Now

 

A park, a cleared space, its cooling swathes of blade.

In the distance: an airport’s metal arguments
trail into the stratosphere, then flocks
of fruit bats swarming in panic across an afternoon sky.
Present leaks meagre, taught bulbs
of memory, still and lake-dank,
coagulating into panic across an afternoon sky.

The two points and the love between them are dissolving.
The obstinate enamel of dates is dissolving.
Twig-like bones threaded through wing are dissolving.

I am a faint scar on the lip of a woman.

I am paint spread evenly across the frame of an open window.

I am the flood through a valley after rain.

The land is cool, remote.
The          is cool, remote.

A clearing…
        the magpies’ beaks are splitting the contours
       of the voice.

The sun trips and spills across the grass:
        we are drying out
       in a leaf’s yellowing tissue.

Home is rising in steamy trunks
        and freezing into static.

On resting beneath the figs we are embraced
        by their lumbering tools.

We are watching the firmament fall from us,
        leaving us with ourselves.

Stuart Cooke

Author: Stuart Cooke

Stuart Cooke was born in 1980 and grew up in Sydney and Hobart, Australia. His poetry, essays and translations have been published widely in Australia, the USA and the UK. He is the winner of the 2012 Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize, and the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including a 2012 Asialink Writing Fellowship to the Philippines. Stuart’s first full-length collection, Edge Music (IP), was published in 2011. He has also published a chapbook, Corrosions (Vagabond, 2010), and a selection of his newer work, ‘Approach’, appears in Triptych Poets 2 (Blemish, 2011). Forthcoming in 2013 is a critical work, Speaking the Earth’s Languages: a theory for postcolonial Australian-Chilean poetics (Rodopi), and a new chapbook of poems, Departure into Cloud (Vagabond). He lectures in creative writing and literary studies at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.