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Books & Poetry

Poems: Climate Grief and Drought

Books & Poetry

This week’s Poet’s Corner contributions are from Peter Mahoney in Adelaide.

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Climate Grief

Tonight I sat outside in the darkness between heatwaves
and from nowhere the gentlest of cool breezes
brushed its lips against me
and I felt it already as nostalgia
like the sudden memory of lost love
when she told you it was over
maybe not in so many words
and it didn’t seem possible
and while through tears she held your hand
and sometime kissed
through the brimming why of your eyes,
the stuttering wherefore of your voice
barely recognisable in its nakedness
you knew it was true
and I wanted to kiss her feet as they walked away,
through the unlikely coolness of sun-blasted kikuyu.


I lie awake in the driest state
open to the hope of scudding showers
which blow and rattle my windows
whispering desperate nothings among bamboo canes
extended foreplay to a longed-for drenching
of these thirsty bones
and when it comes, lowering its lover’s weight
with drops heavier and heavier on the roof till
I am drinking thirstily from the
blessed cloud breast, even then, as I dared not fear
all too briefly, too unsubtly parting, gone
drops recede into bitter silence of the parted lover
left in her wake,
more naked and trembling now with revived thirst
I listen again, straining for the approach
of one of these skyborne nymphs,
oh Goddess rain, send another that will ravish us to sleep again.

Peter Mahoney lives in Adelaide’s Forestville and worked for some years in environmental monitoring. He is currently completing a teaching degree at Flinders University, and hopes to teach secondary school maths and science.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.


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