Nunc dimittis

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Selected poems

 

 

Hours

Matins

the brush of wet grass

under faint stars

 

Lauds

one golden eye

on a pink petal

fluttering

 

Prime

the crescendo and diminuendo

of cars on a freeway

 

Terce

two ravens —

discussing kindness

 

Sext

spilt stories shared —

a hashtag

 

None

one black feather in the corvid's beak

 

Vespers

shadow of a pen —

these words in ink

 

Compline

how can I hear you above the ringing in my ears?

 

 

Nunc dimittis

Cast the wonder of who we are —

an old man, a child, their story —

as if held over a font. The aged words

pour like fortune over the child's head

 

precipitating ends. A choir sings

and southern crux moves across a sky

above suburban light displays

and lorikeets that thrive in yards.

 

A long year of doing, and time for

blessing now. Nights sift

the wind like brushes on scraggy

callistemon. The camellia's gloss

 

cups and bleaches light. The woman

hears of sorrow for the child. Earth

is not at peace. Each angel recollects —

solemn with pathos for the whole.

 

 

The interval

for Judith Rodriguez

 

offers an impressionist tableau

of whites and greys, pale

 

peach, florid but muted

reds, light reflected

from glassware, the orange

 

ochres of upholstery blended

into privilege (a little shabby —

dress is not utmost) of an ear

 

shared across a variousness

of skill and education (an aging

Jesuit is introducing his niece

 

to the former politician ex-

quiz whiz and his companion,

a writer of grief wanders by

 

with her actor daughter). Tending

the soul excludes without

intention, without law. (No ticket's

 

fine print says all cannot

share this joy.) The signal

sounds again. I drain

 

the pinot grigio from the glass,

return it to the bar, go in

to hear the second half.

 

 

Anne ElveyAnne Elvey's recent poetry publications include Kin and This Flesh That You Know and White on White. Anne is managing editor of Plumwood Mountain and chief editor with Melbourne Poets Union.

Topic tags: Anne Elvey, poetry

 

 

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Existing comments

Your words touched and soothed my heart today. Great Thanks!
Michael Furtado | 02 November 2018


That is lovely to hear, Michael.
Anne | 05 November 2018


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