Two oldies poems


Lutto — Sam Parisi

I came to their plastic crucifix palace
Wearing white shoes and what's new.
I followed my father through the tacky timber door
With a firm fast bolt
He sledged his shake; angled his head
In "condoglianze".
I spoke softly to seal their suspicion;
Spoke as though I hid the language
Behind my tongue
Then sat down on an empty chair.
Against a white holed wall
I watched their low to the ground slouch.
The women sat in the second room
Doused in black from head to toe
Ruing Satan with his clothes.
My mother seemed like someone else's sister
In a lap of luxury, while they lit their grief
With tales from light years away.
Across the vanquished seas
She lived and died.
I never knew herbeyond a black and white photo.
But all the while was learning
How to read
The gaudy patterned floor
Trying to pray for a woman I never saw.
I sat instead and studied the room
Through the prey of my periphery.
I hunted their gestures
Seeking to slay them
With some sophisticated slant on things
But there was too much to admire.

Renting — Graham Rowlands

The night of the day they
moved all their furniture in
they trimmed the glory vine
& partied under the pergola.
The few oldies were old enough
to be parents sussing out the place
or just parents as welcome here
as they had been elsewhere.
The disco beat kept beating
but low through the a.m. hours.
How many, how many partners or
changing partners, I've no idea.
If I said Hello, they said Hello
but I was the wall next door. They
never looked to see if I was looking.
Once, I was up & about early enough
to hear a carload roll home &
then a vomiting under my window.
Are you okay? one of them asked.
Sorry, she said quietly. That's all.
Not wanting to be misunderstood
I managed not to open my window
& say Bless you, my child.
They moved out in slow stages.
Perhaps they didn't want to go.
After moving out, they came back
for one small round wooden table.
I didn't see what they opened
I can only guess what they toasted
but they took the empties with them
along with the table. Vale.



submit a comment

Existing comments

If these are oldies, please give us more of them. Great to have poems that tell a story in which the poets find more to admire than their own sensibility. And leave adjectives alone.
Dan McGonnigal | 31 October 2006

Why are these called oldies poems? I don't understand. They are good poems though.
Amanda Bunting | 31 October 2006

Well put Dan! my favourite poems are the ones where a story is told simply and beautifully, instead of adjectives strung together (seemingly) arbitrarily.
Aurora Lowe | 02 November 2006

I don't know about that, Aurora Lowe. For anyone who has read the Adrian Mole diaries, Adrian's poem 'Tadpole' is a wonderful exercise in adjective poetry.
Seriously though, two very nice poems, Lutto reminds me a little of Vergissmeinnicht, by Keith Douglas
Peter Anderson | 03 November 2006

Paris is making his mark on the world...excellent stuff propet
Scostomato | 06 November 2006

Both beautifully written. Poetry has a way of capturing more than its words and evoking a great deal of thought.
Toby Moysa | 07 November 2006

Good job Mr. Parisi - finally read some of your work. I admire the use of imagery in this piece; it is extremely descriptive and really painted a picture in my mind. The classic lutto - it's true, your image of distraction and attempted sincerity is generally how you feel when you have not met the person that everyone else is grieving so intensely. You truly captured the emotion and the insecurity of those moments. Well done. :)
Esterina L. | 07 November 2006

The work of talented writers such as Sam Parisi who add vision, soul and emotion to poetry, should be praised. As there are very few people left who see the world in a grain of sand.

I hope Eureka Street continues to display more of the great talent expressed on this page.

Chiara Sedici | 11 November 2006

Great poem.i loved the line 'never knew her—beyond a black and white photo.' made me think of when your sitting at a family function and start thinking how you dont really no any of them. What kind of life did they have?? What are they really like underneath their outter shell?
Andy | 17 November 2006


Subscribe for more stories like this.

Free sign-up