Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Poetry by Mark O'Flynn


You’ve been watching the dead sugar gum

watching it patiently until you decide to cut it down

then you’re all action.

You traipse through the moonscape about its base

place your hand where the beautiful wood

is oiled and burnished by the necks of cows

choosing a spot for the first bite of the axe.

Eventually the tree collapses into hoof prints

and a brief eruption of twigs then silence.

Birds soon orbit their confusion. Cows stare.

It takes all morning to chop it up into manageable

lengths, leaving behind the branches filled with ants.

They’re not all you’re leaving.

Firewood warms you twice, they say,

three times really, after you barrow

it back across the paddock to the dark verandah

where winter finally moves in the shadows

of what you are preparing to abandon.

- Mark O'Flynn 2011


Months past the battered blood

growing slowly from the nail

once crushed beneath the physical logic

of a hammer’s sarcasm,

now lifting, the dusty cuticle peels,

a pistachio shell of flaking blood,

xylem beneath, as the mutant nail

corrupts and rises, a smudge of cracked paint.

Long beyond the memory of iron

all trace gone of the original misdemeanour,

the curse, the shaking fist;

the sucked phalange.

- Mark O'Flynn 2011

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