Wednesday challenge (many days late this week). A cento is a poem made up of lines by other poets.
I love a sunburnt country.
On her dark breast we spring like points of light,
morning’s first colour, curving to day’s end
the children screaming at the water’s edge with seagulls,
hearing the birds’ ancestral incantations
among the arid relics of old tide patterns.
Sometimes when summer is over the land
the harbour breaks up in thunders of sunlight
and a steep blue sky
as I feel the weight of light begin to bleach my feet
where seagulls rode upon the foam
and the hawk in the high sky hung.
January heat. Raw saplings stand like cattle
at high voltage summer noon.
Flies multiply in the heat.
The scrub is thick in the gully
with graceful curves of dried up streams,
lantana green smell on your hands.
Look at the sky! It’s ‘trying’ to rain;
this desert, blinding, unnamed
leaving us undefended as the stars.
Red rock forms sheltering walls
by a ring of worn river stones,
Walk into the memory of rain
the dream of grass
the glint of fronds and blades in the light
this hushed sun-haze morning,
turning over wet leaves with my walking stick;
green leaves – a patch of world along a river.
Because a little vagrant wind veered south from China Sea
slow drops of rain began to fall; the wind
suspended in the amber sky.
The moon had rippled past the hotel glass
and suddenly there was a presence.
Sniff the bougainvillea and you’re in the south pacific again the purple islands.
The East wind sucks itself along sea shelves
it blows all summer long like a bellows
great murmur of rain spreading over suburbs and into the hills.
At night, in each other’s arms, we touch the sun . . .
watching the rocks bleed lichen onto the snow.
I am rested and walk away, into the rolling dunes.
Australian poets (in above order):
John Shaw Neilson
Bridget Porter Oldale
Jenny Boult (aka M.M. Bliss)
Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.) They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here. Copyright also applies to almost all photos posted here, most of which are my own, though a few are licensed under Creative Commons.
Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your posts as much as possible.
This month, June 2016, I'm a daily guest blogger at Project 365+1 and will be posting my poems in both places. It's a varied group of Aussie poets and artists; worth taking a look. (Only members can comment there, though. But there is also a facebook page.)