Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bronwen Manger

Bronwen Manger is a poet from the outer east of Melbourne. She has performed her work on television and radio, and her poems have appeared in journals, zines, anthologies and The Age newspaper. When Bronwen is not writing, she attends poetry readings around Melbourne and works as a research assistant.

The Scream

Tonight we poise & pace
into some offhand orange dayfall,
take the air & every war
is truced now lest one distant gun
outdraw our footsteps or the hush
of wind on bay. Dear, we are
acquitted from the thwarted roil
of all before this pier. This jury
finds us glorious, all
side-by-side without a wince
of doubt to twang the seagulls’
songs to mockery. Dear, this
blotted earth is beauty yet,
is Eden still. The fraught tumult
of yesterday flutters from
our calendar as the hills
& shore wash into darkness,
landscaped peace like picture stone.
Dearest speak, tell me
how the water clasps
the light beyond its daily term;
& which vaunted feet have sung
their story ‘cross these
wooden keys before. Tell me
where we’ll wake ensconced
as morning ribbons through
our panes. And Dearest
who is that screaming behind us?

How I Sold My Soul

It was not some lamé devil’s incendiary ballpoint; nor
the oilslick eyes of any quintessential executive. Death
did not unfurl immortality for me in a rickety burlesque.
Neither genies spilling from streetlights nor fairies
sweeping back their leaf-litter coats did it.

There was no parchment, no
scales, no star-keyed
cosmic cash


It was the
beach, mostly. The
sun swaying through the
shallows; bright wind in its salt
finery; hopscotch with driftwood, a hundred
thousand shells in colours to confound paint.

Yes, it was that old hijacked wrung muse the beach
that did it – and how to get back there. My sold soul I
carry with me now, laid-away, waiting. And a pocket
full of sand, spilling graciously and interminably.

Four Mississippis

I held you for
four Mississippis
when we last said goodnight.

You were brighter than
all the lights of the city
as you slipped from my sight.

I was washed away
by those four Mississippis;
I was carried out to sea.

Now writing this
lonely little ditty
couldn’t express what you mean to me.

I want to hold you for
more Mississippis;
hold you for
more than a while.

I want to hold you for
four hundred Mississippis,
twenty Ganges,
ten Euphrates,
and the Nile.

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