after Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
Gurrumul’s voice aches through the kitchen.
A bellbird chatters outside, two natives
Muted sounds; the neighbour’s lads shooting
hoops, an ambulance siren playing
its own tune.
A coolness from the forest weaves in through
the window. Cats snarl over territory,
Screams signal the standoff is over. The bellbird
is silent, the lads are called indoors. Branches
shadow the kitchen floor.
Gurrumul’s voice remains, notes shivering across
the Tasman, echoing sorrow, loss. Storm
clouds close out the night.
Wukun – storm clouds
The sun’s throwing light on the weeds, the grass
is flaunting its growth, and the windows
are blinded by dirt.
I’m in the kitchen yearning outwards
The younger son is expected at 6. Weed free
gardens, manicured lawn and spotless windows
don’t even figure on my ‘to do’ list.
I promised a pav for his 18th
Once the separation is complete I gather props,
a cushion, a book, a clock. I sit, open my book,
and the beating begins.
I’m on the roof of the world, following
Ed edging over a crevasse. As he continues the
climb my clock rattles a warning, the egg whites
have reached their peak.
Shakespeare & Co
Scooters unzip the stalled traffic. Simmering
cars wait as a coach driver unpacks
his guide book tourists.
Autumnal air sifts coolness through the
window boxed geranium leaves.
A quartered hour strikes.
The American assistant answers every
questioning intake of breath with
Je ne parle pas Français.
She leans out to water the 2nd floor geraniums.
English voices rise from the pavement
below, cursing this Paris mist.
She steps back into a cornered shadow,
grins at me and whispers –
C’est la vie!
She passed the Migraine Specials when Christmas
shopping, skirted around that aisle.
Didn’t even bother collecting a, have one now, avoid
two later voucher.
But they won’t be ignored. They’ll find you at their
hit you for a six, more dependable than the Black Caps.
They tumbled into her New Year,
Twizel seen from a different perspective. Unaided by
alcohol, mountains slid
from their bearings, tussocks waved unbecomingly.
There were no rules so
she couldn’t complain they didn’t play fair. But
when they shook her off her feet,
stomach erupting volcano-like, she started searching
for a level playing field.
A cat on your lap is warmer than a laptop,
its purr deeper than the intermittent fan.
The fan doesn’t have a content sound,
although it’s cooling the contents.
A laptop doesn’t hiss at other laptops,
roll in the middle of a busy road, or
bring small live creatures indoors
A cat on your lap doesn’t bother you
with messages from widows with 7
children or daily news of million
dollar winnings if you’ll just .......
A laptop doesn’t hang around 5pm ankles
demanding a top up or, leave furballs
for blind naked night-time feet
A cat on your lap never asks for a
password. She knows there is one
universal password and she
has mastered it perfectly.