Suburbs now have their community gardens.
Husbands buried there
turn the pages of books abandoned
because the heroine fretted too much
to actually do anything.
This ambition to compost sees mounds
of Key Performance Indicators,
municipal fantasies in leisure suits,
child custody papers, electricity bills…
all the rubbish
that makes Australian Dreams.
Flowers that bother to turn up
have abandoned their happy-face.
Willows whinge as magpies singe the cyclists
rushing past their next appointment.
Fertilise is the chorus, a sentence.
Babies in rusted enclosures
plot revolution as they always have.
Mummies sip the gin
to let themselves out
to let themselves in.
This isn’t hell, there’s
methane rather than sulphur
& our local sun has been ordered to shine without
meal breaks or recompense.
Another grandparent is complaining,
counts on being ignored —
part of her perpetual motion machine.
This project called putrescence
is the whole
the last point.
It will take a lifetime,
the only way out, no parole
so scratch on the walls of sky
those years passed, those few remaining.
Les Wicks has has performed widely across Australia and internationally for over forty-five years. His works has be published in over 350 magazines, anthologies and newspapers across 29 different countries in 14 languages. He conducts writing workshops around Australia and runs Meuse Press, which focuses on poetry outreach projects like poetry on buses and poetry published on the surface of a river. His 14th book of poetry is Belief (Flying Islands, 2019). Find more from Les on his website.