Type
Poetry

Blessed be this sadness

after Les Murray

 

I carry within the unmimicable dark.

Weeping open on the train one day

I learn no-one speaks to the sorrowful

except to say I’m sorry or I’ve been there

or to caw like some useless bird. No-one

has been to this place, my sweet black sea.

You may have your own, a waterless rock

or else some other reflection of world,

a bedroom, a garden of knowledge, a mouth.

No-one has been to my deep black sea

or knows the names of the unique fish,

crustaceans and algae that flourish there.

I visit its beach of glass every morning

afraid it will vanish without my care,

my soft light. When I’m there, I hold

the necklace of wounds my mother gifted

me, tiny tragedies, accidental histories,

each one a jewel, amethyst of fist, topaz

abortion, and oh the blood diamonds

of neglect. Every wound here is a window

back to life, little lungs pumping air

into this beautiful void. And it is beauty.

A dozen moons of pale pink and blue hang

in the sky, each one a halo on haunted water.

The truth is: I love this grief-wrought hole.

All that I have lost lives in it. Together

as never in life, we swim, we school, we

sink in moon and diamante sand. Bone

dry, I leave wet footprints wherever I go.

Back in the carriage, the necklace is heavy

as a solar system and absolutely ordinary.

 

 

Image: Vincent Chien / flickr

 

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Omar is an Arab Australian poet. His new collection, The Lost Arabs (2019), is forthcoming with the University of Queensland Press.

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