AUTUMN IN CANTABILE

Selected Poems:

Breakfast

Melbourne Cup

BREAKFAST

Soft gold

cheese

with the hint

of walnuts

and the suggestion

of chives.

Fresh baguettes

with the intimation

of morning

and the fresh

proposition

of the sun.

Coffee

the freshly brewed

clue of an aroma

tracing all the senses

to this

moment of pleasure.

MELBOURNE CUP

There’s an unmade sand track

off the only sealed section of the Dalkeith Road

where an untidy corner of rolled rusty wire

and mouldered fence posts

borders this long slow agistment

and an old frail horse droops

beneath the ancient dark of afternoon

and pepper tree shade

with the nosebag nuisance of flies

around its face

its tail the only movement

a fugue of repetition

in the seventh heat soaked day of summer

somewhere in an adjacent lean-to shed

a man in a sweat-stained and purple singlet

is tinkering with the mysterious minutiae

of a carburettor

and at this farthest distance from Flemington

distorted crackling radio

marks this timeless moment

with the staccato of a racetrack reveille

the horse raises its slow head to

the sleepy summons

of something it has almost forgotten

the man puts down the impedimenta

in his fingers

wipes his hands on an oily rag

and a nation stops

for a start.

 
 
 
© 2020 Jeff Guess