How to rain

Published : Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | Label:   Poems  

Down on Clarence Street
the day is trying to re-
member how to rain.

Up here in the room
I’m trying to remember
how to teach. Grammar

Is what we both want,
a little fluency. The
way things went. Before.

—Sydney, 12 May 2006



Published : Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | Label:   Poems  

I’ve been reading a canto
of Dante each night. Each night,
line by line, I circle down

deeper into the Divine
Comedy. It’ a hard road
even in terza ryma

and not especially funny.
Some nights I drag my feet. Hell,
I growl, here we are again.

Beside me my beloved
lies already. Why not, I
think, jump straight to Paradise?



Published : Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | Label:   Poems  

For Daniel

You have the gift of understanding dreams,
And this pride of lions rests in the den of your heart.
You are the dream of peace they sleep, it seems,
So, sleep, and know your self and find your part.

You have the gift of calming troubled kings
By telling them the truth in what they see.
Sad men will rain bad dreams upon all things,
So, sing, and wake the world and let it be.

You have the gift of…


Wingecarribee Ecologues

Published : Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | Label:   Poems  

My daughter, not yet one,
crawls to my chair and takes my pens
and tries to steal the book I try to write in. This could be a metaphor;
but who knows? My son, fresh from the bath and naked yet,
steps into my boots. This could be another, but I hope not. I sit in the corner
of the thick of my life, and I think I’ll keep on writing till I run of pens.

I write, I think, to sound…



Published : Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | Label:   Poems  

Sorry to bombard you
with poems
she writes
and that gets me thinking.
Now war, no matter
how good it feels
or just,
now and then,
is never a good idea. It never works
no matter how many thousand shiplike songs it’s launched.
But what I get thinking is we could do with some poems
like small arms fire; we could do
with the kind of violence poetry works
the kinds of exit wound…


What’s Writing For

What makes writing worth writing—and reading—is what the story or the poem achieves beyond the tale it tells: its music, its wisdom, its form, the way it makes the ordinary world beautifully strange. A good tale is only good, in other words, if the telling is sound and memorable. It’s the voice and mood, the arc and flow, the poetry of the writing that endure when the storyline fades.


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