The wind blew through us

2 Comments

Girl on windy beachstopping
 
stopping makes a sound,
offers a plea, drops a hand,
pulls you skyward. stop-
 
ping lives below the
white sack on the red letter-
box, composes songs
 
using dust motes. show
closed, stopping warm, beside you
on the ferris wheel


 
‘clockwise is off’
 
in this convalescence – good word that with it’s
gauze-like length and syllabic wrap - been
 
practicing that lost art of waiting, bus and
train stations, doctors’ rooms, never enough
 
shade or new ‘New Ideas’, been watching,
the wizened and the upright, figs ripening,
 
footpaths that flow like prose then trip like
misspellings, been rubbing paperbark trees,
 
listening in on frogs, been mulling over the
difference between learned and remembered,
 
the venn intersects, making a mantra
of ‘clockwise is off’ while pondering the
 
origin of knowns, the mind that did
the choosing, hands that shape our days
 
          Thursday
 
 
too many birds, yes,
too many for logic,
a squadron of black cockatoos,
cries like can openers,
sharp around the rim of sky.
collective leading,
a tag team of wakes.
too many for a chorus of updrafts,
too many for the thoughts
of too few,
too many for the sullen work of bridges.
winged fiction, air-pocketed,
scythed from page,
sleek and paragraphed.
too many for lighthouses,
for regret,
too many for ships or why.
Thursday, etched on blue,
residue of clouds.
these birds, sly bells,
too many for an abacus,
for creeds or commandment,
enough for belief
 
 
rope armies
 
taken my lungs to ocean, remembering
that on taps, clockwise is off, though
 
this is my truth, my tomorrow, not that
of the clock hands and been thinking
 
‘bout tides and un-neaping, and lets call it
global swarming though we’ll never get there
 
of course, when, for every ant there’s
a human – they know that, ‘cos for us
 
‘mining’ means ‘mine’ and we’re more blind
that they are and while we’re making
 
books for our faces they’re forming rope
armies to bind and save the world
 

and the wind
 
the wind blew through us. we were small that
day, there and not. sea was scuffed, frothed, whipped,
 
smear of land far out where blue skirts blue.
wind blew through us. swept us clean, swept us
 
of tales and ache. we were lost that day,
found but not. one gull, high up, wheeled and
 
watched. blew through us. we were song that day,
free on the stave, note then note, spume and
 
a whiff and dried weed, lick and boom of
waves, nudge of groyne. the wind blew through. we
 
were sand that day, sand and salt and shell
and curled. we were grain that day. wind through
 
us. glint of sun off the quilt of brine.
we were small and hope. the wind through us


Kevin Gillam headshotKevin Gillam is a Western Australian writer with three books of poetry published.

Windy beach image by Shutterstock.

Topic tags: Kevin Gillam, modern Australian poetry

 

 

submit a comment

Existing comments

Black cockatoos DO so sound like can openers. Thank you, Kevin, for that image and your wind and sea images.
Bill Wootton | 15 August 2014


Superb.
Les Wicks | 15 August 2014


Similar Articles

The shock of the news of Kennedy and Nixon

  • Brian Matthews
  • 15 August 2014

Last week, when I heard a Margaret Throsby interview with Nixon's White House Counsel John Dean, I immediately remembered in startling detail where I was forty years ago. It was high summer, a beautiful warm day in Oxford. I was strolling along the banks of the Thames through a leafy camping ground; a voice, tragic yet culpable, retrieved from an unseen radio on 8 August 1974 in another country.

READ MORE

The beauty of hard-won hope

  • Megan Graham
  • 07 August 2014

Broken and bruised by their respective journeys, Gretta and Dan seize the chance for solidarity. For both, their sense of compassion and resilience allows them to navigate a cold and indifferent New York City that threatens to swallow them whole. They use the creation of music as a mirror to reflect back a version of themselves – and NYC – that they can love. 

READ MORE

We've updated our privacy policy.

Click to review