poem: portrait of my father

portrait of my father

 

 

i.

mallee heart, the camouflage

of wheat-taught

mice – they await

the air’s cue to movement

 

 

mallee heart, the bio of geo

where it ruminated with cattle

and ceased. the unsteady

ego that declared ‘I am,’

‘not you, not my mother’

heard back its’ own

echo.

 

 

 

ii.

no stomach for Cape-cod

but mouse-taught, read

Mao Zedong through church undetected,

rising and genuflecting on

the Anglican cue to movement:

im-mortal, in-vis-i-ble

God only knows                     

 

                                                                                   

iii.

my childhood we summer pilgrims

retracing the state, in nature

this ancestor worship

 

fed to me rich (de)composition

by canola expanses and ham

sandwiches on white

from milk bars

and encrusted puce blankets

in motels, never

to intone ‘are we

there yet’

but keep passenger vigil

 

 

iv.

mouse-taught, a man of staples

dark wool pullovers and culinary

epochs – porridge, bolognese, dhal

 

the teacher Sir Beret or diminutive

Serbs, rehomes

to a Goldfields’ shed, biblio/file

insulation by miner’s

lamp

 

my wife and I, our gypsy

caravan, equal parts people-feline

arrive in this field

as at a temple

 

the summer rips of mice

undertow and roll

deterred by cats

this year.

 

 

                                                                                                                          

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