Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 2 , November 2015



Tom Morton

  Now is the time of jacarandas and the first heat, 
  Of cold beer in the garden before sunset 
  Slither of okra on the tongue 
  A parrot fussing over red flowers
  Now you put on your summer dress and green shoots thrust 
  From the blunt phalli of the frangipani 
  You won’t wear new clothes 
  And how you love it when the knives are sharp
  Now Sydney opens up her arms and says 
  Come, all is forgiven 
  Forget your wintry miseries 
  On my bare breasts
  The days get longer, a sudden heatwave 
  And the outrageous heavy sweetness 
  Of the jacaranda on the river path 
  Jiggles the deadlocks on
  Whole rooms of me 
  I’ve not been in, this long winter
  In the quarter hour before ten 
  The jets fall silent over Sydenham 
  The sirens recede into Canterbury 
  Our sons fall exhausted on their beds and sleep
  In the mornings you draw the curtains wide 
  My knees ache, hair’s full of seaweed 
  You survey your breasts and buttocks in the mirror 
  Like a general watching an orderly retreat
  Is gravity stronger on Jupiter? 
  Asks younger son 
  So curious, so eager, so disheartened 
  Older son mumbles and rumbles 
  Gusts of raw temper like the southerly, 
  Lightning spiking over Botany Bay
  In the twilight 
  Bougainvillea flickers
                                            Jacarandas smoulder 
  Down the hill, on the Lidcombe line
  The rails keen and moan under a freight train 
  Kisses the river.