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The wind blew through us


Girl on windy beachstopping
stopping makes a sound,
offers a plea, drops a hand,
pulls you skyward. stop-
ping lives below the
white sack on the red letter-
box, composes songs
using dust motes. show
closed, stopping warm, beside you
on the ferris wheel

‘clockwise is off’
in this convalescence – good word that with it’s
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
too many birds, yes,
too many for logic,
a squadron of black cockatoos,
cries like can openers,
sharp around the rim of sky.
collective leading,
a tag team of wakes.
too many for a chorus of updrafts,
too many for the thoughts
of too few,
too many for the sullen work of bridges.
winged fiction, air-pocketed,
scythed from page,
sleek and paragraphed.
too many for lighthouses,
for regret,
too many for ships or why.
Thursday, etched on blue,
residue of clouds.
these birds, sly bells,
too many for an abacus,
for creeds or commandment,
enough for belief
rope armies
taken my lungs to ocean, remembering
that on taps, clockwise is off, though
this is my truth, my tomorrow, not that
of the clock hands and been thinking
‘bout tides and un-neaping, and lets call it
global swarming though we’ll never get there
of course, when, for every ant there’s
a human – they know that, ‘cos for us
‘mining’ means ‘mine’ and we’re more blind
that they are and while we’re making
books for our faces they’re forming rope
armies to bind and save the world

and the wind
the wind blew through us. we were small that
day, there and not. sea was scuffed, frothed, whipped,
smear of land far out where blue skirts blue.
wind blew through us. swept us clean, swept us
of tales and ache. we were lost that day,
found but not. one gull, high up, wheeled and
watched. blew through us. we were song that day,
free on the stave, note then note, spume and
a whiff and dried weed, lick and boom of
waves, nudge of groyne. the wind blew through. we
were sand that day, sand and salt and shell
and curled. we were grain that day. wind through
us. glint of sun off the quilt of brine.
we were small and hope. the wind through us

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

Windy beach image by Shutterstock.

Topic tags: Kevin Gillam, modern Australian poetry



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Existing comments

Black cockatoos DO so sound like can openers. Thank you, Kevin, for that image and your wind and sea images.

Bill Wootton | 15 August 2014  


Les Wicks | 15 August 2014  

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