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Our blind search for sweetness

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the one of us

one is the fret and first on top of zero and
morning is what we drew with the sun in the corner,
at our desks, all urgent, tongues awry and
the fact that ants like fingernails was the
beginning of a beautiful clasp of hours but beauty's
of little consequence measured against the
summer of all our contentments, for

summer with its flywire slack and stretch, days
of shimmering bitumen and brindled leaves, the
beginning of the bake and rise of us,
the ache and yearn and drip but just
at that moment it was the house, the windows, the clouds,
morning in crayons, our Christian names, only the
one of us, penciled proud on the back

small religion

it's as if, roaming these back streets and lanes,
you're writing a small religion, a haiku

of creeds. it's honesty, a symphony of
missing pickets and dropped fruit. the tongue

is bleeding, but the words come out the same.
checking spelling, cursive immaculate,

an orderly flight of birds across a
yellowing page. some forgottens, of course,

won't be worded. whose hours are those dressed
as cirrus? who connects the whirr of moth wings

to make theory? at these moments the hand
stutters, moves like cut up water. and some,

some here might make a diagnosis. undiluted,
urgent, serrated thinkings. you've entered this pact

between disease, a second hand and all that's
left and in between. 'inside 18 months',

the doctor's eyes upon you. here in the lane
watching ants, the blind search for sweetness


number of sips equals number of tastes

cirrus is a smeared, silent language

smother hides mother holds other

more salve in horizons than creeds

thinks spin but a moon librates

we're ants in the blind search for sweetness

monks can tell one silence from another

in ICU it's the day and your name

it's in forgetting, losing North

not long after I'm dead, you'll be dead

a peppermint brailles in bark

we're all wide-eyed in the sudden light

a hammer feels the purpose of a nail

can see the black in the blue

louvred light

it rises in scent and wet bracken
it doesn't need a wall around it
it's empty, further away than death
it could be dust motes, the soft focus
it's withered to nought but still singing
it pulls away, slides into regret
it's becoming unnecessary
it's written in the scrawl of cirrus
it whispers that North's not important
it's perforated and unbreathing
it's better in the absence of thought
it leaves moth-wing stains on fore-fingers
it's in the split lino, louvred light
it's yesterday, but no-one's noticed

Kevin GillamKevin Gillam is a West Australian writer with work published in numerous Australian and overseas journals. His two published books of poetry are Other Gravities (2003) and Permitted To Fall (2007), both by SunLine Press. 

Topic tags: new australian poems, kevin gillam, the one of us, small religion, louvred light, learnts



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Existing comments

Kevin, thanks, I really enjoyed these poems, and love your infatuation (?) with ants and North.
"summer with its flywire slack and stretch, days
of shimmering bitumen and brindled leaves, the
beginning of the bake and rise of us" is beautiful ...

Stuart Barnes | 13 February 2011  

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