Tuesday 26 April 2022

Five Poems by Ross Jackson


A day of poking around


I’m working on a way to walk

very late to report for nothing

snacking on a slice of sunrise

orange flower rods from potted aloes

popping my eyeballs out on stalks       

making time for a cat nap

for a half dream tuned to

river’s spooling

mid-afternoon riding

smooth as drifting gulls

sunset’s getting on

with its reddening business

by the time I return home

ice cream clouds of vermillion

tangerine and rose

summer’s floral darkness

did my bedroom out with jasmine

gladly I stand at sleep’ s open door

my eyes taking bites

from moon’s tropical fruit


Adolescent out on a lifetime stroll


plain boy, frail moods

solitary life

wanders frozen city tonight

a world which sweats

with always distant women


he’s scoping out

those glowing homes

suspended from granite slopes

apartments stuck on an ice plateau

residences lit from inside


festive as Chinese lanterns

thrilling places, he supposes

filled with all the women

he fears he’ll never get

to see up close


striking out at midnight

knife edge image

in dream engorged sky

that of a crow

on glowing circle of a supermoon


delusions drowned like spiders

in channels beneath the ice


Written in the year of the monkey


Had we not already dreamt it

it would have arrived by imagination

what living would be like

beyond the realm of our cosy trees.


Why not, just swing and play in shiny rainforest

swing and play in shiny rainforest

swing and play in shiny rainforest?


To put it in reverse

had we not imagined it

it would have been already dreamed of---

that infinite beyond


but ever since, haven’t

we worried too much

about missing out?


since losing our grip on an earthly branch

we’ve cut a dainty pattern

too much thinking, not enough tumbling

lost our joy when we lost our tails


been left

with rotten tasting

synthetically coloured fruit.


Recurring dream at the junction of asleep and awake


bush flies every wrinkled hour; shapeless jazz on repeat

taste my flavourless oxygen, do calculus on my breathing

prescribe me anything for persist-less sleep

this recurring scenario tossing, tossing…

across my tattered brain

and it won’t give up---

now the warm wind                     she drags

something off                  the warm wind dusting

the platforms of the station

caressed by warm wind

at the edge of cement and a fall to the rails

he wants it sordid, so she        drags

something else            off

along timber racks lacquered by moonshine

timetables shudder in summer night wind

as she                        drags

one last thing off

signal red glows

on black train now passing

at the junction of asleep and awake


After reading Charles Bukowski


a full-sized man

hires a naked lady

to spar with him

over seven rounds

truly, he does


pity her little fists don’t

entirely fill

the boxing gloves he supplies

but don’t you worry

for she’s a natural

not in a ham-fisted way

and he’s too slow

a sucker for a sucker punch


after twenty minutes

she tells him, ‘For what you’ve paid

the time is up’

then puts in a quick jab in his gut


after which, he manages

to say through

bloody teeth

‘I’ll need you again next week

but make sure

next time

you knock me out cold

and no mistake’

Ross Jackson lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has had many poems published in poetry websites and literary magazines in Australia and his work has been accepted in the UK and Ireland.

‘Time alone on a quiet path’ came out with University of Western Australia Press in 2020.

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