Luke Whitington: ‘Weighing the odds’, ‘Dutiful and distanced, at Pittwater’ and ‘At the funeral’


Weighing the odds

Time turns us into historians
Then history waits at the door
You remember the voices
Of the sea. How they spoke
In the fathomless language
Of Atlantis—roars for evermore, evermore.

You dream of dancing
(Did you once?) like a Cossack
From leg to leg, stamping eloquence.
Walking is a shadow of what it was, once.

All your reflections, beyond
The names that evade
Your memory—the faces remain
Like the leaves, burning in autumn light.

Passing in the bus
You watch the young
Walking furiously—
Latecomers, catching up with history.

Luke Whitington

Dutiful and distanced, at Pittwater

The moored boats
Are all aligned
In one common intention
Toward the horizon
Depicting dusk, sunset, dawn, sunrise
Pointing toward one wide arc of time

Dutiful and distanced, like
Worshippers of the ascending
Descending, variants of light

Like prowed congregations
Drawn to a celebration of light;
Moored to the moon
Moored to the sun
Moored to the stillness—
Congregations of middays and midnights

Now surging on a swell, swaying in unison
A metronome of masts, moves
Rolling forward and back
To a gravity of unheard music
Then calm again, intention, direction restored

Masts bristling in ash-white forests
Waiting for a renaissance of sails
And later congregated toward the night sky
Masts becoming golden, golden wands
Pointing toward the paused full moon
Gazing down from her perch of mellow aloneness
Down at her silent flock, again dutiful and distanced

Swinging about in unison
Worshippers of time
Arranged, still or swaying
Aligned with the changing sky.

Luke Whitington


At the funeral

We can’t help
Laughing helplessly
At tragedy, if hats

Decide suddenly
To fly into the air.
We love to trip up


Life is hard
We can do with a bruised laugh or two
What did you say?

About your knees, dear?
Age letting you down, again?
A cartwheel or two should fix it.

Luke Whitington

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