Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Snake Like Charms

Brown Snake, North Lake

Somewhere close, the part
secret of two naughty boys
in gumboots standing on small
tiger snakes’ heads

If you hadn’t shouted
Stop, I wouldn’t have

This one was huge and brown
almost three metres long, slick
umber body languid across the path

As my eyes measured the extent
from visible to obscured, her body
hooked back on itself, arcing
sharply to rise above a shrub

Head, still as stone, tongue
tickling air. A question raised
at my daughter’s fleshy thigh
clamped hard around my waist.

My slackened state shot through
again. Frozen before another
mother, willing my burden to be

still. Then, a place behind my ribs
which might conduct a hush

But more, the wild impossibility
of stepping away



Monday, September 15, 2014

Snake Like Charms

Snake Skin, Roe Swamp

Shedding skin of a snake, will
loosen first at the lips, retract
backward over bluing eyes
dull crown, those sorcerous jaws

Resistance is needed, seeking
friction of rock, chafe of grass
scour and scrub of brown balga
It braces its body and slides out

Slipped fishnet of bubblewrap
mingled with a streaky mandala
of divested paperbark, becomes
my discovery, being its past

I tease open a brittle end, puzzle
my arm inside, until it is sheathed
to the elbow, ghost eyes puckering
my skin. My pulse its unsealed centre

Vestiture of rain spittle in my hair
A cool trickle slides inside my collar
I tear the delicate mesh pulling it off
in what becomes a deluge

God of fragmentation, refusing
to keep things whole, coming
to me later. Showing again
that repetition might simply be
a lack of attention to detail