Sun blast Eucharist

the long ago

in the slow cat's bowl
soaking days

wild bird seed
on the porch

you wipe down a kitchen
where you are now finally dominant

heavy days ordering joy
in wild bird flight

& a cat too well fed
to chase, & a son

at one end of the table
how tomatoes tasted

in the long ago
from a mother's garden


leaves fall form sails a vein of purchase
in the wind & in the gutter
twigs on a stick rattle bone


& it is here we have staked a life
counted off the steps & measured
what it is we need
a sun blast under the tongue
as hands dissolve in prayer
a beat of rain on rooftops


road wraps ribbons bowed to a future
spread through a planted forest
& then the open palm of grain

trucked in tight on the corners
the rub of tyres to a broad sweep weatherboard
& blocked in five hectare dreaming

patterns disappear out the window
the awkward stiffness of the hotel's stairs
a rattle of routines
boutique designs at the feet of mountains
a hand painted even blue of cotton wrap sky

the railway station is air con cool
soft seats & the cricket is on television
England is winning

soft light the river rises
to the stumps of peeling weatherboard

cutting a sway along these thin back roads
drive on the crest
& drop to the left over a verge of cut grass
when something bigger then you approaches
hold tight

the coast is jagged like a weeping cut

the high end of town
pizza beer dusk
the evening is a take away vacation

the net has holes as big as fish
hands salt stained swim slippery wet towards each other

the hotel's curtains hang flat
against the open window's main street

for Helen

maybe it takes something
the death of a father
to get a handful of grand children
onto an out of season beach to scatter petals
in the shallows which roll around their limbs
prickling needle points of cold
under a blank sky
while their parents punch out & punch through
their eyes pinched against the wind
& the ashes


flat line horizon
at the end of a graze

a floating dream
smoke stacked

& silently sailing south 

Rory HarrisRory Harris won the 2008 Satura Prize. He teaches at CBC Wakefield Street, South Australia.

Topic tags: new australian poems, Rory Harris, religious poetry



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