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Friday, March 09, 2012

Mr Hobby's Poppies - a garden poem

Keeping on with my garden implements poems, here's an old one of mine which first appeared in Southerly back when Elizabeth Webby edited it, and subsequenly ended up in a collection, from thence it will reappear soon in my Undercover of Lightness: New & Selected Poems from Ralph Wessman's Walleah Press. It's at the printers now and will be launched in Hobart on 29th March.

Mr Hobby’s Poppies

One poppy bends in the wind
precarious as
my memory of our driveway

bordered by poppies—
yellow, orange, white—
planted by Mr Hobby

knobbly old gardener who
spent one day a week
at our home.

Although we could afford
a dozen new sprinklers
he strapped and washered

old piping together
to create his own.
No better portrait

could have been
sculpted of the old
scrawny scarecrow

rusty brown and bent
torn cloth chokers
stained and wet.

They stuttered
and barely worked
all summer.

One poppy in the wind
rewinds me
forty years …

- Andrew Burke

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