paul summers

strange days

three men are on the roof, replacing
sheets of rusted tin. the ghost of a radio

escaping the huddle of another muted
smoko. sad-songs & bad news, an advert

for shoes made cheaply in china. an eagle
drops a snake-head at my feet, neatly

severed & appearing to smile. it must mean
something. it would to you, with your love

of crystals & penchant for tarot. ouroboros
slain. this cycle at an end. & on another day,

within another draft, another version of this
vain psychology, it might to me too. a little

less empirically left, or on the shelf, still
coldly enlightened but open to magic.

low point

it’s strictly need to know.
a heritage framed
in pub-quiz wisdom.
a red-letter logic
transcribed in the oracle
of our tally-ho papers;
imprinted on the lids
of our ice-cold stubbies.
the precise time & date
of bradman’s every century.
australia is home to more
than 500 species of reptile.
the monolith formerly
known as ayers rock
is over 8kms in circumference.
lake eyre, in drought,
is the country’s lowest point.

an absence of genocide,
or evolving apartheid,
the stolen generation,
the gestural reparation,
the lame charades
of ownership & rights,
the rape of the land,
a witness-list of profiteers,
the ice-cold statistics
of adolescent suicide,
the ice-cold welcome
of nauru’s canvas ghetto.
lake eyre, in drought,
is the country’s lowest point.

a hollowness brimming
with the opposite of laughter.

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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