Poetry is not always kind or polite. Here are sample of my writing, for selection from the collection tabs

Aurora

 

Drunk I have slept beneath distended moons

and stirring to the wail of two string tunes

Westward from the Middle Kingdom I roamed

to climb peaks as days thoughts were ignited.

Then lazed entranced in peasants earthen homes

as limestone voids were illuminated.

At the meeting of three nations I camped

and on through the High Atlas snows I tramped.

Along vertiginous highways I cruised

and on lonely Pacific beaches paused

to admire the final blush of the day.

But in returning home I have at last,

as spring arises and winter has passed,

drunk in the lights of the southern array.

 

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017

 

 

Front Bar Waiting

 

 

He cranked

open the heavy door.

The hinges announced

his entry

as the light

from the small

round window

scanned

the almost empty room.

 

He planted himself

on a lead heavy stall.

The type made heavy

so drunks can't

lift them over their head.

 

He ordered a beer.

As it settled

so he did,

propping his bag

against the trough

that once caught butts.

 

Being unable

to close his ears

he tuned in.

 

And your next question

for two hundred thousand dollars…

 

Inane quiz show.

Corporate puppet.

Gullible fodder.

 

Coming up in tonights news…

 

is absolutely nothing.

He thought to himself,

realising how long

it had been

since he'd watched

commercial TV,

and turning his attention

to the other end of bar.

 

You got me into fucking trouble

You fucker…

 

He refocused

 

In what year did…

 

He shifted again

 

You fucking told my wife.

Said I’m always in here

You old cunt…

 

1968,

he mumbled.

 

Correct answer.

Now playing for

two hundred and fifty

thousand dollars…

 

He surveyed

the top shelf.

 

You got me into fucking trouble.

I know where you’ve fucking been

you old fucker.” She said.

 

He recognised

some unusual labels

and some familiar

 

How would that change your life

What would you spend it on?

 

He watched diners

through the whole

in the wall.

Chicken schnitzel,

always chips

and untouched salad.

 

What the fucks it got to do with you,

you old cunt.

 

He swallowed

the last of his beer.

The reflection from the door

swung onto him.

He swung his bag

onto his back.

His lift was here.

 

Henry fucking IV

 

He said,

leaving his stall.

 

She knitted

a quizzical brow.

He gestured behind him.

 

Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars…

 

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017

 

 

 (First Published Blue Nib Literary Magazine Issue 11)

 

Mistaken Identity

 

Last weekend

my friend turned fifty

and a long long day

was had.

 

The feeble August sun

Slipped quick from the terrace.

Soon rose a teasing moon

as flames licked around the pit.

 

Small children

skewered confectionery

and roasted it brown.

Till mostly it floozed into the coals.

 

Big kids huddled

in blankets and hoodies.

Wishing they were older

And glad not to be younger.

 

It was at day’s fraying end,

of grilled meat and flumey beer,

 

dropped snags and fat dogs

that stories were lifted to the ear.

 

Dodging smoke from the pit

My friend told of a night in clink.

Of being locked up

in a foreign cell.

 

A whicker chair

heaved and creaked

and forward leaned

his mother

 

A case of

mistaken identity.

He explained

in swaying detail.

 

Borrowing bricks.

Just a few.

A boot load.

To build a BBQ.”

 

Then the next time…”

He went on.

Again mistaken

 

Honest John.”

 

Collective heads lifted.

Smoke swirled

carrying the silence

of disbelief - up and away.

 

Mothers held babies

clenched to their breasts.

Fathers gathered toddlers

to their knees.

 

As if such stories

heard only in mono

Would save innocence

and awkward inquiry.

 

Conversation would wait,

like explanation,

as car keys grew erect

in woven pockets

 

So I asked.

Has anyone else

a story of being locked up,

of a night in clink.

 

You mean except for you”

Chimed a sticky mouth,

pink and ash.

And we roared and stoked

the fire that cracked into the night.

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Standup

(Rachel Berger)

 

She struts into the light.

Adjusts her set.

The stall

That would cork an amateur’s nerves,

And the stork

That confronts her experienced curves.

 

A smug of silver crowned crows

Has tottered into tittering rows.

Each perched on a plastic seat

That in turn flex and grown and splay their feet.

 

Such is the weight of satisfaction.

 

They beat their wings

In collective expectation.

They expect to be amused

And she expects to amuse.

 

She will engage,

Reach out and ridicule.

She will swear

And prim ladies will giggle.

 

She will speak of lady parts

And things gynecological.

And old men will snigger,

Once furtively gaining approval.

 

She will say penis with expectancy.

And one old matron will gasp out loud.

Before succumbing to apoplexy.

Such is the crowd.

 

She will amuse

And they will be amused.

Their shrill will vent infectiously

Rising to the pitch

Of the old wooden church,

Then falter precariously.

 

She will pitch again

And once more

Their vents will shrill

Before they toddle

Tickled and fed,

Quietly,

Politely

Home to bed.

 

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017

Two Heavy Men Came Calling

 

They climbed out

Of a small white bubble.

Two heavy men.

 

One salt and pepper,

Blade blue suit

And steel rimmed glasses.

 

The other bald

Soft grey mismatch, walking boots

And seventies mustache.

 

They began to pick their way

Through the goopy bog

At the bottom of the hill.

 

*

 

Stop there and state your business.

If you're here to sell me something

Think twice.

 

If you're here to talk religion

Or save my soul

You'd best turn around now.”

 

With the deaf ears of the righteous

They stepped onward

Picking their way on islands of sod.

 

Stop there and state your business.”

Repeated

The figure on the hill.

 

G’day cobber.”

Spoke the bald one

And skidded sideways off a mound

 

We're have a message.”

Spoke the steely one

And waved a limpid text.

 

If you're here to talk religion

Or save my soul turn now.”

Boomed the voice at the top of the rise.

 

We have a message”

Repeated the steely one

A message from…

 

And with that next word

Bright lights formed in the sky.

A rainbow was conjured

 

And as the rain fell upon them

In an looping arc

A sermon was delivered.

 

**

 

In the name of all things earthly

And all that is real

I baptize you.

 

Up here we warm our hands

On a goats udder

And sup of its goodness

 

We tend to

The sprouts

That spring from the ground.

 

Seek out toad stools

And marvel at the mist

That gives them rise.

 

I have just killed an innocent

And my child is intent

To wash away the blood.

 

She becomes disturbed

Angry when delayed

And of that you are the cause.

 

For she wishes to see it meld with the earth

But watches as it seeps into the wood.

Deeper than the souls of us.

 

So in the name

Of that on which tonight

We will feast

 

I baptize you both

Oh mongers of war

Purveyors of hate.

 

Be gone down

The slippery slope

Be gone to your superstitious salvation”

 

 

***

 

Under the rain

That fell upon them

They turned.

 

As they raised their books for shelter

The shower narrowed to a jet

And shot at their backs and backsides

 

The steely one jumped and stumbled

Reached for the arm

Of his bald brethren

 

And together they fell and slid

Carving furrows in the bog

To where their chariot was halted.

 

 

****

 

Upon the hill

He raised the hose overhead

Reprising the rainbow.

 

Passed the spout

To his eager child

Who made a river of red.

 

Then together

They threw feathers

Into the air.

 

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017

 

 

 

 

Episode Five: Downsizing

A short story in ten poems

 

One

 

The Window to the City

 

The glass through which they stared

out to the decking

with its creaky boards

and sun twisted railing

had never been so clean.

 

The crust of ten summers

washed away.

As too the finger smears

of those that lived

and had lived there,

lifted the view

across the river.

 

It gleamed shyly

in the dull dusk of Autumn.

The lights of the city

flicked on is spasms,

emerging from the gloom.

Then fell away

in topographic sequence,

to the one square monolith

that marked the CBD.

 

To call it a city was a stretch.

More a big country town.

That's what someone

important once said

and everyone agreed.

 

Others spoke of it as a big heavy coat.

Warm and insulating

against the cold west wind

that wheezed

and rattled down the organ pipe face

of the mountain.

 

A coat that looked

just as handsome

and unimposing

hung on the peg.

Ignored

for the two or three months

that the sun shone

and the flat top

hung up its own fleecy cape.

 

 

Two

 

Saying Goodbye

 

The house was empty.

Bar a dozen big heavy boxes

bound and gagged

in the front room.

And the flopping flesh of a bed

in the room opposite.

 

The scent of fresh paint

Had almost vanished,

hanging only vaguely

beneath the must

of twenty year old

single malt whisky.

 

That the spirit survived

from the day they moved in

was a near miracle.

They caressed the glasses

and snorted the peaty fumes.

"I swear, if I had to give up alcohol

I'd keep a bottle of this just to sniff."

He said,

as he had been saying

for the last twenty years.

 

They raised their glasses

To the house that had sheltered them.

Turned

to do the same

To the city that had nourished them,

when a small raptor

Alighted on the railing.

Beneath one yellow talon

a daggered carcass,

skull intact.

"Sparrowhawk" he said.

"Goshawk" she said.

Without another sound

they watched

as the hook beaked bird,

wearing the same colour suit

as the real estate agent

that sold their house,

ripped stringy strips

from the breast of an ex pigeon.

Dark feathers

fell onto

and we're blown along the deck,

becoming snagged

in the skeletal

plum tree

that had,

over the years,

become entwined in the railing.

 

They feasted their eyes.

drained their glasses.

Then drained the bottle

of the last dram.

With the final fall of light

the hawk departed

almost vertically,

for a more wild eyrie.

Its takeaway prey

clasped tight in its claws.

.

They rinsed the glasses,

wrapped them in bubble wrap,

and slipped them into the corner of a box

marked "glasses."

 

The tape dispenser

broke the quiet,

ripping orange tape

across the box.

"That's it, we've done it." He said

and wrapped her

in his arms.

She smiled,

stood back,

took a breath

"Excited" she said

"You bet, can't wait."

 

 

Three

 

The Promise

 

They had promised each other

that when the children were off hand

they would return

to the bush.

Off grid

Chooks

Ducks

Goats

Firewood

Solar

Shitting in bucket.

 

Time to fish.

Time to write.

Time to live.

Time to be.

 

The demands of teenagers

dragged them from the bush,

from the almost fifty acres

of thin soiled

dry forest.

On an island

an hour from town.

 

Four

 

Family

 

There would be no kidults in this family.

Inter race relationships,

homosexual, lesbian, bi,

or any other,

so called, deviation.

No problem.

But kidultery:

adult size creatures,

lolling around the house.

footless and feckless.

Emptying the pantry.

Not bloody likely

 

 

Five

 

First Born

 

They left one by one.

The eldest to her family.

The bright lights

and sunshine

of the harbour city.

 

Like his father and mother

he rejected

the chosen lifestyle

of his parents,

 

No frugal

do it yourself

anti establishment

environmentalist

social conscious

half baked hippy

punk attitude

for him.

 

Money would satisfy

his every desire.

He would go on

to imagine himself

a poor boy from the country,

deprived of the luxuries of suburbia.

 

Six

 

Second Son

 

Or middle child,

as he prefers to be known,

departed a year later.

A one way ticket

had been promised

upon academic success.

If uni was an option

it could wait.

Dreams,

they always said,

should be followed.

 

No half measures for him.

Away

to his father's family.

The land of fish and chips,

where a cuppa solved everything.

 

He would come to realize

and reject

the numbing pain

of the treadmill.

On high peaks

and in the jungles of Brazil

he would find his prize.

 

Seven

 

Possum

 

The last

was more difficult

to dislodge.

She sought a challenge

in study.

She would remain

at home

another four years.

Plodding through books

at her own sweet,

enigmatic pace.

 

He saw in her

his own

unhinged curiosity.

Floating on the waves,

buoyant enough

to be beached in the morning

and catch a riptide

at night.

 

Eight

 

Escape

 

Faced with the prospect of parenting

for four more years

they packed their bags,

abandoned the baby

and took to the road.

 

They flitted between

a dozen apartments,

over nearly as many years.

Almost equivalent

to the contracts

they had taken,

that took them

to remote parts

Asia, Africa

Europe and more.

 

There they learned

about transience.

There they learned

how to leave.

 

There was no intention

To stay away so long.

But there was

always another bend,

another corner

to look around.

 

Nine

 

Renovations

 

Over the winter

they had fixed the house

on the inside.

Wide floor boards,

sanded,

recoated.

Gone were the bright colours,

contrasts,

personal touches.

 

In their place

all neutral

dull

grays

and off whites.

 

No foot scuffs

or gadges

from out of control

pets and toys.

They had replaced

the taped and broken pane.

The result of high spirited

teenagers.

They had,

with a grudge,

for the last month,

been living

in a show house.

Even purchased a couch

to set it off.

That with its coat

of shiny pinstripe satin

lent a refined

elegant note.

But creaked its legs

and sagged

and groaned when sat in.

 

Outside

their mark persisted.

The salmon pink

with sky blue trim

they lavished upon

old weatherboards

when first moved in

remained.

A stubborn marker

of daring

to be different,

among creams and greens

and strict red brick.

 

Ten

 

Leaving

 

Would they miss the place?

No.

Ten years

they'd been away.

Long enough

for the dream of returning

to a simple life

to take root.

To become

certain.

Tomorrow

was another corner.

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017

 

 

 (First Published Blue Nib Literary Magazine)

 

 

 

 

Dream of Tea

 

I walk east,

I walk west,

to where tall trees rise

and I see distant peaks

inked and washed

onto cumulus parchment.

 

 

D L Hume 2nd Quarter 2017