My body alarms me.
It rings two or three times a night.
Who’s in charge here anyway?
Poetry flowed from me
Like water from a garden hose.
Days were diamonds.
My feet horses’ hooves.
Nothing defeated me.
I was sharp as Sherlock.
Prolific as Zola.
I had two hounds.
The wheels turn.
Accept, my friend tells me, Embrace.
Loss is gain.
Now is the new normal.
I like them too.
I thought I was a basket case
But there’s this thirteen year old
I read about
Who takes anti-depressants
Two drugs for attention deficit disorder
& she takes what I take too.
I know growing up is tough
But I didn’t know it could be
Tough as this.
I could take other drugs,
Ones that she takes
But the doc reckons I’ve got this far
I can go the rest of the way.
I just hope that little thirteen year old kid
Makes it out of the forest okay.
For nights and nights and nights I lay on my pillow, worrying, listening to the rain, even though the skies were clear and starlit and the moon shone through my window like a lantern and I wondered what else I was hearing that wasn’t there or not hearing that was until one day I had my ears syringed with warm water and the wax flowed out in little honey-coloured clumps into a dish the nurse held for me and I no longer heard it rain except when it did.
“Bugger”, says Scruff. “Bugger”.
He’s back to his old intemperate self.
“What’s got your goat now?” I say.
“How am I supposed to get to the top branch now?? You know how I love the top branch. Someone took the tall ladder away and replaced it with THAT RUNT!!”
His wing is pointing at the little ladder against the weeping myrtle.
“Excuse me,” I say, “but you can’t expect the gardener to consult with magpies every time he shifts a ladder.”
Scruffy has that evil look in his eye.
“Besides”, I add, “has anyone ever pointed out those two appendages, one on each side of your body? They can get you places.”
“Sarcastic snob!” he snaps. “I use them all the time like you your legs. Aches and pains. I prefer to hop up rungs.”
“Have it your own way,” I say, but my heart goes out to him all the same. “I know what you mean,” I add. “I’ll speak to the gardener.”
I notice a little spring in his hop.
Montaigne wrote an essay on Cannibalism
But he was not thinking of the literary kind.
Lately, having been ravaged by an uncontrollable
Hunger for poems to post, I have begun feasting
On a number of my haiku, being both salubrious
& delicious, not to mention efficacious. No one else’s
poems were hurt during the making of this poem.
The proof, they say, is in the pudding, which
I will set out before you to decide whether
Such a practice should occasionally be condoned.
As soon as you walk in you see them paraded
along the walls
exemplars of Beauty and Strength:
Warnie unleashing a leg spinner,
Its eye on middle stump, Krygios rocketing another ball
past his opponent,
Thorpie diving into glory,
even one of cane growers in Queensland,
big blocky blokes in blue singlets
bringing in the harvest;
of Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics.
But my humerus and hamstrings
were playing up.
On good days
I can do almost anything, but
on bad ones I can barely put one foot in front
of the other, bounce a ball
let alone slam it down centre court
at 200 kph
and the only way I could get in a pool is to fall in it.