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

 

 

Manmade Woman

 

She is mounted.

At first by father

and then by lover.

At first apart, then together.

 

She is elevated.

Aided in her artistry

to turgid mediocrity

and finally vacuous celebrity.

 

She is simply fab

in her prefab neighbourhood.

Considered to be doing good,

in her fabricated womanhood.

 

She gets her way

With a pouting lip,

a shimmering peignoir slip

and tilt of a contrapposto hip.

 

She is passive.

For she carries no arms.

Instead engaging feminine charms.

At most would strike with open palms.

 

She affects a pose.

For she has twice a fool

to catch her if she should fall

and remount her on her pedestal.

 

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017

 

 

Wound

 

She places the blade

at the point of incision.

Raises the shaft

to her shoulder

and stabs down hard.

Somewhere near

her intended

point of contact.

 

Moist fibrous skin

yields beneath the force.

The blade holds still,

unmoving

in the cut.

She retracts

her weapon

then stabs deeper.

 

One foot at a time

she steps

upon the hilt.

With unsure weight,

jumps hard.

Thrusting deeper,

flesh sheers

and gives way.

 

She extracts.

Turns ninety degrees.

Thrusts again,

cuts again.

Steps and jumps

and forces

the blade in

to the hilt.

 

Once more

and once more.

Until finally,

feet spread wide,

back bent,

she levers

chops and pulls,

lifting free a rich green sward.

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

My Son

 

I carried you

from your mother’s womb.

Along linoleum hallways.

The beam of your birth

lighting the way.

 

I carried you

to the outside.

To show you the world,

old Sydney town.

That from that day

would shine less.

 

I cared for you

in the stifling night.

Your fat red cheeks

ablaze.

 

I cared for you

when your avarice

reached beyond

your need.

 

When new toys

turned to gadgets

and fleeting pleasure.

I cared to stem your want.

 

When your sought to fit in

I showed you how

To stand apart

and cared for your rage

 

I care for you still.

In your doubt

your sense of dread

your need to change.

As I have carried it

before you.

 

I care that in the night

your dreams

break from the box

in which they are locked,

gnaw at your flesh,

rattle you sleep.

 

I care that you may never

rise from this paralysis

that shackles you

to the dreams

of others.

That by the nose

leads you

to the buckling

lawns of debt.

 

I care that

beauty plucked

from the shallows

looses its gloss.

That in two

five,

ten years,

the plastic conformity

you retreat to

melts before

the searing pain

in your eyes.

 

I care that

then the doubt,

the dread,

the lost days

and nights

will return.

 

Who then will counsel you.

When laying awake

you realize

your mistake.

 

That your dreams rest

atomized

in the cloy

of mediocrity.

 

Who will care for you

when I am frail.

When my patience

has failed.

 

When in the night

you do not sleep.

When in the night

you call and I do not speak.

For fear I say

“I told you so”.

 

Who will carry you then.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sunday

 

Guitar and mandolin.

A bitter sweet duet

rises above the rushing bass

of the fresh lit wood stove.

 

I read of solitude

in the wilderness.

Reclined.

Open to what may come.

 

The kettle

wheezes to a worry.

Bacon spits

a belated warning.

The old black pot

erupts

spewing thick jet

from its hidden cone.

 

I am the architect

of my own disturbance.

 

 

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

 

 

Chromatic Considerations 1

 

I see the light

rising from the earth

to the sky

and return.

 

It is spoken

without question

accepted

recorded.

 

It is silent

exhausted of inspection

of inquiry

of colours unspoken.

 

Chromatic Considerations 2

 

What comes to the eye

is reflected

flickering

radiant

and inverted.

 

What comes to the eye

is ordered

colour,

form,

meaning accorded.

 

What comes to the eye

is a pattern

from history,

that shapes

how we see.

 

 

Chromatic Considerations 3

 

Mac

and Mercedes

and Converse shoes

Orange

and Gucci

and gold

 

I can sing a rainbow

and if you let the world go

you can sing a rainbow too.

 

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017

 

 

 

 

New Arrivals

 

They retire to country

with their ways

and their means.

 

Out of the city,

quiet days

and bucolic scenes

 

They unpack their gear

and old habits fall out,

along with urban ideals.

 

Then come dark, comes the fear

and paranoia about

what lurks in the hills.

 

D L Hume 3rd Quarter 2017