Bill Rush: ‘Settling for Less’, ‘Lethargy in the Time of Virus’, ‘The Flight of Currency’ and ‘Bats’

Settling for Less

For six decades, putting one foot after another,
you could say I have settled for less.

It’s difficult to say how this happened.
One day I conceded that we look through glass
darkly to the end.

I record though, odd shafts of light.
Last week, listening to Schubert’s Fantasia for four hands,
the haze seemed thinner for a while.

And yesterday.
The boy and girl who boarded the train at Burnley
and kissed all the way to Flinders Street!
Everyone was smiling.

These moments are enough to keep me moving.
I keep them close,
finger them like prayer beads,
in the mist.

Bill Rush


Lethargy in the Time of Virus

It is afternoon and the doona
still lies on the floor
like an exhausted swimmer.

The extra blue blanket
added at midnight,
rumples in frozen waves of wool.

Below the head-board
hovering pillows cower like clouds
that have taken a beating.

Tomorrow I will bring
purpose to this careless sea.
I may even change the sheets.

Bill Rush


The Flight of Currency

Walking to buy a paper
I pull change from my pocket
and drop a twenty-cent piece.

It rolls downhill with a mind of its own
Just missing the man with a stick
and restless poodle.

I run—then stop and think:
is it worth the chase,
and who knows where it has been.

Maybe it just wants to feel the air
on its moon-orbed face
as it heads to the curb

and circulates.

Bill Rush



Whatever home means for them tonight
they are writing in black sentences across the sky.

Something guides them to a topsy-turvy rest.
Invisible radar perhaps?
Or these stars so shyly appearing?

Winged bodies streaming in urgent lines,
fly to sanctuary,
familiar branch or beam.

They know exactly where they are heading,
where they will hang upside down
and sleep.

They mock my earth-bound indecision
about tomorrow.

About everything really.

Bill Rush


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