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The sound of black

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Selected poems


'clockwise is off'

in this convalescence — good word that with its
gauze-like length and syllabic wrap — been

practicing that lost art of waiting, bus and
train stations, doctors' rooms, never enough

shade or new New Ideas, been watching,
the wizened and the upright, figs ripening,

footpaths that flow like prose then trip like
misspellings, been rubbing paperbark trees,

listening in on frogs, been mulling over the
difference between learned and remembered,

the venn intersects, making a mantra
of 'clockwise is off' while pondering the

origin of knowns, the mind that did
the choosing, hands that shape our days


old stones

you'll go on ahead.
you'll tie the laces on the
sky. you'll brill the moon.

I'll bring up the rear.
I'll find old stones filled with pock-
ets. I'll tear my thoughts.



the sound of black

I understand the meaning
of her silence but don't have
a word for it so I scour
night sky for a term for the
sound of black between stars
and moon and meteorites and
planets and us and come up
with 'evol' and write it
down and then show it to her and
she says 'is that the root of
evolve like before stuff
moves or morphs?' and I say
'no, it's love backwards' and she
stares at me and says nothing


the humming insect

faint tickle amongst leaves. one bird insistent. one large flying
humming insect not seen yet. something like hope being questioned.
something like doubt seeking a friend. breeze strengthens. branches sway.

no ants on the table. so many greens. nothing like it was. washed
clean after rain. damp and verdant. you can't tell me. grey in the
green covering the slopes. won't let me in. used to be ants on

the table. hope is a promise. at least one ant. made to yourself.
hope is a painting. the blue wrens skipping. take nothing home. words to

page are easy. sunshine dappling. words off lips not so. could sleep
here. rustling. one kookaburra laughing. almost. the drab tuarts.
everything stopping. hope has momentum. hope draws lines. when we

get there. 'sort out my own problems first.' sun behind cloud. your words.
cloud silky. your hope. mine is like rice paper. a blowfly. the
humming insect. holding. edible. hand in hand. leaves lie unread.


Kevin Gillam

Kevin Gillam is a Western Australian writer with three books of poetry published.

Topic tags: Kevin Gillam, modern Australian poetry



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Existing comments

Absolutely love the poems and the way they lead and cajole us through those instant observations which we recognize with glee and melancholy but just want more, more, more

elizabeth kennedy | 13 September 2016  

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