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            Two poems: 'New Spring', and 'Splinters'

New Spring

it’s already time to hang the washing
outside again (this year blew past
like a sneeze) and try to figure out
how to write another poem
for the chinaberry tree

its peas spangling the yard
like golden earrings, discarded late at night
and discovered out of context
in the mystifying daylight

the tiny petals curling
like crescents of fingernail
caught by spiderweb and strung up
to surf the buffets of the breeze

what have we made of
another year? has the poem even changed?
a little more heft perhaps, a thickness,
or some new cracks in the skin

like déjà vu, like twins,
we stand both now and then, still here,
wearing the same clothes, lightly faded
approaching oneness from both sides

soon (next week maybe?) I’ll sweep up
the tree’s hangover, clear the space
for the coming months to drop into
in pearls of sun-bronze, honey grey


through the peepholes of this splintered world

I spy on your beauty
and in return
you show me an infinite world

       — George Vassilacopoulos

We see the world in splinters.
            hits them as particles
                        raining at random.

Sometimes we see the splinters
            and remember what
                        the world was like
before we shattered it.

The worlds
            our old selves represent:
                        we catch shadows of them
            in the edges of mirrors.

Now, the mirror I see in the mirror
                        reveals new facets of myself,
                                    reminds me that the splinters
            are surfaces only

                        rather than statues I can walk around
and see the backs of.
                        I have a habit of
reducing everything to shadows and mirrors,

                        to the fuzzy penumbra
                                    between lightness and dark,
between paper and text—
I vandalise the original image

                        and usurp infinity,
                                    replace it
            with other infinities
                                    that suit my taste.

I’ve cracked the mirrors
            but the fractured shapes they make
are still plausible constellations—

            lines drawn on the darkness
                        to tint it with narrative.
This may or may not be
a version of beauty.

Kristian Radford lives in Melbourne and works as a high school teacher. His poetry has been published in journals including Cordite, Otoliths and Marrickville Pause.