Three Poems

Travelling Companions

Out there is my life

over here, my body.

Don’t be fooled,

though looking alike

they are not the same.

My life has big plans

all of which issue,

winged and hopeful,

from my head. It’s a life

that tends to ignore

anything but myself.

My body has other ideas

and over several years

this animal’s wrecked

some highfalutin schemes

as it pottered in the dark.

Like the solitary wombat

it keeps to its own path

and minds its own business,

undermining, unamused,

and sometimes making my life

appear quite reckless and rash.

Lately, much more often,

my body has interfered

to make its presence felt:

a stumble on the court,

night fevers and cramps,

insomnia, amnesia

even neurasthenia.

It’s all becoming clear.

Before long this body

will trip up my life

bringing them both down.





Like a dog with a troublesome bone

I’m gnawing away at a draft

here in the house, alone.

I decide to bury the bone …

Tomorrow I’ll dig it up,

try and lick it into shape.


Regulations for Death

They ought to publish rules for dying,

the way we’re taught to be “bushfire-ready”.

Forget the regret, the last-minute crying,

some rules might keep me calm and steady.

And only let me die discreetly

not mashed across a busy street.

Let me go easily, quickly, neatly

in a cushiony bed with cotton sheets.

Let me not die on the kitchen floor

while sweating over the family dinner,

my husband numb, aghast, at the door

a prey to guilt like any sinner.

With the right advice I’d fold away

like a crumpled, faded much-read page

discovered in a drawer one day,

a footnote to death for a later age.

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