Fellow creatures

 

Selected poems

 

Fellow creatures

with blazes nearby, TV news bars well on fire

we human animals are panicked

feel the shudder of rotors above our roofs

 

very soon thirsty

helitankers

will thunder down to drink

from our neighbourhood lake

 

may we remember tomorrow

nothing will be more worried

than pelicans in broken reeds

the night heron in its naked tree

 

we should pity frogs and dogs

and other animals, not so far away

also trembling in their homes

 

time for us to pray

from what God has joined together

let nothing separate

 

 

 

Jogging by Herdsman Lake

he jogs on twisting plaster

of limestone path

circling the lake

 

swooping welcome swallows

splinter shadow and brightness

bisect shoreline trees

 

surface water suns itself

trickles between islands of rushes

idles towards an unseen drain

there is no race

 

youngsters are passing

but he's still jogging

however sluggishly

 

pursued by that future

when curtained off

he will toss in the towel

 

he runs on, he runs on

more aware of

his breathing now

 

 

 

From Mount Eliza

your gun sight blocked by the haze

across a long range of hills

the city below a lacquerish dream

Perth Water in just enough focus

 

to see jellies bobbing

a metre from Mounts Bay Road

you scan a littered shoreline

million bricks of an old brewery

 

you peer into the crow's nest

of a colonial palm tree

wind waggling its elephant ears

lurid as wasp, a cyclist clad

 

in orange and black

buzzes up Mitchell Freeway

beyond the gleam of the city

lots going on that you won't see

 

 

 

Single bedroom apartment, Churchlands Green

looking down upon the suburbs

her third-floor window view

headlights joust up Pearson Street

a girdle of street lamps to the east

mapping Herdsman's jagged, black sea

 

beyond Subiaco, a stack

of poker chips above the CBD

crossing the room to stare

through west facing window

at a hump of dark

 

foreshadowing coastline

Wembley Public Golf Course

crowned with a cloud of light

illuminations from the driving range

where clowns propel white tracer

 

shadows of old trees spilling down grassed banks

daisy chain cut-outs

which she fancies

as tall, dark men holding hands

going downstairs for a walk through the Estate

 

houses lit up on all four sides

spying people sharing hives

soft volumes of light in family rooms

filled with warm, warm lives

another thing she's never known

 

 

Emissaries

an Academic Taskforce sign

its arrow pointing down

a street in our suburb

where we meet

 

a happy looking Chinese family

the little girl in yellow padded jacket

is waving, waving at us

Woofy trots six steps forward

 

wags his curly tail

a tide of smiles, Yangtze wide

in this way and that nods either side

morning greetings, or Ni hao

 

 

Ross Jackson headshotRoss Jackson lives in Perth. He has had work in many Australian literary journals and some of his poems have appeared in New Zealand, Ireland, England and Canada. He writes about the experience of aloneness in the suburbs, about aging, visual art and other topics.

Topic tags: Ross Jackson, poetry

 

 

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