Sublunary by 5

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In the room
the air has sides
angular delimited
ceiling by walls, distance by time:
a dragonfly (call it thought) clatters the glass.

On its way the crescent moon
has gathered
Saturn, Jupiter and Mars
to the north Altair
burning bright, eagle star.

The early lagoon
right in the heart of suburbia
is loud with hip-hop
descant tweets and molto basso honks,
the water spangled with stars.

What words say
how the wind beats grasses on the hills
how the clouds shadow the granites
how the smile leaves your face
as day declines imperceptibly?

The impossibility of poetry:
a bat quiet as a hole
beetles launch amore at my desklamp
moths tremble between desire and ignition
while anopheles circle above.

Image: My deflated heart, air-conditioning vent, Warrawong Shopping Plaza, NSW. My first play with a new (to me) poetic form, the gogyohka a five-line unrhymed tanka.  The line “the air has sides” is from Les Murray’s poem The Body in Physics. Posted in dverse open link night #262. 

And for those stuck inside, the host of one of my favourite podcasts – 99% invisible is also confined and in this episode he describes his home and the odd history of our domestic spaces – knives, forks, windows. Also a bonus song for hand washing and Beauty Pill with Exit without Saving 

13 thoughts on “Sublunary by 5

  1. This is a lovely sequence. The form is so good from explaining an image without having the semi-mystical constraints of the tanka form.
    The natural images are so quietly lyrical (even the frogs). Grand job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your poem evokes a battle between claustrophobia and living in the moment, Peter, with hearing alert to everything: from the dragonfly clattering the glass – oh how those thoughts batter against the mind! – to the ‘descant tweets and molto basso honks’, the ‘bat quiet as a hole’, the beetles and moths. I empathise with the lines:
    ‘…the smile leaves your face
    as day declines imperceptibly’
    and feel lucky that I have a good view of our garden, where quite a lot is happening. Thankfully, it’s too cold still for anopheles here!

    Liked by 1 person

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