paul summers


the arse-end of a cyclone makes the rain perpendicular;
as steady as drizzle but amplified in volume in a straight
correlation with the scale of this land-mass. tight & jaded
as the weave of harris tweed, the cross-hatch of its mesh
is almost impregnable. & the news will be bad; it always is:
old mr svendsen’s prize-winning brahman will tragically
drown in the puffed up swell of a brackish creek. the fat,
unsmiling banks-man who plies his ruddy scowl at the road-
works by the slaughterhouse will tragically contract trench-
foot & aggravate the wheeze of his nascent emphysema.
a whole pallid legion of anaemic earth-worms will tragically
drown, evicted from their homes in anoxic loam. i wash my
feet in the flume of a down-pipe. & sour-faced, the swallows
stare, they skulk & sulk behind the steady drip of flaking eaves.

anzac day

i am dividing agapanthus          
in the midday heat
tender work, teasing          
apart their conjoined roots

a juvenile butcher bird          
has ventured indoors
scavenging the crumbs          
of our breakfast debris

a baby is wailing          
across the paddock
the idle wheeze of sea          
unravelling in the treetops

i am watching the ants          
retrieving their dead

paul summers is a northumbrian poet who now lives in central queensland. his poems have appeared widely in print for over two decades and has performed his work all over the world. a founding co-editor of the 'leftfield' magazines billy liar and liar republic, he has also written for tv, film, radio, theatre and collaborated many times with artists and musicians on mixed-media projects and public art. he won northern arts writers awards in 1995 and 1998 and a northern writers award in 2008. collections include: union, three men on the metro, big bella’s dirty cafe, cunawabi and the last bus.
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