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Books & Poetry

Poem: Bowerbird

Books & Poetry

This week’s Poet’s Corner contribution is from Glenn McPherson.

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Razorback Ridge, Macarthur Region, New South Wales

Evening sky, do you see now
Why I can’t wait
For colour on the birch leaves?

For what is left of communication
Except sound
Transmuted by dimensionless rivers
Into what?

Other pastorals somewhere up ahead.
Other bird calls uncalibrated up till now.
Other mountains to be buried under
By thrust spades.
Other moons that are more angular
Yet, than we are lead to believe.
Other fluvial stones, other than these
Fluvial stones
Barely blue
And smoothed by my attention.

I could talk eloquently of the ink
Poets spend on candles
Waiving in late summer marshes
In bulrushes giving up their husks
Guiding us into sleep.

I could take out a dandelion
And rotate
In the sun’s remoteness forever
Hoping you do not notice…

It is not you I love.
Your loneliness is a loneliness I loan
To the commuter who left me.
Abandonment in the plastic bottle caps
And beacons of glass
Playing the bowerlight which I give
To a certain fastidiousness
In my refusal to dance.

Her hands, held like an entrance,
Are coverings
For the arc of the covenant, parted hands
Of prayer – a blade of the tongue
Pressed between her palms.

By the time the first leaves turn
Gold, and the silver
Bark like a frozen serpent, half in
Half out of its hole,
Its sunken head, its flank
Vulnerable, I will have governed myself
Again; put away
The coarse feel of an intimacy
Unprepared for, hesitate,
Afraid of the venom in the earth of people.

Glenn McPherson lives in Sydney. Published in leading Australian poetry journals and anthologies, he has worked as a teacher for more than 20 years. Growing up in small country towns in Central Queensland and North Western NSW, he received his teaching degree from the University of New England, followed by his Masters in Education, then Masters in Creative Writing, from The University of Sydney. He helps run a school creative journal at Broughton Anglican College, assisting students in developing skills in journalism and creative writing. They published their first edition before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and an interview with the celebrated Australian poet, essayist and teacher Mark Tredinnick was the first to be included in the journal.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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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