Mark Roberts – Future poem

Roberts LE P&W 3 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three Nov-Dec 2023.

Future poem, poems by Mark Roberts.

Future poem

darkness enfolds us
like a remembered lover
avoid the patrols
shelter in crumbling sheds
in the shadows of abandoned train lines
by day stay in empty rooms
near the old university
keep low away from windows
every night move to a new hole
freedom an old poster
still hanging from a fence
shadows move through walls
like a repressed history
memory of a drive to the bay
a drink on the esplanade
a poem published in a friend’s journal
now poems are whispered slogans
and even the bullets are imported

The Red Motorbike


One day
the red motorbike
was just there.

I didn’t even know I wanted one.
A man told me to take it for a spin,
but to be careful as the gears
can take some getting use to.

Perhaps everyone,
when approaching 60,
is offered a motorbike.

The bike was cool.
I wore my helmet everywhere,
even when doing online banking.


I’m in a large country town.
It looks like Goulburn
but it has another name I can’t remember.
I’m with the kids and we are riding home
with them perched on the back of the bike.

We get lost leaving town
and have to drive through
a shopping mall
and push the bike up some stairs.

On the outskirts of the town
we stop and call home.
The kids tell my wife
they love riding on the back
of the red motorbike.

north shore line

coming around the curve
the harbour
would burst through

a valley
of apartments
thrown up
to stimulate
a lazy economy

follow old aerial trails
between roofs
remember branches
scratch into ceiling cavities
to nest & wait
bush rates gnaw
fast internet cables

urban weeds
sprout between broken

the next
a tunnel

© Mark Roberts

Mark Roberts lives and writes on unceded Darug and Gundungurra country. Along with Linda Adair he edits Rochford Street Review and P76 magazine.

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