3 POEMS BY PETER BOYLE

FIVE MOMENTS

Stretching so wide and deep between us:
black water littered with stars.

                                 (September 13, 2019)

Shooting past islands,
finding small bays where the sun is hidden:

to start again like that.

                                   (October 4, 2019)

 

The breath is the thread we carry
to tie ourselves to ourselves –

to find not a way out
but the stillness to live

with there being no way

                                  (October 11, 2019)

 

Sensing the air’s texture
branches reach out across empty space

like an arm that grows
straight from the tree’s heart
a branch finding its way

even so we live
between heart and void

                                      (June 23, 2020)

 

I look through the window –
green rain stipples the surface of my eyes

A line of soft transparent beads                 
                 is caught in the sleeve of my jacket

Spooling into the infinite quiet
my fingers are rain

                                      (July 26, 2020)

 

IT COMES

On the beach at night
it comes out of the grey water
to stand there and shine
into my silence, my helplessness.
The steady smile of its gaze reaches
each layer of my bones; the rows
of its teeth in the moonlight,
its long white belly
standing upright before me.

I will never break free of it:
the tryst on the sand, my flesh
become one with its flesh,
all around me the sky slowly collapsing
into the grey wall of ocean.
I walk numbly towards it,
the midnight rendezvous

my secret last date,
the one always forgotten in
the calendar of the heart.

 

FROM INSIDE THE BRIGHT CLARITY OF WINTER

How high they climb   how far they go
even if their house refuses to travel with them

as they glide on wet leaves
when the sky clears to let them out into sunshine

if the poem could reduce itself
so it kept only what the day holds
closest to its chest

a walk through the ghost forest
trembling in light that bends them
even as it caresses their memory of hills and wheatfields

and you also
starting out in the chill and the damp
wearing the future as your invisible suit

 

About the contributor

Peter Boyle is a Sydney-based poet and translator of poetry from Spanish and French. He is the author of eight books of poetry and, in 2020, won the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize with his book Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness.

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