Joy and a Fibro Shack
- "Im a little ashamed that
I want to end this poem
" Robert Hass
- The difficulty of writing a poem
- is like the difficulty of building a
- without a plan, wood, a hammer.
- You have to start somewhere
- and if you have a tin of nails,
- then thats as good a place as any.
- Foundations, frame and finish will come,
- if you work at it.
- Or might not come.
- Theres always the canvas shell of a
- Theres always driftwood and burlap
fastened with bamboo vines.
- Theres always the music of
corrugated iron in a hail storm,
- or its blistering shade at midday.
- Is a poem a palace or a humpy?
- I prefer humpies, furnished with a daggy
- reclaimed from the council clean-up.
- I want to capture the grit beneath
- the mysterious gaze of a brush wattlebird
- peering at me through the window,
- the misery of a broken marriage,
- and the elation of the night we bumped
- into Rebecca at Kilimanjaro, the
- not the mountain, crammed around a table
- as those first contractions took hold of
- Breath, heartbeat, bloodthe heroic
- of that old iambic line. And screams far
- far too long for the sanitised labour
- of soap operatheyd call it
- theyd call it amateur,
- it was in very bad taste.
- I prefer poems to come into the world
- shining with vernix, green with meconium,
- radiant with the open-eyed awe of a baby
- in the first half-hour of her life,
- while the wind lifts and rattles the
- until the house resonates with its own
- like the night I was up at 3am,
- walking the kitchen, walking the hallway,
- the lounge room, holding a baby
- who would not stop, would not stop,
- just would not stop crying.