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Buddhist traffic light


Selected poems



My friend, new to Mandalay, never before
in Asia, sighs as she sees the east-
and west-bound cars and rickshaws slow to
a ragged fringe across the intersection.
The north- and south-bound take their turn
in the same gentle, fearless lack of order.
Ah, she says, see how aware they are,
each of the other. Such harmony: you can tell
it's a Buddhist country. Spoilsport, I point
to where, so easily ignored, enmeshed in a
thicket of wire overhead, lights flicker:
green, amber, red.

— Lesley Lebkowicz



Mail Pattern Boldness [meru otoko]

I live in a quiet part of town
The neighbours are nice and
proper. We vote, we are quiet
our children do well at good

schools, we keep our gardens
tidy. The mail carrier is not
from around here. He drops
letters on the wet grass, does

not always shave, smells of
cigarettes and closed rooms
is much too loud with screen
doors and tramps through the

ivy as if his heavy boots were
made of silk. We watch in silent
horror from behind lace curtains.
Is it like this on your street?

— Andrew J. Khaled Madigan




This is a lonely place, this messy desk.
The air-con heating hums forlorn.
To leave the building is to take a risk
that employment sees another morn.

This is a lonely breath that I inhale,
as I drive my short commute.
The clockwork mouse under the hood sets sail
as I drift home to my well repute.

This is a lonely life, this tour de jour,
as I lose sight of myself.
Daily consumption of dear caffeine's brew
breaks up allotted times. Seasons of health.

This is a maudlin, self-pitying elf
passing an existential ally-oop.
Hoping to perceive my better self
rallying round the reasons to re-group.

To score a heaping help of pointed tomes;
to get beyond the badinage.
To lose myself in joyful, human poems
and join the roiling repechage.

This is a lowly downer, an ill song,
that nonetheless safeguards some joy.
There is a hope that gets me past each wrong,
reminding me I'm more than winter's toy.

— Barry Gittins


Lesley LebkowiczLesley Lebkowicz lives in Canberra. She writes poetry and prose and has won awards for both.

Andrew MadiganAndrew Madigan is a writer from Washington, DC. His novel, Khawla's Wall, is published by Second Wind.

Barry GittinsBarry Gittins is a communication and research consultant for The Salvation Army.

Topic tags: Lesley Lebkowicz, Andrew Madigan, Barry Gittins, poetry



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Existing comments

3 fine poems especially "Mail Pattern Boldness.." A good start to the day. Ta poets.

Peter Goers | 02 August 2016  

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