The asphalt ribbon hauling us home


Calder Highway

Calder Highway
Normally tempers fray behind the tempered
safety glass, but not today.
The city dwindles as late-in-the-day sun
slants, Late-Romantic, across clouds,
a mountain.
Cresting the hill our breath suspends
in unison.
We are laughing, eye-spying.
You, the one not driving,
spy it first:
a Jeff Koons puppy, backlit, riding a wave.
Cloud-smitten, our son and daughter
conjure horse and monkey rider -
pale Chinese zodiac aloft.
Enchanted, you catch
my eye.
Do you hoard them up, the clouds,
the games, the sprockets meshing;
steel-bound shape of us, this version -
mother, father, son and daughter -
banked for consolation later?
as if we were clouds all along
as if we were our best idea of us
sweet creatures scudding the range
The asphalt ribbon
hauling us home.
– Angela O’Rourke

Orange Song – Autumn 2014
Day One.
I walk twenty yards down Williamsons Rd.
then back.
Day Two
I walk thirty yards down Williamsons Rd.
then back.
Day Three
I walk forty yards down, to the old driveway
and look in
to where the house has been razed,
the pool all gone, no sign.
But there in the midst of a field of flattened dirt
the orange tree stands green,
heavily laden with late Autumn fruit.
I pick six oranges
and walk away up the hill.
At home in the warm, simple kitchen
we bring the fruit to the boil
in an equal measure of water,
sugar to hand,
making marmalade.
My Irish descended grandmother
passed her recipe to my mother.
Oranges, a lemon, sugar, water and a carrot
makes, by traditional alchemy,
My mother is arthritic,
making her way with the tap of a stick
she sings.
Marmalade is too much work for her now.
The fruit simmers gently for hours
filling the house with childhood.
We sit quietly,
my mother reading, me writing,
waiting for the moment
when the jam drop falls from the spoon
to crystallise
on contact
with the saucer.
– Will Day

Angela O'Rourke lives in the Macedon Ranges where she teaches English and Art at a local secondary school. In 2011 she was the winner of the inaugural Castlemaine Poetry Prize.

Will Day's work has previously appeared in Meanjin and Cordite Poetry Review.

Topic tags: Angela O'Rourke, Will Day, modern Australian poetry



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Existing comments

beautiful evocative work picture poems. Thank you.
Kate Maclurcan | 07 October 2014

My morning joy today. Thanks.
Peter Goers | 07 October 2014

Your poetry brought such delight when reading, these days, usually creates anger and frustration. Thank you.
Genevieve | 10 October 2014

A perfect moment enjoyed and captured lovingly. Enchanting.
Helen Brown | 13 October 2014

Angela's wonderful words will inspire me to look more imaginatively as I speed along that same asphalt ribbon. A delight to read that some parents still encourage their children to look out the window instead of play on their ipads
Merilyn Hoysted | 22 October 2014


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