A friend’s father invented and fixed cars behind his house.
The son of a blacksmith, he shuffled among black-oiled spares
spread on the concrete floor and benches; appraising
eyes and thinning hair, a gap-toothed grin on oil-smeared face.
What he charged to keep my youthful wrecks rolling
changed with how his cash flow fared; on average cheap
sometimes more. The friendly repairer
is buried now. He died of emphysema
like his father; the same lungs, the same smoking.
I used some of his mind for gaps through lean years;
and now in later life, for work and sense.
Perhaps my children and grandchildren
now use cogs from his mind.
FLYING FOX MORNING
Grey autumn morning hangs over the wetlands.
Beside the reed rimmed lake
above black ducks, coot and spoonbills
flying foxes polkadot the casuarinas
persimmon bodies, grey dog faces, black leather wings.
The colony moved here from the main road
where they roused fear over property prices.
Here the air is peaceful.
Most hang like large chrysalides
others are uncomfortably spread.
A few daytime insomniacs
take short flights to stretch their wings
before these gardeners and pollinators of ancient forests
make their dusk procession to the latest sweet feed.