Artefacts of grace



a shelf lined with gifts
exchanges fine as flight
our arms unwrap from our bodies

for Florence
your weight
barely dents
the fabric
over your bed
a life of quilts
made simple
& held up
your room
a lighter shade
of more than ninety years
artefacts of grace
taught generation
to generation
to generation
& on your bedside cabinet
the water glass holds autumn

or Molly & Emily
from less than a suburb away
both my adult daughters
peg out the wash
a fluttering of rhymes
on the nursery sea breeze

for David
back along the road
slit eyed into the black morning
turning the wheel through white lined
gaps until the country opens as a spread of hands
the wide sky relaxing
in the hum of hardwoods
to the neon flash glamour on a stick
glass & concrete the Paris end wet & slick
the pavement slides under foot
French & purposeful runny eggs
& only one of us is fluent enough to get the best seat
the dim sim sun
breaks through a crust of sky
the street’s hustle
of deal or no deal hanging together like dripping baskets
the walls speak a menu’s script
beer shopping in supermarkets is still a novelty
the one more cigarette before bed
in a few hours the all-day breakfast
wall to wall trams
wall to wall books
the gallery’s lighting is industrial & warm
outside is the wool wrap dust of a strip Thursday night cold
Pride for Hipsters
is too good not to write down
past the monuments of pubs where we held your wake
& moments of eulogy
a bus ride across borders for a cousin who died young
here it is hipster cool a sky of tears
your beard was always in need of a trim
you didn’t live long enough for skinny jeans
your style was blanket checks across your shoulders
after abandoning a life time of cigarettes
you kept warm at the damp end of student housing
A free beanie with every purchase
would have inspired you to buy something in this ANZAC week
revisioned more times than my father’s pleated flannels
his medals in the drawer above
& you would have stopped at every bric-a-brac shop
from here to kingdom come
as the town’s chill blows out breath at four in the afternoon
the sun is lost to the splintering of kindling
the red gum ran out years ago
between the scented soap shops
on this dog leg street
a cold prick of wind on stubbled cheeks
I hope you are wearing your beanie 

Rory Harris

Rory Harris teaches at CBC Wakefield Street, South Australia.

Quilt image by Shutterstock.

Topic tags: Rory Harris, modern Australian poetry



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Existing comments

I have always loved Rory's poetry which is chicken soup for rainy days. Like his recent poem for Florence; Rory gifts our lives with artefacts of grace.

Noel Mifsud | 29 June 2015  

Thank you Rory. A delight to read. Wonderful imagery. Trish

Patricia Taylor | 30 June 2015  

Rory Harris is an artefact of grace. Glorious work.

Peter Goers | 30 June 2015  

Rory you are precious. i always admired you, in your care, smiling always, and makes everyone happy. God bless you and happy to know you by working with you. i always enjoyed.

Sr Jimsy CP | 30 June 2015  

A wonderful expressive man who has a unique way with words and how he sees life. Inspiring!

Rachele Tullio | 30 June 2015  

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