Dream of me


A photograph of Venice
no-one notices her a blown flag
hurrying across the square's end where pigeons cloy
like filings round the icecream man couple after couple
promenading the tiles in order to be seen in order to cast
long privileged shadows a dark dog watching leg raised
sun hazed among pines probably spring probably thoughts descending

towards the gold of bracelets the lure of dinner father and daughter
striding in step but there's sunlight on serge a conferring
of uniform caps near the fountain another four with swords
trailing like lizards on show another five strutting abreast
boots in concert bearing down on a schoolboy
their epaulettes sharp as prophetic orders on this
softly seething day's end Venice 1939 spiked
with the well-oiled portent of rifles footsteps
imperceptibly hushing Stars of David trembling
against the Vatican's exclusive whispers
no-one noticing as she hurries away
in her gown like a flag
in a scurry of wind

Lorne viewed over sea boulders

… dark love of these black shamans
on a sloping beach light paying out its primal
minutes a hundred brimmings of bulk and shadow
this new tide that rocks a day to sleep stitching
up the shoreline's steep leaf storeys

silence is tricked out in water's shy asides

I seek reminders in my watch's face
wonder how I stranded here eyes stumbling
guiltily towards forest and far over the gables
of coy houses hills' feet shuffling
among the glint of cars

but back to basics: behind me sunset paints
an epilogue across the bay
retreat in silk it's saying
until way down in what we all forget we know
I might be lost again nosing through weed gauntlets
tendrils the sway of millenia in the deep rooms
of world's most solemn pool …


when I get there driving through the night rain's sheen
I come on myself already asleep in the bed
mouth ajar head resting on one elbow

drawing off gloves I bend down
to look more closely I see my face is riven
with concern like a baroque ikon like christ's
gaunt cheeks like a hare in drought

what happens now? do I reach down to smooth
the hair at the temples? do I trace the worry lines
on the forehead? do I kiss the eyelids?

no — I bunch
my gloves and slap a slack jowl hard bringing a red
weal to the upper lip and starting open
eyes that look fearfully beyond me
at something I can't see

Grame Kinross-SmithGraeme Kinross-Smith is poet, novelist, writer of short fictions and photographer. He writes in Melbourne, Geelong and Port Campbell. His novel Long Afternoon of the World has been hailed as a poet's novel and compared to the work of Patrick White and Marcel Proust.


Topic tags: new australian poems, Graeme Kinross-Smith, dream, Lorne viewed over sea boulders



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Existing comments

Graeme, thanks for these poems. I love them both, particularly that triplet of similes in 'Dream': 'riven with concern like a baroque ikon like christ's gaunt cheeks like a hare in drought'. That's really memorable.
Mary Manning | 23 February 2010

I love them both too. My favourite lines are from Lorne viewed over sea boulders - 'silence is tricked out in water's shy asides' and 'sunset paints an epilogue across the bay'.

They carry a gentle grace.
Anne Doyle | 24 February 2010

More superb work in ES!
Les Wicks | 26 February 2010

What a way to start Friday! Lifted to another plane. Thank you.
Jo Clarke | 26 February 2010


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