In the uncomfortably quiet streets


Opening scene from Blue Velvet

The Desolate Spaces
We need our ghosts like poems
Especially the kind
That cling to the palate
The kind of ghosts that belong
To no program
The kind of poems that cling
To the roof of your mouth
Like home-made wine
I have poetry you said
I have poetry
I have need
Of nothing else
I have poetry
Nobody except everybody
Taught me
Now I need only everything
Nothing else.

This morning I woke up scared for
In my dream I was poet
I was a poet in my nightmare
Worst of all I think
In the uncomfortably quiet streets
I think I may have been
The only poet
Streets like the streets
In Blue Velvet or Land of the Giants.

The Last Book
This beautiful notebook
Sounds like the sea
Full of scratches and bites
Wrote that a good notebook
And understanding how to use it
Are more important than
Just about anything
I am extra careful
I carry a beautiful library around with me everywhere
In a stone
Small sharp white no black
Imbued with the nothing of ages
Carrying everything dangerous
Dangerously self-educated
A boatload of navigators learning new tongues
After nothing more than a fair crack at happiness
Poetry they tell us
Is always a new page
Nestled in between the lines
Of the old page
In the last book.

John Falzon

Dr John Falzon is Chief Executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council and is author of The Language of the Unheard (2012).

Topic tags: John Falzon, modern Australian poetry



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Existing comments

Wow. So gently confronting. (Congratulations on your AM Dr Falzon, well deserved).
Pam | 15 June 2015

A man of many hats. Thank you John
Trish Taylor | 16 June 2015

Thanks for this beautiful gift to start the day.
Peter Goers | 16 June 2015

Ahhhhh. Poetry with a beautiful quietness at its centre. Thank you John.
Anna Summerfield | 19 June 2015

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