You skip through this gallery putting out eyes
of priceless Madonnas, Venuses, Helens.

You torch countless volumes of half-felt sonnets,
smash the guitar on which I would strum
my three-chord song of regret.

You bulldoze, trash and obliterate. You

lovely iconoclast, gorgeous barbarian;
you beautiful vandal.

Summer '98
The city open like a teenage heart.
Girls in singlets and
cotton dresses; every boy in love.

The afternoon drifts with ducks and swans,
before bright places on the foreheads of buses;
the mall bruised in orange and shadow.

Sprinklers in flower along North Terrace        
and trees a million points of Christmas,
like perfume poured out.

Better than candle-light, to leave
the quiet on all evening.
Just conversation and the clacking of knives;
the windows glossy with darkness,
saucepans in the kitchen
shining like souls.
At this place where our talk ends, you smile.
I find there's nothing I want.

The way your slender-lovely neck
is revealed by your
      taken-up hair.

How, when the bliss-cloud
passes over, I lose the
       thread of where.

Because of your angel and mine
you wound with such
        exquisite care.

The wine sipped-down
to luminous buttons
and the last guests gone.
I snap the lights off, one by one,
leave only candles and a song to burn out.
On the couch you lie:
replete, content,
your beauty flushed and stacked
to tip. And then a kiss
like a latch.

Cats and dogs
These lazy days when cats bake
like loaves in windows
or sprawl on footpaths like accordions.
We lounge in the park
and contemplate what it might mean
to own a boat.
Every possible dog is here, slant-wise
on leads or nosing about
in a hundred rough and scratchy orbits.
Bees are bumping along the hedges.
There's not a care
in the sky.

You say to leave roses
for the overcrowded arms of bikies

You pop inflatable hearts and cut the strings
of pink and stodgy cherubs

You shoot down my skywriting plane mid-

This is not
our day.

Each night
Each night the river of your slow undressing …
I contemplate the fall
of your breasts
and think the words
of the poet:
May her breasts satisfy you always,
if I think at all.

You called me by my name; it was
a name I hadn't heard before. 

Aidan ColemanAidan Coleman's poems have appeared in the Australian Literary Review, The Weekend Australian, The Age, Southerly, Island, Antipodes, The Warwick Review and Westerly. His first collection, Avenues and Runways (Brandl & Schlesinger) was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. In 2011 he will be writing poetry with the support of an Australia Council New Work grant. 

Topic tags: new australian poems, aidan coleman, you, summer '98, better than candle-light, rhyme, late, cats, dogs



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Existing comments

Wonderful poems! Thank you Eureka Street! Thank you Aidan!
Thom S | 12 October 2010

A very late comment - I'm in Italy and didn't read this yesterday. Utterly lovely pieces. Easy movement and unforced flow of words and of feeling. A beautiful sense of the beloved's sharing the lover's contentment. And such lovely surprises - "like a latch", "if I think at all" and "it was / a name I hadn't heard before". More, More!
Joe Castley | 13 October 2010


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