The headlights shine to the left.
I follow two red dots.
A small stone cracks the windscreen.
In Pinjarra I give an ETA
And recall riding, riding, riding
Back when I had to run.
Inside she is behind the front wall.
She senses in me her own
Disappointment, I’m undatable
Were her words, before she deleted
What little of us we had.
I’m not sure what she thought
I was looking for, as two bowls
Of half eaten salad sat between us,
But what I saw were these eyes
And inside was a fire trying
To extinguish itself, a light
More intense than I’ve ever witnessed
A colour colliding, shattered
And slaughtered by red
That stuck across her iris
And bit deep into her pupils
That said she was barely able to cope;
That her illness didn’t care
For my sympathy and that soon
She would have to leave.
Hello. Please see attached The Dingo Poem. This poem is one of the longest poems I’ve written and took the longest to write — about two months, and then a few revisions in the preceding months. The notes were written while hiking the Larapinta Trail in 2016.
The length is not conducive to posting as an image so you’ll have to read as pdf. Hope that’s cool. Thanks
On the day of Dave’s funeral I was the sole passenger
on the bus from Fremantle via Coogee and Henderson
to Rockingham. A shotgun splatter of grey-white clouds
floated inland from snake infested Garden Island
And, being a Saturday, not a single engine revved
inside the engineering sheds, or even at the Coastal
MotorCross Club. Smoke pulled upwards and outwards
from the tall stacks which were the only signs of movement.
Having a look around Rockingham? yelled the driver,
looking around the corner in the mirror, through steel mesh.
No, I’m going to Dave’s funeral, I said.
The driver then turned his two-way off.
There must be funerals everyday, I thought, as we crossed
a railway and passed the place that collects grass trees
before they’re demolished for another suburb, they grow
a centimetre a year and some are three metres tall
and have more than four heads forking skyward. I had
taken the wrong address and missed the service,
but I remembered Dave pulling an all-nighter at the Nannup
Rec. centre, chatting away sombrely, always wearing shorts,
as dozens of bikes needed fixing in one way or another.
At the corner of Read and Leghorn I used the toilet
in Hungry Jacks, chatted to Tony on the phone,
then walked across the road to sit in shade and wait
for Alison and Wayne to arrive, so we could go to the wake.
While some people were smoking cigarettes
before going inside for a Whopper, seagulls stalked the huge
cars idling in the drive-thru. To my surprise, on the concrete footpath
between on my feet, a half melted ice block sank
into its own puddle, and was catching broken yellow flowers
from the overhanging gum tree; seed pods shook side-to-side in the breeze.
This interview is the most comprehensive I have been part of to date; discussing walking, poetry, environment, music, ecology and death.