A broken life gathered in beauty


Clouds with silver lining


I don’t know your precise job description

though I know that part of it is announcing
good news. Assaulted by daily horrors we
could surely do with more of it down here.
Was it you who started the old cliché Look
for the silver lining which turned into song?
So not your words then, but when you did
speak, the young girl was truly astonished.

Taking your advice, I find solace in clouds.
On this November day, the breeze attempts
to herd them over azure pasture. My head
lifts upwards. Beyond the shadow of your
spread wings lies the shimmering light of
high summer and the one who imagined us.

Give us this day our daily water 

more to be desired than bread
    bright chameleon pulsing
in the ocean’s plenitude
delight in its transitions
     fog  steam ice snow
its power of resurrection
give honour to rain-bellied 
    clouds soon to give birth
deep soaking of red soil
bless all things aqueous 
    pearls bouncing off green
bride of new grass  
our flesh married to water 


I hope no-one asks me
what the preacher said
or who among the hurt and hungry
we remember today

for I’ m looking 
south, where David
strikes his harp in a riot of glass
and the hymns wash over.

His face is sorrowful, though
it’s hard to think the psalm
is penitential in this sea of
red, blue and gold.

Perhaps it’s a trick of the light
but is his crown slightly askew?
O Absalom, Absalom, he laments, as
his broken life, gathered here in beauty, 

is knitted with lead.

Bill Rush

Bill Rush, who sees poetry as ‘healthy speech’ that invites both clarity and response, had his third collection Into the World’s Light published by Interactive Press in 2013.

Clouds image by Shutterstock.

Topic tags: Bill Rush, modern Australian poems



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Existing comments

Wow. Perfectamundo.
Pam | 01 December 2014

I love the images of wonder and searching evoked in these lines.
Helen M Donnellan | 02 December 2014

I loved these poems. Bill Rush is not the only churchgoer whose mind wanders during the sermon, but few of us come up with poems that communicate so well.
Rodney Wetherell | 02 December 2014

Are not good poems like these "a trick of the light" enabling us to see and experience things that are not visible to our normal vision and searching? Thank you for this gracious subterfuge Bill.
Rod Horsfield | 04 December 2014

Love it! Blame Gabriel when I dance alone and the Sun's bleeding down....caught in the tide of blossom, caught in the carnival.... lyrics Blame it on Me George Ezra
Grace Darling | 09 December 2014


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