Poems

MAN PLAYING HARMONICA

After the Welsh concert I’m marching
to the Men of Harlech
On Princes Bridge I pass an old man

a box of coins at his side
Just as my father did, he plays a harmonica
one hand cupped over the end

Royal Telephone, the song
my father asked for on his deathbed
jangles over the pavement

I throw gold into the battered box
wanting to thank him 
for something I can’t put into words

Cruise boats flatten under bridges
twilight runners are intent
on their own heartbeats

The Yarra glides on, dividing the city
I watch the carriage lamps reflected in the water
as the old man plays Moon River

 

LOOKOUT

Insert compass point and describe an arc
puckered shoreline softened by lips of foam
where waves saunter in with booty
from Antarctica

Up high looking down and out I see
the rocks flattened in grey-brown obeisance
and the sea surrendering Prussian blue
to turquoise

Protean clouds skylark
chase their shadows in a rollicking
game of catch-me-if-you-can
I feel vertigo coming on

My fall would be broken
by scruffy ti-tree holding the line
from cliff top to beach where anglers
skirt grey aprons of skates

Sunbathers are nonpareils on sand cake
ignored by wheeling falcons
in their hunt for more docile prey
A black-and-white butterfly plummets and soars

 

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