Another stranger on a tram



Selected poems


For Mary Manning

Take my seat Mary, I don't need it, I'm getting off next stop.

May your transition be painless and peace full.

You left an indelible impression on this young, creative mind as my first ever poetry teacher.

The psalms say we may get three score and ten, God willing four score, but in the end we are cut off and then we fly off.

What are our lives but a tale that is told?

Take my pen, Mary, you might need it to say you were here.

I came to St Paul's spaceship to light a candle for you, the countdown until this rocket soul leaves.

I'm going to miss you, Mary, have fun out there. Write me a line sometime, now you're not breathing, just floating.

This cathedral is held up by hollow bones.

I'll always love you, Mary, true mother of all my poems.

I leave by the backdoor of a stained glass rising sun.



Ten good things

Teddy bears with bowties.

Zebra crossings.

Children in the bathtub with bubble bath beards.

Licking a stamp on a love letter sent.

Kissing and other brushstrokes.

Spilled sunlight.

Being tickled at the hairdresser.

Lullabies that mean 'Goodnight baby' and not goodbye.

But shaken eyes, when opened, cry.



Non-contact sport 

It's a no eye contact sport,

When I see a girl I like.

She's putting lip balm on her lips,

As the morning scenery slips by like a young child getting out of his pyjamas.

I stare at everyone but her,

Because her face is like a burning sun behind closed eyes.

It's only as I go to get off she looks up and smiles.

I smile back, I've done a few miles with these smiles.

I'd like to peel the pastry off and eat the sweet thing underneath,

I catch my breath like a butterfly in a net.

She's another stranger I'll never know the destination of.



The world is a light globe

The world is a light globe,

A flower bulb.

The world needs to be treated well,

Like a new born baby girl.

The world's deep blue iris,

Is going blind with a virus,

Watched by outer space pirates.

What our money can't buy us is Mother Nature's forgiveness.

Our mother of God,

The moonlight,

The spoon fed,

The mushroom cloud,

The Muslim veil.



Tell me angels

Tell me angels that it gets better.

That the soul gets wetter.

That someone dear to me writes me that letter.

I'm no jet setter,

I'm just God's trusted babysitter.

So many have left her,

So why don't you go out and get her?

Wrap her up in your arms,

Like you're an umbrella or coat stand.

I don't mind being that for her.

It's not supposed to hurt to put a woman first,

But it often does.



My baby brother

We use to carry you in with the washing in the washing basket.

We dressed you up like a girl,

I'm sorry.

The day you were born I wrote love poems for you,

I was so happy.

I use to watch you catch insects,

Your laugh was infectious.

I'm so proud of you,

With your first brand new tattoo,

And your bittersweet bravery.



Mrs Supermoon

Oh Mrs Supermoon,

Guess I won't see you again soon.

Biggest moon of the century,

Happens once in a lifetime.

Get your beauty at Priceline.

Oh, Mrs Supermoon,

I didn't go outside,

So I never saw when you passed by.

Oh, Mrs Supermoon,

Totally fucked off with superman.

What's one giant leap for man,

Is just one touch of your hand.

Oh, Mrs Supermoon,

I know this is not in tune,

But don't crush me to your breastly dunes.

So glad you married that Godly dude.

Let your light take us forward,

From this darkest of nights.


Peta Yowie headshotPeta Yowie is a Melbourne writer.

Topic tags: Peta Yowie, poetry



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Existing comments

Beautiful modern poetry. It interests me that so much modern poetry is never quoted nor does it settle in the memory in iterative, treasured words. Neither does it often endure in its imagery. Today's offering, however, while it does not provide an everlasting word picture does leave behind a beautiful impression which will endure while not being precisely quoted. It resides in the human emotional perception without extravagant language- a rarity in modern poetry. The essence of great poetry!
john frawley | 05 June 2017

John Frawley, thank you for your comment. My first thought when I read these poems was 'How beautiful'! The second was 'What was all that about, though'? After reading your reflection, I now understand just enough to just love them.
Joan Seymour | 06 June 2017

Lovely, lovely stuff Peta. Reminds me of Yehuda Amichai, and that's saying something. Thankyou
Gwynith Young | 08 June 2017

Thanks for a delightful poem about Mary
Angela Manning | 15 June 2017

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