Thanks Bob

August 28, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Posted in australian poetry, poetry, writing | 5 Comments
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S’old joke but a goody, went to the movies where
terrorists robbed a train, thought I might
then forgot on the walk home through
a cloud of concrete dust from the new bridge
‘Mangrove Reclamation Project’ then over tiny Zion Hill Park
(nice try he thinks) on the good Jim Soorley Bikeway,
chubby and smiling ex-priest he was
to Northgate Cemetery
short walk epic poem all gone now forgot


If I was Kinsella I would only write of crows
but that must be difficult to do in Cambridge.


It is strange to have a home not know it for so long
have it appear just as it’s gone, Jen Jewel Brown
whose poems I once saw projected on a blank
brick wall. If I was Tranter I would know
the conjuggler noun for a gathering of soiled ibis
passing over from the tip to once cooler noon air
by the river where some sweating waiter
is catching breath before the lunchtime rush
important guests come again for chrome and
scented meats, stubs his cigarette and turns.

Mrs Dickens-Smythe cycles by (the special
is the purloin he rehearses) while
her husband whispers
I think we can measure some manner of progress,
one sees “Mary Martin died 23rd May 1911 aged 21 years
also Arthur Martin died 4th August 1919 aged 11 years
thy will be done”
so much less these days.

Now here’s an ending to be proud of
Thomas Nathaniel Pope lost in the bush
at Yaraba 26 June 1920, aged 79!
Although I must admit the exclamation mark is mine.

(“Well I guess the plan was to write poetry and publish books and make a living from writing poetry. That was a pretty ambitious plan I guess.” Robert Adamson)


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  1. The inscriptions are taken from actual gravestones at the Northgate Cemetery as opposed to Tintern Abbey by Wordsworth and so on. And all the other names are real people too. Sorry, I know it’s a bit of a mouthful this one.

  2. poor old thomas t pope…what a way to have it all end….

  3. He may have had Alzheimer and wouldn’t even know he was lost in the bush – 79 is a good age, especially back in those days. Thanks for the Jung link – he’s great isn’t he (especially the bit about you should just keep planning for the future and thinking you are going to keep on living even though you are near the end). Existential angst is not such a good thing.

  4. but brilliant, i think ambition becomes you Mr.Squires 🙂

  5. what a wonderful collection, such great stuff this piece and the others preceding.
    with movement as in music. the instrumentation changes along the way but the heartbeat is always there

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