Category Archives: poems

Let all fall from him

 

My face a wet painting

She turns her blue face to him in marriage
He has a ladder
He looks at her with a withdrawn chin

The birds peel the paint with song

I was born in the ruins of his life
Every word artefact
In the centre of the wheel the heart unfolding the road like
——a love letter petals fall from

Let all fall from him

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

White-tail

 

Mistress of arrows, Arachne
Give me rivers of reason
Form a back water
The pillow spiked with spiders.

I turn from the smell of dreams
sweated on sheets
lay my head down on the pillow that bit me.
Meticulous thinking left a scar in the middle of my forehead.

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

Soon

 

Lying on a hot
rock by black water with a
friend soon to be dead

Children jump on a
trailer load of leaves, adults
scratch the earth with rakes

A bird call
a crack high
in the closing sky

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

Lineage

 

Like half eaten apples
naked mothers pose for their well-dressed daughters.

Wind in a glass drowning in its own voice.
In the throat of a rose language is strangled.

The world is a hollow humming and
the limits are lace.
A thousand tiny fingers make beautiful mistakes.

The traffic is a ripping seam.

A wound to the back of the heart.
An axe in wood.

Prayers on my fingertips.

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

just

 

light arrives before the car drives past and is gone

just placed in pebbles the words amore mio in the cemetery

headache cicadas deafening the river fast

breath is happening the rain is happening here there is no better

every seventeen syllables cicadas leave this shell on a blade

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

The evening is loud with life

 

Leaning on the language of leaving
and the road a line from a song,
the door smiles open

After the crescendo
the tick of the clock
and a car driving past

Headlights behind her
she is approaching me
moon walk with my daughter

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

in her hands

 

in her hands
static
staring into the flame patting the castrated dog
learn to sleep in the middle of the bed he is not coming back

static
the tick of the clock knocking the right side of my brain into the left
learn to sleep in the middle of the bed he is not coming back
just to sink as the tide goes out surrendering to the pull

the tick of the clock knocking the right side of my braininto the left
ambushing the house with blue and cockatoos
just to sink as the tide goes out surrendering to the pull
one metal ant scratches its painful way through veins

ambushing the house with blue and cockatoos
the flowers have been dead in the vase beside my bed three weeks
one metal ant scratches its painful way through veins
my feet mis-spell

the flowers have been dead in the vase beside my bed three weeks
my feet a century away
my feet mis-spell
the smell of vase water on my hands

my feet a century away
time is chilled in water
the smell of vase water on my hands
this is the day when the heart attacks the bird in the sky

time is chilled in water
is the touch of tenor on fingertips
this is the day when the heart attacks the bird in the sky
a knife under the pillow for cutting memory

is the touch of tenor on fingertips
the bare ribs of words the wind blows through
a knife under the pillow for cutting memory
falling off the edge of the page

the bare ribs of words the wind blows through
staring into the flame patting the castrated dog
falling off the edge of the page
in her hands

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

If

 

If my head is a bunch of flowers,
my throat is a vase choked with stems.

If the wind is drunk it explains the knocked over tables.

If my mind is a membrane stretched over the mirror,
the sky is broken.

If I cannot taste fire my breath is scented with dank flower water.

If the rain is ink then the face at the window is unreadable.

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

The red line

 

I saw hands to a throat like a shadow play in a tent

I saw one man place the head of another to the edge ofthe metal bin

I saw the blood from plums dripping down my brother’s forearms

I saw my mother on her hands and knees scraping candle wax off the marble altar

I saw Michelangelo’s stairs flowing like a river

I saw my daughter stealing daffodils

I saw my lover forget me

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

Sin and linen

 

I grip the wheel too tight.

The flowers meditate on the fruit.
Calm enough to be equal to ideals.

Even with my eyes closed I knew it was him because the
——wood groaned
under the weight of his reason.

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.