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Working mum's bar blues


Bavarian Aunt

Aunt Lottie had a slow and careful walk
every step could jar
the delicate balance
of the fragile grand piano
she had swallowed.

It was no ordinary instrument
it was entirely made of crystal
which added to the fears
of its disturbance
or destruction
by the simplest slip or stumble
or missed footing on a step.

It was a slight inconvenience
she had taken in her stride.
Matters concerning the said piano
were only discussed in hushed tones
on Wednesday afternoons
and only with her dearest nephew, Ludwig
who sensitively seemed to understand
the precious nature of imagination
and the tickling discomforts
of digested furniture and such things
as fancy may create.

Worn-down days of winter

In the worn-down days of winter
the night sinks early
in mallee rooted smoke

The days seep slowly
from frosted whites
to saturate with green

The tattered shreds of cloud
are barely held together
by pins of light

A bolt of grey chiffon
has rolled across
the counter of the sky

Riding the tides of wind
wild writhing trees
are waves of unleashed energy

like iced pearl drop
and smash to earth granita

This is not Manet's Paris

This is not Edouard Manet's Paris
Not that white marble bar, un bar aux Folies-Bergere
with that peachy round, velvet-corseted young woman
soft unseen hands of a lacy courtesan
on display with the pale pink roses and juicy mandarins
facing the elegant 19th C chandeliered room
and her gentleman admirers.

No this is Brack's Bar
Melbourne in the fifties
when the Collins Street mob
have knocked off
to schooner themselves
'til six o'clock and home.

Squared and angular this woman is omnipotent
A working mother with dark shadowed eyes
she offers nothing more than serving drinks
and mopping up the mess men leave behind
working stoical hands planted on the bar ready
ready for action, ready for anything, coping
giving nothing but her labour
can't complain, who'd listen?

But those spring poppies playful
in that over ripe womb vase
they are a future hope of things to come
alive and real they belong to her
and she will take them home

The other side of words

On the other side of words
beyond adjectives and metaphors
beyond the comparisons
and differences
beyond the actions of verbs
and the definition of noun-names
there, the dead are asleep
in a wordless ever-night
a never-light, twilight
on the other side of words.

M. L. Emmett  is the Convenor of Friendly Street Poets. Her first book of poetry Snatching Time was published by Wakefield Press in 2009. She is an editor and poodle tragic. 

Topic tags: M. L. Emmett, Bavarian Aunt, Worn-down days of winter, Manet's Paris, Other side of words



submit a comment

Existing comments

Must be something to poodles if they help you write like this. Zany imagination, sharp and supple observation and sympathy and brilliant abstraction - not bad for one page! Thanks for a nice start ot Tuesday.

Joe Castley | 28 June 2011  

I agree heartily wih Joe Castley's comments.

Phil Smith | 28 June 2011  


john frawley | 28 June 2011  

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