New Poetry by Linda Adair


Driving west through the plains 

childhood reawakened thoughts

leap between stones crouched

like islands of papier mache

against the torrent of memory

I’d watch the sky to see the moon rise

run away without moving a muscle

know too soon so much of adult ways

innocent icons furled inside

a gram of sentiment like a riddle that

takes the words out of a mute mouth

this tarmac becomes a meditation

Let’s stay. No? just calling in on my way home

to the mountains black-green and hunched

wood fire smoke thick in autumn evening

sadness quickens in the quiet cold as I recall

what I lost – paper bags full to bursting

with tales of treasure – a world

of magic such simple charms

as love, plastic swans and sepia photos

I am the lucky girl who survived.

Adored by you who’d waited so long

for me – too strong to worry about and

too happy to worry – until a cloud

of mourning settled at the grand old age of reason

when you dear storyteller fell silent

leaving me to seek stories on my own

such things happen

when you’re the eldest child

in a family of last-borns.


He offers them buried snippets of the past

fleshing out the 2-dimensional figure of

the 1960’s-dad who’d worked 6-days-a-week;

until one day, he’d simply walked out

into what he’d hoped would be his life.

Sans road trips or new projects to distract

he drops his guard to give a final gift

tells them secrets that change their view of the world

and themselves, and then, the old joker returns

at odds in the calm despair of palliative care.

Impatient as ever, this worker-warrior refuses

to live out his time staring out a window

on the leafy North Shore, morphined

and placid in a cot-like hospice bed

and summons his old mate, rage,

at being caught by Death at 56.

One day, obsidian eyes burning, he draws

the resident oncologist to his hunched form

momentarily he straightens

lights a cigarette, draws back, exhales then cauterises

the tube delivering the placating fluid into his veins;

with this act, he consciously breaks free

into what he hopes will be his death.

About the contributor

Poet and publisher of Rochford Press, Linda Adair’s work was published in the Puncher & Wattmann anthology To End All Wars, and in online journals including FemAsia, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Bluepepper, Meuse Press, Project 366 and Social Alternatives magazine. Her first collection of poetry has been selected for the 2020 Poets Union Chapbook Series by Melbourne Poets Union in 2020.

Related Articles

Featured Poet, J.J. Steinfeld interviewed by Emma Lee

Canadian poet, fiction writer, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, he has published 20 books, the latest being Gregor Samsa Was Never in The Beatles (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2019)

Four Poems by Franca Mancinelli, translated by John Taylor

Four poems by Franca Mancinelli one can play dead: arms spread, the backbone for a keel, nothing in the mind, motion like a memory of water. ...

Poetry, L B Sedlacek

L.B. Sedlacek publishes ‘The Poetry Market Ezine’, a free resource for poets.

More Like This

Deborah Harvey’s The Shadow Factory – Reviewed

'The Shadow Factory' Deborah Harvey Indigo Dreams Publishing ISBN 978-1-912876-20-4 The title comes from the destination sign of a bus in Bristol, but, as Deborah Harvey never...

Poetry by E.A Gleeson

This sky we share Just-built houses  stretch upwards lunging at ocean views  angling out inlanders blocking older shacks  shading neighbouring yards. ...

2 poems by Beth Spencer

Beth Spencer was winner of the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award (2018) for The Age of Fibs, Her books include Vagabondage (UWAP, 2014) and Things in a Glass Box (FIP, 1994).

Prose poetry by Rebecca Myers

Rebecca Myers is an Irish-born, New Zealand-based poet and playwright.

2 Poems by Warren Paul Glover

WE WAVED GOODBYE TO VENICE(AND OTHER PLACES TOO) We waved goodbye to Venice, as she slipped under the waves, a thousand plus years of history,...