Wagtails & other poems

Words by Andrew Phillips

Published on February 27, 2013

 

Wagtails

build a nest out of 2am
humidity. She’s pulled all the sleep across to her side. Why should
I give a toss, I’ll only kick it off anyway. A burned out mozzie
coil on the sill lets in a dozen thoughts. They scream in my ear
till I give up, give them a pencil, then step outside. The street
is lit with steel light, all the driveways tucked in and
snoring. 

 

haiku

christmas eve kids asleep
unwrapping her

car!
rolling the
wickets
to the curb

too heavy
for me to carry
tiny coffin

bath time
bubbles rise between
them

 

After kids go to bed:
Echidna

They know you caught a few on
the slopes of kaggur-mabul
this afternoon.

Do they try to stay
up?
I’m not
tired

Ask for a drink?

Mine know the sound of
cheese;
camembert and crackers
pull them down the hallway
squinty-eyed, wry-smile
pyjamas into the living room.

Does the fat of echidna
pop
yours awake, shuffle them
over to the fire
in the hope for a
taste?

You lick fingers like
stars and speak the dreaming.

Your woman keeps the
spines aside
needles kangaroo sinew
through possum pelt
to blanket the cooler
nights
tuck them in on melaleuca
mat.

On this same ground
our Mt Gravatt post-war
weatherboard home
holds the afternoon into
the evening
my middle one kicks off
his polyester-wool.

I wake him and take him
to pee
to keep the mattress
dry.