Wake up call and other poems
The Magdalen laundries, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne 1932
Emerge from stone cold rooms. The penance of work will cure you of
Nocturnal sobbing. Do not voice the
Doubt—that morning prayers may not salve your deepest wounds.
Unending torrent of laundry to starch, iron and fold. Hands are
Raw which once played the piano, dared to hold the hips of a man in
Errant embrace. You must quell the fires of the flesh to be truly saved.
Views from a park bench, the Treasury Gardens, Melbourne,
28 May 2018
Please rest even recuperate on my slatted lap.
Accept that you may be judged by passersby,
Relegated to a type, perhaps of fanciful vocation—
Kilt-maker, embalmer, lion tamer.
Bustling is for others. Let them stampede to water cooler and
Elevator, while you, in looser clothing, study the plumage of a duck,
Nibbling at bread scraps lodged in tufts of grass. You’ve gravitated,
Chosen to venture here, to undertake this escape or close examination of
How you are or how you aren’t, as the autumn leaves loosen and fall.
Wake up call
Doing can take a lot of doing—
Involves getting off the couch of your thinking.
Find a way out of the fog of your pyjamas. Get vertical.
Flex an eyelid. The sky’s still there, the horizon its trump card.
Interest yourself in more than yourself, there are other
Curious beings, relentless in understanding, undressing the
Universe. Look at who you are as a seed not a sentence.
Learn and unlearn. Excuses are more scaffold than building.
Truth—coax it from the hiding place on the tip of your tongue.