Monsoon and other Poems by Glenn Whalan

MONSOON


Hard buckshot comes the rain, the first monsoon rain, 
the first ever real rain for months. 
All conversation dies, all plans are abandoned, 
even dogs raise their heads to the sky. 
The heat disappears, now almost forgotten 
as some of us shiver out our disbelief.


Old stains on the road are washed out of sight,
dead ice cream is hosed away, buried at last. 
Talk is redundant, too noisy to hear, 
this torrent commands all attention. 
The scent of new rain kills all competition, 
douses diesel fumes and flowers alike.


A dog on the road stands alone and gets wet, 
head bowed in childlike wonder 
at the mystery of great change
and all other heads watch its thanks, base humility, 
and some will even weep – weep for the simplicity they envy 
or some dare to hope they will share.


If there is a god it is visiting now, 
uniting all creatures under cloud, under sun.
For if man and dog can share a same joy, 
perhaps we are, 
despite constructed layers, 
perhaps we are really all one.


Flooding gutters cascade over trash, 
waterfall down to blocked drains. 
The street floods in pockets, then the whole street, 
then the sidewalk, then the lowest lying stores. 
Broom patrol waitresses fight the rising tide of belief,
fail miserably, and give up.


After a while the clouds blow away – 
heaven has blown past within them. 
Faces left behind in bars drop smiles and retreat
to laughter and beer and the football. 
A miracle’s passed, they now call it rain,
as brushes with paradise may also be swept away.


Yet childhood laughter resonates, some seeps through 
the cracks and follows, dancing,
as the dog wanders on ahead in its joy, wags its tail, 
and runs to avoid a motorcycle.
The road becomes stained with mud and new trash 
as diesel fumes reclaim twilight.



LINDOS


Argo, the tour boat, entered the harbour
avoided the pleasure craft and on this boat 
the local passengers in flapping polyester 
and new haircuts and ruined curls
blowing twenty knots
surrounded the youth holding onto his jacket 
and also holding onto
his bride.


Past goddesses, gods, 
moulded by Helios –
waxed, bronzed then gold-plated,
laid out by the shore.
Past princesses, princes, 
at play in their kingdoms –
afloat pink flamingos, 
castles made of sand.


They passed and they stared 
and when the Argonauts
saw this, the scene 
without compare,
they waved with open hearts and
shouted their thanks and 
through this act they
felt as one acknowledged.


One quick loop and they stopped not,
simply toured, 
the opulence around them
a siren of future happiness.
Satisfied, they left the bay
rounded the headland
ignored the howling wind
and were gone.


ARCHANGELOS


Bone dry sheet of light
pristine new unsalted, unshatupon
fibreglass 
and then the rigging, unstreaked stainless
yet covered with flapping gulls
A miracle.


She floats, chained to the bay
her hull as blue as the paint that 
launched her,
slick assurance for the cruising type
her sisters green already.


Straight from Leros, from the marina,
A blow in, lowered from a calm sky
onto a lazy sea –
all thirty-two foot Legend without traces
surely…


Archangelos! How you play and hide
your charcoal dolphins in the deep turquoise,
mauve thyme bouquets for a mermaid long ago
among the landed ruins where 
Orna once conceived and another caught Jupiter
hiding past the boom.


A night past full moon you declared a boat 
would last forever. 
Beyond the thirty-two years of Orna’s child 
beyond passion
beyond time and ageing 
has always been the Legend.

Glenn Whalan cites Les Murray as a major influence

If you liked Glenn Whalan you will also like Mark Tarren

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