarmed overhead.
I said I’d read bees are losing their olfactory sense,
pollution is the problem.
But the information had little application;
we were in a novel from 1910.
Grasses and buttercups whispered to one other,
the wind puffed at dandelion clocks.
When it was time for the concert to re-commence,
we trailed back inside,
slid along the pew waited in freckled silence.
Carolyn Abbs is a Western Australian poet published in Westerly, Cordite, Rabbit, The Best Australian Poems 2014, and other journals. Her PhD is from Murdoch University where she taught in the School of Arts for a number of years.