Poems by Laurie Duggan

Blue Hills 77

the glint of a car through a screen door
a clang of metal gates

at night the clatter of freight trucks
on the Bankstown line

the birds in this vicinity
are large or predatory

no spuggies hereabouts
to fledge

Blue Hills 78

stones in the bottom of a jar
the water yellows
        (a crossword clue)
                                          church bells
        (no certain location)

a man carries a cat box across a courtyard

Blue Hills 79 

the ridges of this place
thought a flat city
where bins clatter in a bluestone alley,

                                           that basalt edge
runs through Melbourne’s west.

someone looks out from a balcony
the way the old pass the time
                                              (texting intently)

noises off:
                       trains the far side of Royal Park
a fire alarm
mimicked by a bird

Blue Hills 80

one of those eucalypts,
pink, vague shape

of a human body,
across the road

from a Boer War veteran
stranded on the median

Blue Hills 82

the balance of colour, shape
and texture
                      a painting
of vases, bouquets,
stray objects
                            a shoe, a leaf, a bottle,
a carved bird,
                        even a painting
within the painting,
                                 perhaps a picket fence

beyond this, the idea that art
might be useful
it might help you to sell something

Blue Hills 85

the bend of this river
once paradise
a mingling of salt and fresh
and whatever lived on the ground

what was the name of this place?
(what is the name)
                              and who to ask?

the rock ledges painted by recent visitors
over a century back

a discovery of light

                          of how to work with underpainting
and not neutralize
the effect of atmosphere

Allotment 103

into the sun
across mudfields

a letterbox
mimics a barn

red berries glow
in a dark landscape

Allotment 104

a pond

the sun
at angle

outline of
a stile

dark against
dry grass,

then white

an egret
on the marsh

Allotment 109

barking dogs
turn out to be geese, a flock

over marshland,
mud islands guarded

by a spit
at Church Norton

Allotment 113

I’m in the yard at Iklectik, too early for the reading. I’m seated on an old lounge chair under a shelter hemmed with hay bales and autumn leaves, a warped geodesic dome to my right. It’s a strange oasis on prime developmental land (between Lambeth Palace and Waterloo Station). The last time I was here I heard a nightingale. Now it’s distant football practice and the rumble of trains over the viaducts. Will anybody show up? Someone in an adjacent office knocks off, bolts the shutters and turns out the lights. Paper lanterns wave in the breeze. A mangy fox trots down the path. Lights go on in the hall. Someone has entered through a back door. The fox reappears. And a man with an electric keyboard.

Allotment 116

for realism
the right of way
                     from Brogdale Road
blocked by developers

Allotment 118 

a red kite rides thermals
over Didcot

distant beeches
crown Wittenham clumps

Allotment 119 

a decadent walks his butterflies
past Goodnestone chapel to Graveney

too early in the season for the odour
of strawberries

instead, the Creek,
its sewage outfall,

Harveys in the Phoenix

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