He is not the killer he used to be

Crow on a wire


Pb– Shelley said    'the sunlight claps the earth    & the moonbeams kiss the sea    what are all
these kissings worth    if thou kiss not me'    she describes what she sees    a crow on a wire on a
cloud on the sky through the glass through the lace through the mirror by the bed    her foot is
dead    blown up black as a doomsday balloon & propped on a cushion or two    soon she will
heal & she will get up    go forth like a bible a trespass a tree    he is not the killer he used to be    
{drainpipes-tankards-bullets-fuel} but her every lover her filler of dreams her kisser of broken
& bruised    she watches him through the pills    o puffer of pillows!    o swimmer of air!    o
bringer of cups of tea!    she misses him when he leaves    whispers to foot that when she re-
covers she will love him for ever & ever    but now he is heading back down the stairs & she
stares at his absence & then at foot & murmurs look! a crow on a wire on a cloud on the sky
through the glass through the lace through the mirror by the bed    the sunlight claps her head                                

describe what you see    a room    a life    moonbeams kissing the face
of your barely-there wife    we are soft & grey in our natural state &
date from Roman times    we illuminate all the glass of Chartres & are
battered & beaten into shape as easily as a dog    how we hammer &
hammer against one another until the seam is hid by our dream & this
dream is unto perfection    arise-arise-arise-arise    you hold my hand &
yes I get up & walk    there is no greater thing    we spend our days in
double magic isotopes    mouthing the words "miracle" "miracle"    try
to describe what we see above the sad trees    a ban on marriage by the
European Union    a deadly divorce from all solder    a fear of a future
that kills us both sometimes    but still this room & still this life    how
we shine & shine & shine



Sb–s news says    'terror! terror!'    trans: 'Islam! Islam!'    & if you are in the café that day or
your car doesn't go or your cat is stuck up a tree    stay calm    just think terror! terror!    the
Muslims are here!    & you will be alright    paint your eyes with "stibium" {Latin} /
"guhlu" {Assyrian} / "kohl" {Arabic} & you will be fine    this is not the C17th    Frenchies
debating poison / cure    we are much more enlightened now    gone! all those killers of
times    gone! the apocryphal "anti-monk" moniker   {despite the fact the poor monks died}    
let us toast him with goblets of fine al-kohl    salute him with purgative purposes    let us
welcome him into our loveless & battery minds

I see you on the Hunan train    pass Xikuangshan Mine    travel the primeval "south
of the lake" terrain    I see you see the Yangtze & Xiang    stop for hot-pot in Mao's
hometown    I see you in your previous life    when one could be cured of having a
wife    I see Nebuchadnezzar & his wonderful walls sending him mad as a cow    I
see Johann Gutenberg's moveable type    & you planting words round the world like
rice    I see Mozart dying & Newton possessed by your weird hermaphroditic smile    
I see bullets! bullets!    your name on each one    I see superacid artefacts witches &
queens    I see you gentle in sleep next to me    I close my eyes    see you wave to me    
see you leave on that train   away-away-away    



B–efore there is war    after there is war    always war
think cleanliness next to godliness    laundry on
crosses for miles & miles    the Victor husbands    
the Borax wives    think peace    think ceasefire
stars in their shared air-space skies    over Israel
Syria    Crimea    Nigeria    children at home with
each of their limbs    churches & houses the cross-
roads between    no dirty no dead    think cosmic-
ray-spallation instead    think Silly Putty    think
happiness things    a cheap Pyrex rock in a cheap
chintzy ring    think you in my arms    pelicans
swirling deep circles above & we in sweet sleep    
think peace

Jordie Albiston

 Jordie Albiston’s awards include the 2010 NSW Premier’s Prize. Her last two collections are XIII Poems (2013) and The Weekly Poem: 52 exercises in closed & open forms (2014).   

Crow on wire image by Shutterstock.

Topic tags: Jordie Albiston, modern Australian poetry



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