Tim Edwards: ‘On hearing the crows’, ‘Beach House, Ledge Point’, ‘Bottlebrush’ and ‘Conversing with Rain’

On hearing the crows

Some might hear the black breath
of an ivy-laced turret, the mournful cry
from a stone throat, feathered flags
above a dark moat.

But I hear barbed bleating
on the edge of parched paddocks,
dark apostrophes in the lettering
of distant limbs.

Today there are four on the fence,
breeze frilling their feathered collars.
On tin-cutting claws, they hop the capping,
small white eyes set on the bin’s loose lid.

Their skulls could be that of dove or gull,
but not the black sheen of their priestly robes,
nor their bandy-legged gait, so well suited
to the blue metal dance of road kill.

Startled, they wing to the trees,
trailing their sad soundtrack across the park.
Night skies will eventually quieten
the commentary, in places we don’t see.

But I like to imagine a roosting room
of leaves, where black coats are hung
on the pegs of darkening branches
and glass eyes turn to the stars.

Tim Edwards


Beach House, Ledge Point

Every looseness is rattled
into a percussion of wood
and corrugated iron.
Fly screens go into spasms
as rain comes horizontally.

A windsurfer’s small sail
is a dark nail-clipping
fisted with wind. Sand
smokes off the dunes.

I rise to make a coffee
in a house lapping
with nautical reminders—
white shells in glass vases,
ceramic fish swimming the walls.

My pen and paper now flotsam
among the schools of angel fish
that wander the tablecloth.

Tim Edwards


Draped in your red net
of namesakes, bees pester

your bleeding fingers. Birds too,
are drawn to your landing lights,

like the painted rosella—
decidedly drab

in your fiery enclaves.

Tim Edwards


Conversing with Rain

Having waited for all those kettles
To boil, might my old age eventually
Undermine your arrival, water down
Your sensory champagne?

Worse still, could there be a day
When you are simply a voiceless smudge
Across a nursing home window,
A muted dribbler behind double glaze?

Until then, let me live under tin.
Let me hear your first flung gravel
Graze the roof. And as those forward
Scouts with their cold bullets muster

The numbers, let me be deafened
By your standing ovation, your invitation
To meet under haemorrhaging gutters,
My hands aching to cup your many gifts.

Tim Edwards

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