poem | David Prater

193-coverOVERLAND 193
summer 2008

published 19 November 2008


will only say that your hint re sunbaths
has saved me many a day’s illness
Bernard O’Dowd writing to Walt Whitman, 1889

 i shall take sunbaths & eat stone fruit from the goulburn valley
          reading your lines again my beloved my only one my sun for you
 i shall compose letters lines verses song cycles people will eat
           oranges & know that you & i are one oh my mouth full of pips
 i shall spit out words & watch them there in the grass speckled
           & wet & the galahs will circle above us wheeling & shrieking all
 through the evening's long denouement pray they can hear us in
           our nests of wisdom squawking in our new language each breath
 a southerly change or a billowing tent of dust in cathedrals we
           shall linger together preach at the coat-tails of strangers bellow
 at believers & those they call ‘godless' in glades of deception -
           for ours is a new world master a world composed of grass not
 based on colour unless it be the colour of reeds & blood stilled
           in veins or that of sand in glass or the wind through rushes & if
 death has a colour let us eradicate it from our rainbow we shall
           make new sounds spoken by leaves that people can actually read

© David Prater
193-summer 2008, p. 74

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