Geraldine McKenzie
Folk tale and variations
New Poems From Australia

She came to a clearing in the woods.
With no regard for her former life.
House and garden, well tended.

Depending on how you took it, this could be disconcerting.

An interjection from the audience who
unpeels from the door jamb and sidle off.


Depending on how you took it, this could be disconcerting.

We’re agreed then;
he stood up.

I could go on and on about it.

turning back from the window to face more questions
she noticed his interrogator replacing sheets of paper in a folder
they seemed familiar but this wasn’t surprising

her legs

I agree the view’s magnificent

looking down -
don’t look down -

earth works
rich knell

and scattered lie

and scattered lies

hill sides
and beaches
the pleasant spots

at this point reaching for a favourite book you recall the passage where
the author declares a sense of inadequacy, if that’s not too strong a word,
in fact it hardly meets the case, an abiding futility in the face of, lets be
blunt here, misplaced expectations, general failure – I’ll start again –

a lifetime of service
writing for the piano

to what do we owe the pleasure

is that what you call it ?

(I only saw it once and then I wasn’t concentrating.)

far flung
an errant bow

and he felt as anyone might

you only notice it in passing
the most beautiful ideas

wet backed warm
sibilance and salt dance

channels the merging

if I could get it right
she fiddled with the mechanism

excess of it