Ah, winter! Season of frost, hot chocolate, and plenty of evening to spend reading lots of poetry! Here are three poems from The Summer King for you to enjoy.
The Valley Farmers
This is the slow unfolding of night,
the road homewards in thickening shadow,
a spill of light glinting like copper wire
as the sun slips from the last smudge of cloud.
Farm-wives will be calling their ducks,
feeding the dogs, setting flame to kindling
before closing their doors on dusk.
There will be meat, and bread, and ease
for tired men with soil in their skin.
And then night: the last light doused,
pale bodies unclothed, and a low bed
where we too can unmake ourselves.
The gleam of light
from the edge of the cold
curved blade of Grandpa’s sickle
hung like a harvested moon
in the darkest corner of the barn.
It followed the tines
of the garden fork,
splayed like his fingers,
probing the vast earth
of Kipfler potatoes.
When he died, I saw it leave him,
watched the glaze of shadow
spread, like a bruise
in the lee of his
vi. A Superfluity of Nuns
What could Christ want
with so many wives?
in their dark habits
of obedience, shut up
at night like hens in a run?
A sanctified harem of
shrouded flesh, pale
as loaves of new-risen
bread, the mute tongues
of their patellae worn flat.
Ranks and rows of women
the Armada of God,
wimples set like spinnakers
tacking bravely across the storm.