WARMER MONTHS

WARMER MONTHS

The heady smell of garden hose spray,
of wattle pollen up your nose like snuff.
The spider outside with her fat, spangled
abdomen, swinging in a leaf hammock
in our garden, full of white caviar.
Gum bark clinging grey, hanging on like
a last hope.
Cries from the district swimming pool,
a distant screen door and a shout,
sounds of heedless youth.
Though I have not forgotten the breeze
that fluttered your dress, flustered,
flattered you that summer day.
We eat outside and open doors
for the warm, welcome air.
Closer to nature.
Too close to nature?
A too friendly magpie flies around our
front room. Visions of blood
and feathers on a mirror.
But it finds its way outside.
We all want to escape the parlour.

Julian O’Dea

PENCIL

PENCIL

Pencil thin.
Sharp but untried.
I met you in a tutorial,
your voice first
from down the table,
then the author
of that voice.
The persona. The person.
The body.
Your colours, black
and white, and a grey
skirt. A pencil skirt.
Pencil grey.
A scholar, without
a stoop. Straight. Linear.
Apart from schoolgirl
curves.
How to hold you?
How to fit you in my hand?
To start to write.

 

Julian O’Dea

APPRECIATION

APPRECIATION

I watched the bush from my car;
a kangaroo hopped up and stood
alone; leaving me to wonder what
she was doing, still in the gentle
wind, just gazing at nothing; and
the answer came back on the wind:
the same as you are doing, letting
nature paint your mind.

 

Julian O’Dea

SEPTEMBER IN AUSTRALIA

SEPTEMBER IN AUSTRALIA

Periwinkles dot the green bank
in blue like despondent fans
left standing after a finals loss;
daffodils in groups stand tall
like ladies at the Spring Carnival.

We wait for useful rain.

Birds, wry-necked and nervy
with hunger, clamber through
the empty larder of dry bush,
and turn to clawing up grass
in city parks, going on public
welfare.

The wind blows leaves across
the tin roof with the sound
of departing birds.

Julian O’Dea

THE ANSWER

The Answer

I never saw him, the lake smoothly lied,
ask the weeping willows how he died;
stir up the mud, it holds many secrets,
ask the reeds what is in the wind;
how innocently the swans seem to glide
over whatever the waters hide.

 Julian O’Dea

 

Now published here.

The Wise Men

The Wise Men

The Magi travelled to Palestine
on camels and a government
grant from the Parthian Empire.

Cheated in the camel market,
loaded high with scientific gear
and a few gifts from the royal store;
they let theory guide observation.

Herod got his Brains Trust on
the job, and provided some
peer review; and off went the three
nerds, to follow the Star to Bethlehem.

And “when they saw the star,
they rejoiced with exceeding
great joy”; because their calculations
were correct, and their funding
justified, and their report to
the Imperial Chief Scientist
would write itself.

God sent an angel like a Divine
email to warn them not to return
to Herod to share their exciting
ground-truthed data, because
they needed to be told the obvious.

Julian O’Dea

Pet Garden

She planted lavender, and bees
fell upon it like a sunshower;
and shrubs for dappled shade;
and let crazy daisies grow.

Creatures of innocence came
to the garden in their last hour,
tasting grass one more time,
or pouncing on a final moving
flower.

Julian O’Dea