Abstract moon

This poem was written as part of a dialogue series with Japanese poet Hiroshi Sasaki (Keiji Minato, translator). It appeared for the first time in print in Mirage #4/Period[ical] (USA, 2006). It was later published in my collection We Will Disappear (2007), and anthologised in Contemporary Australian Poetry (Puncher and Wattmann: Sydney, 2016). 'Abstract Moon' has also been translated into Macedonian and published in Struga Poetry Evenings: Poetry from Five Continents (Struga: Macedonia, 2011). Läs på svenska.
We are planets. Some endure. Others
melt, or spin off course, like tops. I'm
one of those. This poem is my brand
new abstract moon, a satellite whose
strange attraction causes moods to
rise and fall like waves, abstract tides.

The truth is, by the wooden wharves,
even fishermen are gods. Inside each
plastic bucket, offerings to the moon.
Each hook's a hope or prayer; every
cast an arm around the shoulder of
a tearful stranger. I'm one of those.

Lightning is a kind of poem, a song
sung by clouds as they rub together.
I'm one of those. Shoes on cobbles,
words on the wind. Ask somebody
if they'd mind walking slowly. Who
knows, they might just say goodbye.

We're abstracts in each other's eye.
That's okay. You'll find a flower in
the smog; I can already hear little
white trees. Hands hold onto us.
You're the kind of person who sees
a single moon. I'm one of those too.


Express yourself