Poems by Anne Carson
Anne M Carson is a writer and visual artist, whose poetry is published internationally and widely in Australia. Two Green Parrots was published in June 2019. She has won and been commended in numerous poetry prizes including being shortlisted in the NSW Women’s Writers Competition 2019. As a Creative Writing Therapist she has edited and facilitated the group process which resulted in the publication of three books. She teaches Poetry Writing and Appreciation to adults and serves as Director Arts on the board of Ondru – a social-change-through-the-creative-arts organisation. She is researching her next creative project as a PhD Candidate at RMIT. Massaging Himmler: A poetic biography of Dr Felix Kersten was published in October by Hybrid Publishers. www.annemcarson.com
Cocoons spun from dreams
Chroicocephalus (Larus) novaehollandiae and Australonuphis parateres
Silver gulls loiter at water’s edge, lost in opal
shades of morning, pale hues
of contemplation. Food is a matter
of guile and diligence.
pursued in insouciance.
With backward-stepping, twig-thin
orange legs, they stamp tattoos
onto the sand.
Some say vibrations from their footfall
travel beneath, causing miniature
sound waves – invisible, persuasive.
In blind safety below, white sand worms
coil and curl in cocoons spun
from mucous and dreams.
Multiply segmented bodies – each a locus
of muscular receptivity, kinesthetic
know-how. They are alert filaments,
alive to the smallest displacement.
They wriggle to the surface, eager to drink
perhaps harkening to a telltale
pitter patter, thinking rain has come.
Only to encounter beak’s sharp
blade of hunger.
Guiltless, the gulls feast.
Even over these ordinary factories
this concrete conveyor belt of vehicles
the sun maintains a daily duty.
The metal doesn’t stop it
the concrete doesn’t hinder
its passage through the sky.
It is diligent, regardless.
No matter what we have seen
of ugliness, how we have been ripped
from the tissue of common
courtesy, of human trust and connectedness
there is still this sun which broadcasts diurnal blessing.
It is not always this bright.
These crayon colours do not
always paint the sky so incandescently.
But every day, however burdened we are, the sun conducts
its regular commute,
sometimes streaking the sky
in celebrations colours.
from “The detective’s chair”
(4) Detective Chief Inspector (DCI), Jane Tennison
Area Major Incident Team (AMIT), Southampton Row police station, UK
Eighteen long cigarette-filled months at AMIT without a single case more significant than tax evasion or fraud. Chafing at the sexism, Jane hardly holds her sharpened tongue sheathed. Finally in charge of a murder investigation and the boys aren’t happy. It’s 1990s; no one in the force likes a ball-breaker. She earns respect by not pulling punches, being a punishing perfectionist, grasping complex strands intuitively. She’s married to the job, fiercely ambitious; hard to find and keep a guy. Even her family don’t get her. Despite training to be objective, she bleeds for victims, calls their kin my love, darlin’, holds them when they sob. For perpetrators she has only determination. A whisky or two tossed down at the end of long days, but no time to kick back in a favourite chair, let music unleash her mind. Every ounce of her energy spent on solving crimes, proving fitness daily to every man – and to herself.
A poem about an apple
A dark underground corner. His car door and mine
awkwardly proximate. I pause, let him proceed.
Cautious carpark twostep. He smiles, lopes off
crunching a red apple – loose dangle of limbs,
easy stride. I step into the space he has just left.
Only a few seconds of his presence douse it
in scent profile. His apple-laden breath is the air
my mouth opens to. Unexpected delight. Usually
this tang only on loved ones close enough to kiss.
I don’t register face – breath delectable. How did
apple’s innocence get sullied? We need to know more
about good and evil, not less. Breath blesses me.
© Anne M Carson