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Sport 42: 2014

Tony Beyer — The Weather Tomorrow

page 176

Tony Beyer

The Weather Tomorrow

the best tree
in our new garden
is the manuka
with its soft pink embers
glowing humbly but
intentionally among
deep green-brown leaves

white-eyes and sometimes
a grey warbler
settle among its branches
too light to disturb their stillness
or hang upside down
to snare a morsel
from thin air

the diet of birds
and whether they taste
and relish what they consume
is a mystery
neither diminished by watching
the trees near the window
nor unimportant enough to neglect

one of the neighbours’ cats
is more intrigued
by Pansy’s feeding bowl
and scurries in and out
the back door to burgle
page 177 with an effrontery
I can’t dislike

nearly everyone walking past
leads a dog
who in turn leads
a privileged life
emancipated from the necessity
of being a wolf
or running from them

now I’m outside
decanting black plastic bags
of weeds and dead leaves
in layers between twigs
into the compost bin
next season’s nutrients
free for the gathering

the neighbourhood watch
have visited
and our estate agent
bearing disputable gifts
and blackbirds for the grapes
and thrushes for the worms
my spade has disclosed

heed the law
and prosper so everyone
prospers is their burden
one I can take up
and sleep on well
when night rain thumbs the windows
and all are indoors

page 178

better known and better fed
Blackie the intruder cat
(who seems to me more
white than black)
wakes me by manicuring its claws
on our coir doormat

street lamps fill the kitchen
with enough light
to breakfast by
while the small boy next door
thunders on bare feet
through his still
sleeping house

it’s rubbish day
on the Peninsula
the once-a-fortnight double
refuse and recycling
when inhabitants in
dressing gowns nod magisterially
beside their troves

mine’s still mostly
removal dross
flat cartons
flattened paper
Third World treasure
whole families haunt
dark cities to possess

in this city I miss
the smell of horse dung
and those big
dozy bronze flies
bunting the screen
page 179 cigarette smoke and wintergreen
in old men’s shirts

past lives only part
of what must now follow
in a house
enclosed in fragile timber
tile and paint where
we are the new people