Moving House

written for Shay’s Word Garden – Michael McClure

The previous owners 
left a child’s chalk dust galaxies
covering the fire places.

She dismantles them though,
preferring flames, their bloodless hearts 
wrapped, gentle as love 
around tree tusks

to burn and burn.
Between adzed boards, cold air gyres
and the bathroom floor is a study
in experimental paint peel,
like the way they grew apart
such tormented ageing 

and so she packs her red-nailed toes 
around flakes, savouring the crisp snaps
and the tiny pains that elevate; 
thundered blood.
Outside, a verandah roof offers itself
generously to the side-walk -
the apron of a treacherous baker;
fickle stripes tied in at the waist
noisy in the summer where the plane tree
hurls its seasonal infidelities.

She spills sugar like lost time 
among verandah rail splinters and mint leaves.
In the garden – those intense crystals
spin sweetness into action – 
a swoop, a shriek

morning’s regular symposium
where colour’s genius meets the sun
and it’s then she knows

this house is clad with poetry
its fragile stanzas daring tomorrow.
She always feeds the birds 
because history is what you save

while the termites are sleeping

14 thoughts on “Moving House

  1. An amazing description of a home, so well pictured I could almost feel the paint peel flakes crackling underfoot. I love that she feeds the birds because “history is what you save.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You give us here not just a physical dwelling, but a doubled spiritual one reflected in its mirror. Every image in this is deeply painted with the mood and color of a personality, and a larger essence of its own. I especially liked “…a study/in experimental paint peel,/like the way they grew apart..” I can see the flaking away.

    Liked by 1 person

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