A life of oranges



my father
is still in

the house
he built

with his wife
those hand

held walks
after work

from three suburbs
away, to plant

a garden
as the bricks

became walls
& as the fruit

trees budded
walls became

rooms, became
a life of oranges

as big as suns
heavy & ripe

just touching
an earth

that was forever


for Br James Murray cfc

along the beach
the song

of a tide
a wave

& then another
& another

the day

at yesterday’s eulogy
the Cathedral

bristled with tears



the shirt tails
of family

the threads
frayed in the wind

semaphore back
& forth

a line
of song

though a suburb
of backyards


red gum

he had

picked out
the tree


a red gum
on the side

of the road
into town

or out of

on circumstances
& patterns

a domestic vein
or artery

to take blood
to or away

from the heart
which stopped

beating when
he crashed



this heat in autumn
rises off the walls

facing the Gulf
flutters surrender

all the rag ends
a sun cut in half

balances on
the horizon

Rory Harris headshotRory Harris is a poet and teacher. His poetry collections include Over the Outrow, From the Residence, Snapshots From a Moving Train, 16 poems, and Uncle Jack and Other Poems.

Topic tags: Rory Harris, poetry



submit a comment

Existing comments

"red gum" - deeply felt. So many crosses and flowers along our country highways.
Pam | 23 September 2013

I can see many lives in these poems. I was only writing this week about how home is a sacred place. A good poem flicks your mind into many places, a memory, a place, a sadness. I recall taking the family to my mother-in-laws small yard to pick luscious oranges from the tree. The bought ones never tasted as good.
Jenny Esots | 24 September 2013

Thank you, Rory Harris. Absolutely beautiful, sensitive, poignant, evocative. I will broadcast it on Twitter to a wider audience.
Caroline Jones | 24 September 2013

Annoying Orange | 24 September 2013

great to read these poems.
Les Wicks | 27 September 2013

.. thanks for sharing – so many suns.... so many forever’s……..yet…..so few tomorrows …….only today……….not to be wasted!
Joe | 13 October 2013


Subscribe for more stories like this.

Free sign-up