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15 Wisdom Street

  • 17 June 2014















15 Wisdom Street

the woman next dooris not talking to her husbandshe rakes a garden argumentpunishes leaves, brawls with flowersfrustrated by the strength of weedskneels on a stone and swears

inside the househer husband smokesand reads the paper, turnseach urgent page amazedthat he is not news

he wonders who writestrue histories of pain, of hate

newsprint stainshis fingers like guilt


The sphinx at your door

at this pebbled frontiersteps a lame mansinging heads I wintails I win

free of the leaping herd'snostalgia for the precipice

lostin the dusty intervalbetween the bubble sunand bubble moon(those liars)

all that is outsidehim torrents in himbut he sings

I am a porous manheads I wintails I win


Little Oxford Street

old men sleepin the backof abandoned carswarm in muscatdreams under dirty


plastic garbage bagstorn by dogs revealtin smiles, ash,rotted fruit, lettersnot worth keeping,

small bones

old men wake like Thomaswho had to touch to believe


Everyday masterpiece

enthronedon their cool verandah

the old ones

connoisseursof light and shade

resolveall problemsof proportion

each fragile gesturea brush-strokein a self-portrait

nearing completion

John Ellison Davies lives in Gosford, New South Wales. His poems and short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including Southerly and The Australian. Selected poems have been broadcast on ABC Radio National's A First Hearing and Poetica.

Street number image from Shutterstock