Poetry offerings

Ode to Poe

The night was warm and quiet

The hour fairly late

When dreams take hold on pillows

 and cats are wide awake.

A twinge travelled up my spine

walking the old church yard

where monuments to the dead

stood like  muted guards.

A wind whispered in my ear

and brushed upon my face.

My steps were the only sound,

they split that silent place.

The stillness of the night hung down

and heaved amongst the graves

when the crack of an open door

urged an entrance to a cave.

The gate betwixt the vault and I

by day was a modest step

but seen with a fearsome eye

it fixed like a spider’s web.

“Thou cease your gaze or ask of me

the will of your ghoulish stare”,

I cried, but a frozen ogle

was all that issued from there.

The grip the Thing had upon me

was more dire than the ugly glare

I sunk deeper into a void

seeking release from its lair

I moved quickly into the vault

and met a fearful blast

For six pairs of eyes were fixed

From walls of looking glass.

O, a wretched night that was

and will remember it well

the beast holed up in the vault

was indeed my very self!



Leonine Fantasy

Come,  Tuesday twilight,

Make haste to the lonesome.

Deliver me my muse:

A winged heel Apollo to play upon my ribs

A leonine fantasy.

Step out into the night, Cat Burglar, and into my twilight room.

Rob me of all restraint! For it’s passion’s wound this Love

and Life is a thin defence.



Distorted Art

the box is open

Pandora swears

takes her satin gown

and wipes away the tears

that slide along her downy cheek

and wrestle to collide

amongst the refuse of broken dreams

her life it is to hide.





I. Library Steps

Today as I walked up the library steps

and long thin rain drops

swept my forehead and cheek

and sat like jewels in my unruly hair

a humid shower drew a gentle musk

out of the boughs;

and just as I realised how sensuous it was this moment

there were you! 

o, the embarrassment


II. Invincible

You can shoot

and miss

and hit

and wound.

I can walk clean up to you whilst the gun is firing

and take it away from you.

Am I invincible or simply one step ahead of your bullet?



Now that we are a state away we can write letters.

Love letters scattered all over the pages, as if we were once lovers.

In the gutter

in the dirt

my love for you lies like a bottle of piteous mothers,

a tube of pithy mutters.

Whatever the reason, how I wait for you.


IV.  Off the Wall

It’s the coat you wear buffoon that keeps me eyeing you.

Blackish-brown, well- worn and iron-shiny.

Your lapel holds the scent of moon bathing and waltzing a Venetian colonnade at 5 am.

The wish becomes shrivelled, it is fragile as a face. Too much in the way of a showdown and wanting in jest.

The sight of you just turns me sickly. What was once a thrill, now is murderous as a shock, binding like the handshake of a volted gate.


V.  Made for the Bride

When I was a young girl

My sister was married to her boyfriend.

She was already three months on the way

To Motherhood.

“T. is getting married”, they called from the bedroom.

“Are you pregnant?” I immediately return.

Blind to the irony in the assumption

and the speed with which it was made.

Because of the danger of The Town knowing

it was denied with a laugh of condescension:

I’d shoot my mouth off, see.

The Wedding was a bright affair:

cool limes, bouquets and posies;

and a radiant white bride sliding down the aisle.

I could feel the peers peering,

astonished at the countenance.

The spell shrivels with a nervous giggle

Three movements later I was at the altar

Reining in grief.

Side by side the mute sextet stood in dumb respect

and the bride so beautifully inscrutable

like a lily.

The priest recited the text like a faded evergreen.

It was a grind I heard from a distance.

Emotions had welled and now overflowed and

Dripped like blood upon the altar.

At the Reception, the Bridal Party were set apart from the rest

like some unapproachable gods and goddesses.

There must have been a sheet of glass feet thick

between us and them.

When wearing that attire, the civilians become an ocean of colour,

and the Bridal Party marble figurines like

wedding cake models wedged into marzipan.

An uncommissioned and eager Clown

entertains the guests

with sickly multi-coloured digestive feats;

a less than sober act

to close the end of the ritual.



Well, I’d like to hear that you’d be tempted

by the fruit of another, and the other be me.

Your frame: wet with sweat, I could wrestle with it, like your brain.

We disagree, continually. Be savage, in nervous defense

against the suspense of everyday life.



I am a poem.

What bore me matters not. What bores you does.

My sister was severed by a typewriter.

Like one of those fleshy murders you read about in the afternoon tabloids, they say, “He re-arranged her”.

Shredded limbs and tethered wings, o the violent whims of principle have claimed and maimed Baby.

Now’s she’s got glued eyes.



If you wake up in agony there’s a list you need to read:

climb into Loot.

Although the characters loom about and boom boom,

Let go.

Up in the cava tick simular of the Library, be it 1,2, 3 or bottom,

remember to forget.

Let go.

Goodnight, my sweetheart. You will get high on fright. Your little head needs  a pat. It’s a sorrowed engine really.

Dad was a foreman, a smash repair specialist, and a garbage collector (though he kept none of it).

He can’t remember to forget now.



This is the Voice of Hell

Yelled in a cork tile chamber.

She speaks but is swallowed. She creaks as if hollow.

Who dares begin again and face that unmasked stranger:

the Murderer, o hateful one, you weakling;

 meanwhile my truest gifts rot in hate.

I spit on Christ and Fate replaces nothing.

 A storm of saliva follows me all day.

In the dunnest smoke of Hell she asks for a cigarette.

I think she’s joking but I hand her a Craven A cork tip.

I ask what is her final sentence and she answers she’s serving it.

Down to the deep dear friend: eleven fathoms of thick green misery,

a sea monster sucks human blood from unwary calves

cycling for their lives.


X. Kings Cross

Inside the Leb takeaway I’m being served the hottest chilli roll in town.

And away she vanishes down some drain in a tomcat stenched alley.

Kings X you’re more than a hard drug.

I’ve nightmared on your putrid glamour and raw evil.

How visitors throng in streetwide rectangles  of reeking fabric!

How hungry that strip! And lonely! Impoverished of regard or respect;

the dog world of tough nuts and fat suited men that sigh like beasts.

You’re crass, Kings Cross.

I declare from the warmth of a home: Your lame is peeling away as poor sluts peel off in dingy holes called rooms before starved birds of dogmen, pupheads, continental hot beds of filth and a crumpled suit 20 minutes later.


XI Polish That Chin

Don’t get mad about it

Don’t get sad about it

He’s a little unstable

He’s a little unable

To see the thing in its proper size

To understand or even realise.

His pocket’s out

His talk is loud

I wonder how he even holds his ground

For him to say “I want some babies” is nothing to him,

so I said it to him: “Your mother has rabies”

But it bit us apart

Now I’m in a grave

And he’s at the start.

I held him dear

His absence now is like a pit.

Yet he was the pits in many ways

And saved from this and his wasted days

By his love of life

His anti-art

His chaotic talk and what I thought was


I thought that he would be my key.




I. Onward dissolution

Onward dissolution, mange progress,

 the sick at heart do oft digress.

At will they’re found in weird surrounds, spirits crumbling and of pride bereft.

And dwell in this Hell as if it were a quiet place. Where no soul bothers to visit.

Forgive the cobbler, call the podiatrist!



II. Wild Oats

Your wild oats will never be spread about.

They will be dispersed cleanly but fervidly into a virgin earth.

She will be your mother and your wife. You will never have a mistress.

Your wild oats cause me to seek myself.

I cannot fathom why your wild oats bring on these salty tears,

or why my desire takes no heed of your lack of years.

Your voice speaks in the tongue of John Coltrane,

stings with the metal of guitar legends who transported me to the fire.

I was later to learn of resignation without defeat, and only then understand the meaning of that chariot ride.

You, in your coming of age, were already riding and singing it.


III.  Ode to a Cloud

In remembrance of the cloud that swept across the sky one autumn.

It transported me in warm, cushioned comfort to a place outside myself.

It shielded me and I lay exposed beneath it.

It veiled me and my world blurred before me.

It wrapped me and I was wholly within it.

I stood silently on stage before several hundred medicos

at a conference on prostrate cancer

for an hour with my head in the clouds.

When the cloud passed over softness ceased.

The sun was harsh and painful; so I sought the Father.

And I was healed by cool, powerful Love, moonrays and saltwater.

In memory of clouds.


IV.  Anzac Day

Anzac Day is ambivalence.

A parade of pride and shame marches side by side down George Street.

Bravery and sense of duty is honoured and shines in the glint of metal on their chests and is demonstrated annually by the one who completes the entire course on crutches.

Brave indeed those heroes who fought.

They march now with ghosts and their widows attend with little flags.

The obedience of boys, now men, to take part in wars for duplicitous friends.

Now all the Allies commemorate what was once a nationalistic event.

Poles, Czechs, Russians, Dutch, Greek, Nepalese and our Diggers

remember multiculturally: Nations United for the Free World!

And those who shed blood in defence of their land, the original Australians, are absent, nor are they honoured with a national day of remembrance for their continual battle.

And I feel shame.




Milford Track, New Zealand, 970m descent

We descend a windswept McKinnon’s Pass and wind around the brown tarns beneath the majesty of Mt Balloon and the Jervois Glacier.

We pick our way over a rubble of granite down to the treeline.

A perpetually moist beech forest offers no walking stick for several kilometres. Eventually I settle for a stumpy support but it’s sharp at both ends.

The forest floor is greasy with humus and sticky clay and a jangled tangle of roots and rocks. This is Milford’s “Enchanted Forest”:

a lime green veil of moss shrouds every limb and trunk, rock and gnarled root. The track is like a funnel through an extensive green web.

For a time I am wholly wrapped in its yellow green shawl.

Birdsong breaks the insulating stillness of the forest. To stay alert I mimic each call. I wonder if I’m startling my subject but continue anyway.

I’m in a resonant chamber and hear their notes carried cleanly:

the two-note tremolo motif, the complex conflagrations that confound my mimicry, and the opening melody of Chick Corea’s “Windows”.

The sublime is intensified by the endorphins coursing through my veins from a mild exhaustion.

Back at the hiker’s hut I return to ironic observations on the good time I’ve made over 14k.

At day’s end a stigmata is discovered on my right palm from my supportive but spiky stick mater.




Glacial Relations 

Full day glacier hikes go out daily, which is where I met Oriana, an Albanian-born Israeli.

Tourists are carted out to the glacier by bus, which is where Oriana overheard in Hebrew a conversation which caused some disgust.  

Oriana sat with sour hostility, which is all she could do to conceal her passport and nationality.

We walked from rainforest to glacier in an hour. A phenomenon unique to the land of the long white cloud.

Then like a mob of cattle we climbed the great Ice Cube and waited in queues as ice guides carved out tubes.

We shuffled and scraped and trusted our talons whether poised on crevice, cliff or rocks we balanced. 

Franz Josef was humming blue and rain had caused a white-out.

So magnificent the setting, yet  it seemed that the act of warming to strangers was forbidden.

In matters relational, you could say the society was glacial, and
Ice queens maintained distances palatial.

I think of the ice-cream slogan: “Frosty Boy Often Licked Never Beaten”, and look around at my lunch companions and muse on such social stoicism.
And as the English dined on plates they had lugged this high,

Oriana sat silent in the rain like I.
Romantic couples photograph each other at entrances to ice caves. “Hiding their passions in the freezer” I privately quip.

I, a solo traveller, photograph the ice cave as it looks to me: a refrigerated genitalia.

On the Big Ice the physical distances are  deceptive: any point of the glacier seems immeasurable until the scale of human reference is introduced.

What seems a short distance of ice alleys turns out to be over a kilometre away as a beeline of tourists snakes through tubes and barely sketches a thin moving line.

Atop the glacier we look down on the valley floor and can barely register this string of walkers on their way to the foot of the  Ice- cube some five kilometres away.

We descend gingerly the loose, steep moraine.
Our guide tells us that the ice talons work best if the wearer bluffs confidence by puffing out the chest.

We do our  best to fake a mountaineerer’s pride and make it safely to the valley floor, exhausted and exhilirated.

All poems by Aspergine Spears (C)


~ by aspergine on January 26, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: