Poems

Broomfield Park, March

 

A moorhen busies herself, rocks
this way and that on a wave-washed nest.

Swans float in late afternoon chill
as spring fires the chestnut buds swelling.

Forsythia trembles in the breeze –
pastel-greened willows hang still,

dipping down into the lake.
Every year I wait for this –

the sculpted branches,
trees leafing,

reflecting in the water
their steadfast

cascades of green.

 

Chartres Cathedral

 

I have come here tourist-eyed many times,
through yellowed wheat, along straight roads
sparse with trees, sunflowers –
summer’s haze shearing the air.
Suddenly the unmatched spires
rise above the plain.

Before I arrive, the Cathedral will seem to
disappear among factories, tower-blocks,
streets zigzagged around mediaeval hills.

This is my pilgrimage.
I am learning to take my cue
from the heart of it –  to never
take my eyes from the spires,
the bowl, the ark lifting
burning into a teal sky.

 

The Brief of Travelling

  (after Jen Hadfield)

 

I pitch my tent on the edge of the desert
to script me the journey’s spell.

It has blind trails like a bushwalker’s maze,
the weather white-wearing hot.

It has its compasses,
found gold and shiny mica.

It has its Terrors of Forgetting,
its monuments and forbidden marsh.

It has its long-sighted crafty Crusoe,
it has its footloose wily Gulliver.

 

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