Linda M. Walker

My father said

My father said he wouldn’t tell you about the toad he caught in the rabbit trap, meant for the snake that lived in the shed, he didn’t kill the toad, he threw it over the back fence. You bury the metal traps and hammer a peg into the ground. To call me you must first think of me, and the horizon, and the truly calm sea. My father digs up toads in the garden, like the tide they come and go. The brown sand along the shore is beautiful, and when there’s a full moon the light falls like mist, and in that kind of dark I’m a ghost, practicing for death, best to fall back asleep. Warm white froth bubbles out from inside the body. It’s not that I don’t think of you and the green moss on the rocks. I write this and it’s not green or moss or froth, words breathing words. If you were here I’d be saved from the heat and wind, from walking to the otherland to see the swamps …

                … it’s a very long way to walk, too far to follow with words, bone cold from years back

                one gull, two gulls, pools of dry pink weed, a passing cloud, no dogs in sight, not a soul

                don’t rush, get up slowly, head for home, a step, another, the air perfectly round, ants prick
                up their ears, the last gasp of my mother …

The lake is seven times saltier than the sea, it keeps your bottom off the bottom, one gets a sliver of courage to change direction, a drop drops in the ocean blood.

Fishermen push their hauls along the jetty, dark sky over them, fog rolling in, little rowboats rocking.

John’s birthday today.
Uncle Mick died last night.

To will
something/itself                        in law
and hold that the end
is sweet and divine


in line and lined up
objects in heaven
like angels

we                          then
are                         only
beings                   who
invite                     thus

when, as I am and so on, in the dust between teeth, still in the praise prayer, blessed spilled hand twice (a day), smiling with ‘oh’ noise, slowly softened bones, iris for example and rose and lily too, the stones with lively veins see the sky.

When will you come I want to see you a last time he wrote.

Everyone wants something else of writing – the painting or tablecloth is not asked to be something else – writing is not by fact of writing for something else.

Heart heads into sudden thought, presses on bone …

thinks of the green grass in the backyard, the cold out there, the almond blossom.

Linda M Walker is a writer, artist and independent curator. She used to live in Adelaide, now she lives in Mount Gambier.
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