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Spring is a hard season for the lonely

  • 13 October 2020
Selected poems  


At Torakina Park

(Brunswicks Heads)


Three plover chicks prow Torkina Park, parents at their

helm: their heads alert, their eyes sails. If these were

waters, the kookaburra in the grevillea branches above


would be a shark. It sails near them. One parent flaps

and shrieks, the second pilots the chicks into

a harbour of low-slung branches.


Spring is a hard season for the lonely. The debris

of winter storms: grief-stricken trees, their

branches scattered & shattered on the ground


as if they were my heart. I sit Buddha-like

on this sea of grass. I listen. Angels' hymns

turn the loam of memory: my attachment to


terra firma where chicks tumbling in the sun-

light with their parents or the ocean of starlight

kindling midnight, blaze through the despondency ahead.



A mug's lament 


I know my provenance. I remember the fiery hearth, the potter's patient care.

Fine bone china is a first cousin. These dainty cups refine the houses of


English gentry. My forebears were Ming porcelain; courtesans held

them aloft, their nails lacquered, pink as prawns. Location, location,


location spruik the real estate egos. Imagine an eon of sameness:

same neighbours, same location, same outfit, a life as featureless


as an eternal brick wall in a cupboard's rear. Envisage no variations,

a one-note whiteness as that purple polka dot clone (think Kim Kardashian)


enjoys around-the-clock use. I crave variety, the bright glints of champagnes

flutes. Come fleshy lips, come tantalising tongues, taste this luscious curve.



Hole in the world


Your curt gesture —

a hand cutting through air

— peels my skin.

Your ridicule slices

my heart at its song.

All we shared

falls through a hole

cut in the side

of the world.




Peter Mitchell is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Conspiracy of Skin (Ginninderra Press, 2018) and The Scarlet Moment (Picaro Press, 2009). Living in Lismore on Bundjalung Country, he writes poetry, memoir, short fiction and literry criticism. His writing has been published or is forthcoming in international and national print and online, journals, magazines and anthologies. Conspiracy of Skin was awarded a Highly Commended in the 2019 Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry. His memoir, Fragments through the Epidemic awaits a publisher. At present, he is working on his first full collection of poetry, The Loam of Memory. His website is www.peter-mitchell.com.au. Main image: Plover chicks (Flickr/Ethan Gosnell)