Geraldine McKenzie

 

Look at the fools that love brings me

Context

 

 


 

Look at the fools
that love brings me

dark stretch the hollow bent

and in a glade or clearing spent

in leaps hound down a ruthless

best in this drowned in this

or these neat pools o what

are dreams or worse the solid

failing flesh of a moment

glances fled/fed it escapes me

now my hand under it

my hand to the side

my hand saying no oneís name

saying no oneís home & hoarding

bread for later its poor calls brief

occasions pass up pass out pass

on movementís all a sprawl

a shambles in the determined

bed bleak heart you bird of

green exchanges I have done such

and such and in this fashion

fit & sparkle seize a holy other

feel it feast your gloat or boat

for bright excursions wash as wander

slowly tongue would fingers spin

to span o lover let us

 


Context

The rapid dapple of rain upon the tiles
which fell as though itís been this way before and
was eager to move on to the next item
which might well have been the war
so many in the making, disintegration of
tomorrow watching from the window while I
and my brother keep our place and quiet
as the shells fall so many promises
no one meant to keep crossing our fingers
our steps and each carefully picked out
as a chain that might lead back to what
had seemed like bondage but was at least a life
and family about Iíve written you many letters
and still get no response perhaps your secretary
is keeping this from you weíre all in it together
singing in the cells singing out the hangman

part of the landscape shaking loose
and free from the common stage he floats
a while and well he may come down as we all
must and pass days by brook and fields
in the home land green land best melancholy
measure in the still fast and dark
a world for water

sometimes I canít see clearly
this light sun of forgone conclusions drives the day
bitter pace and headlong into what never ceases
work which was punishment due our hard place
the squandered skirts of heaven
help me mother, or else they cried for water ó

itís raining and the world comes out to watch
weíre so strange and no one understands us
duller than stone than worn where feet ó
is this all they do? someone singing
rarely random, piling up like evidence
a series of questions sweat tick talk

 

I canít move my ó
donít you ever get tired of this

a form of defiance though clearly co-operating
in the shored up monuments their compliance
Paris for power where guns make a clean sweep
down the boulevards and the mob which is any
mob in pursuit of their demons a confusion at the gates
mine, yours, theirs, ours ó† say ours by wicked hours
and vivid in the streets where itís raining
and the world comes out to watch

 


Bio: Geraldine McKenzie is a poet who lives in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia. Her first book of poetry, Duty, was published in 2001 by Paper Bark Press/ Craftsman House.


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