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Four poems by Jamie Dawe


My Father


A Geelong AFL supporter

Saturdays were reserved for shouting at the Eighties Rank Arena

The juvenile meerkat elations awaiting at 30 Cumming Street Toowoomba

I received many accolades for school projects under his tutelage

His affection with mum and his affinity with the African Lovebirds, Finches and Budgerigars

Ironically, I, at fifty four, communicating with the random magpie or sparrow I recognize how they create mindfulness caged in this orb as we all are

Under the house a business- Dawe Constructions and letters in his makeshift mailbox for chores

Building fences and chopping the firewood delivered from the World War Two Blitz tipper

The Tartan bed spread with Matchbox cars 

Stove bricks wrapped up in newspaper under brumal blankets he ceremoniously supplied

His frustration with water boatmen swimming in the above ground pool

As a teenager he stared to the moon believing there was more

Yes. The world is not perfect but within closed Dawes he strived

We tend to cast aspersions on the deficit of what we believe we deserve regardless of the five gifts of senses available

On the Sabbath the regular family unit hie, we showed respect to ancestors

The latticed sepulchre bus shelter was full of visitors and we read the stones of epochal loss

Manicuring lawn plaques with paint and brushes to restore their names

Maybe by subconscious means, he was telling us to take the worlds’ tiger by the tail and tame it

Poetry readings in the formal dining area with famous author evenings

The dictionary and Thesaurus an arm’s length away

Encouraging us to seek cathartic pursuits in literature

A book- the key to prismatic ideations, speaking volumes

Under the same alien moonlight haze of preponderance

Sanguine sentiments that both of my parents and I will be reunited in a distant stratosphere




After the yellow fire resistant hoses have departed

She sieves through the ironbark ash to retrieve the melted candelabra

The black and white portrait mementos

Charcoaled star pickets in molten wounded angles

He dodders up hesitantly to his fallen castle with red cattle dog

The amputated John Deere is enough for him

Hodge podge kiln pies of misgivings

Tall matchsticks map the unreliable traffic light weather

Zephyr smokie grey boots and gumnuts pop the question

Should we rebuild in the funeral urn of memories or just lay them to dust?


The Lion Roar is No more


In 1948 in an auspiciously named area after our reigning Majesty

The first automobile cub in South Australia was assembled from saddled sand dune to seatbelt

Wheeled runways American Eagle subsidiary patriotism

Antoine Cadillac eponymous inspirations the Lion bred many

Prime Minister Ben Chifley was the first recipient flagging Specials and Premier esteem

Sleek indigenous “Monaro” and flying “Torana” muscle rivalling the Napoleonic “Camaro” on Mount Panorama

Subcompact “Barina” summiting fuel economy

“Camira” with its airy mechanical accolades 

Rugged V6 “Rodeoing” in brumby outback xerarch oomph

Bleeding internally the subsidized oil pipeline slows to a trickle

The 27 year old Commodore management flagship

hoists the White ensign of surrender to “closed shop” high dollar per diem

“There are cheaper Magellan mice to build a new generation of the Lion’s share of transportation” its parent “The General” heralds

Its jaws crunching the gears shut on Australian motoring once and for all




I own my proclivities and short comings

I own the transgressions of those which have inflicted wounds some unhealed

I own the sublime moments of subjective joy

I own little but I am rich in compassion

I own not the land it owns me

I own the stalking micro organisms and free radical cancer cells coursing through my body

I own my regrets, hate and nostalgic reminiscing

I possess receipts of friends and family

Departed not forgotten

I own the intelligence to forgive

I own my last breath of oxygen and heart beat

I will own my burial plot and final resting place

That is, until progress, government council approvals and a multi-national

apartment consortium makes way to evict me.



Jamie Dawe is a poet.


Topic tags: Jamie Dawe, poetry



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