20170510

Graeme Miles



From a colony

Here stones, there sea. Some
hills, a river. Enough to make a world.
In the river flecks of gold so the people
come and from the hills watch
each other moving. On this hill
they see a horse, say esva,
on that hill say hippos. The head man
of hippos meets head man of esva.
Hand shoves into soft chiton. Hand shoves
into leather. Esva-chief falls under kicks
from lanky kids at hippos’ side.
Everyone watches. And the esva-folk decide
not to go to the hippos-hill with long knives
but join them, use them against the others.
And in years they bury the hippos-chief
under their hill, remember him
with black goats and warm blood.
Under esva-hill they hide their man-god
swallowed by the earth, the horseman
murdered in his sleep. They watch
from the hills, and in the pits and on low altars
warm blood and black fleece, sand.
Hands are shaken tight as strangling.



All those shipwrecks

All those shipwrecks against shell blue,
appearing there, part lit machines.
is like the tilt of migraine sight.
for sailors’ nutmeg dreams, sickness
They are mistakes where no one should
past all requests: your own worn oar,


the clouds have shapes of never quite
The way they tilt, the sinking ships
Some of them are the least excuse
hallucinations, rank with salt.
have been or are like deaths in space
a tumulus, a string of shells.



Graeme Miles has published two collections of poems: Recurrence (John Leonard Press, 2012) and Phosphorescence (Fremantle Press, 2006). After completing a PhD in classics at the University of Western Australia, he spent six months as an Asialink writer in residence at the University of Madras, then a year in Belgium as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Ghent. He has lived in Hobart since 2008 and teaches ancient Greek language and literature at the University of Tasmania.​
 
 
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