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Poem: Transition

Books & Poetry

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On the eighth anniversary of Poet’s Corner, InDaily features a poem from John Miles, who has compiled the contributions since they were first published in The Independent Weekly.


The autumn Robbie left out of work
and down on luck for Khancoban and the pondage
I read a story of how mistress sea
like war, courts the living
and loves the recent dead.

But he wrote soon,
long letters on lined pages.
Come up, come up,
the pay’s not flash and the rooms
are spare, but each morning
the walk to the plant is passed
Herefords brisket-deep in green.

He’d said when leaving twelve months was enough,
to clear the bank, the wolf from the door,
then he’d be back, with family and friends.

Come up now. Kosci is white already
and wood smoke hangs in the afternoons
came more words,
but crusty generals and a salt,
scaled vision of siren songs
were winning the day.

Bring a late red pressing
like the last we drank.
Bring poem drafts, yours
and mine, left unjudged and out
on a porch, slipping into winter.

After Bandiana, near the army camp
and the last of the plain, turn left.
Don’t go right, you’d be in the sea
before you know it.

“Transition”, by John Miles, was first published 1993 in the collection He Dances by Garravembi Press, Melbourne.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems up to 30 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.




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