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Sport 18: Autumn 1997

Janet Charman — Winding Up Here

page 39

Janet Charman

Winding Up Here

spread out warm
under light rain

you have this
close packed tropical vegetation

round the house
and my heavy coat's only good for

weighting the blonde
wood of the bedroom door

you don't impress me with your plant
and pool and

holy rolling black sand beach

lozenge ladies favours
spilling gaily into Welcome Mollusc Road

and the cabs are full
getting into

a looser dress
moving through the suburbs on a

short visit
that turns to living

with these strangers
page 40 as family

where was i from?
the wind on a rasp

in an army greatcoat at the bus shelter
i'd be ill in a deep pocket of cold

fire in the hearth
the updraught of intellectual pursuits

leaves a grand
chill in a room

machetes the edges of the

crowding hills
nudged us toward valleys the ocean stifles

all hail

the icier pellets
and dustings of snow on the tops

meant it was warmer than
yesterday if you want to know

consult the blue blood
at your fingertips

grey teachers boom from the beach beside the train station
strapped and strapped

and the class kept in

page 41

undone Dad
home late on The Unit

eat without
his plate trapped weeping over the hot pot

and that big snotty boy held back
because no one

not even he
knew he wasn't thick but deaf

long hair dried slowly there
a pick up in the bar at The Carpenter's Arms thought

‘how greasy’
unless i let him handle

the damp hemp
and find it washed

this is my verandah room
my three quarter bed

banana palms shove up to the window glass
sea grass mat dust

drifts grey
below the straw grid

my giant's feet rock the basement
where the shift worker sleeps

banging on the ceiling with a broom
a furious storm brewing

mutinies to endure