Monday, June 11, 2012

New Poetry by David Ades


Everything went into this —
the needle and thread of our mothers,
the thimbles, their dextrous fingers

and soothing voices, patching
and mending tears in our clothes,
our frayed edges, the children we were.

They were lavish with their inheritance
the way women are, steeped in love
and family, passing it on among

themselves through generations
stretching back to Egypt
and before that past records,

past knowledge and memory,
perhaps all the way back
to Isabelle and Ferdinand in 1492

and before that, who knows,
perhaps back to Moses at Mt Sinai.
We reached for thread

and found our ancestor’s lines,
some remembered
like your pépé and mémé,

my aunts and uncles
and others never known
yet present in a gesture perhaps

or a tone of voice
or the strength to dream.
Everything went into this —

the twirled thread, the braid we made,
two lines gathered into one,
steeped in love and family

and now we look both back
and forward, we shine a light upon
our ancestors

lowering the braid for tiny fingers
to reach and hold
and follow.

- David Ades 2012 

Sex, Anticipated

In Darwin it is called the ‘build up’:
moisture gathering in air after months
of cloudless dry days, clouds gathering,
the air becoming heavy as ripe fruit.

It is a slow gathering, unhurried,
sure of itself, day by day moving towards
the horizon’s contraction, the sky’s darkening
cloak. Humidity rises: beads of sweat on skin,

damp sheets, a whir of ceiling fans,
the frogs’ loud croaks. It is the dance before,
moving towards intimacy – a first touch, a drop,
a deluge, earth waiting in its bed.

When your arms open I will begin to fall,
begin my downpour, drops of water
on the hungry leaves, the green fronds,
flashes of lightning lacing the sky, your eyes.

- David Ades 2012

David Adès moved to Pittsburgh from Adelaide, Australia in April 2011. He has been a member of  Friendly Street Poets since 1979. His collection, Mapping the World, was commended for the Fellowship of Australian Writers Anne Elder Award 2008.

No comments: