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Books & Poetry

Poem: Clearview

Books & Poetry

This week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Rob Walker of Adelaide, on coming to terms with loss and its acceptance, is clear as the poem title suggests.

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For my brother Lindsay, 1957–1999

The earth’s circumnavigated the sun
since your heart stopped

Aimlessly I wander the circular paths.
The kind lady proffers directions and a colourful
You’d have approved of the sharp repro...

‘All burial memorials are set flush with the
No heaven-pointing verticality

The lawn has grown back over the worst of my
I miss your sense of humour

Like a man in a cemetery
two black ants wander aimlessly across
your black marble

It looks like four.

The biggest reconnoitres the
of your blockletter-chiselled
His feet touching the inverted
of his reflection in the alternate

The blackmirrored barrier between parallel
Like you and me, infinitely close,
unable to connect.

They mow on Tuesdays.

The smaller ant scavenging
pollen from a withering daisy which has escaped the
You’d approve of the recycling.

Elsewhere, Life and Death go on.
Bored gravediggers use a Kubota backhoe in Fischer-Price
Spades are anachronistic –

We could wordplay all day here, Linds.
A cemetery is such fertile ground
for humour...

The last grieving party of the day has left.
The astro-turf has been rolled up.

Are you laughing, looking up at these poor bastards
who have to mow your resting place
for Eternity?

Rob Walker recently completed a poetry residency at the Adelaide City Library. He has taught performing arts at primary school level in Adelaide and English at high school and adult levels in Japan. He has appeared widely in both print and online poetry outlets in the UK, US and Australia, and is the joint winner of the 2007 and 2009 Newcastle Poetry Prizes, and this year’s Friendly Street Satura Prize. He has published four collections of his poetry, the latest being Tropeland, from which this poem comes.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.



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