The Garden

for B. and S.


1.  Stone


I am the stone

deep in the ground

my time is slow water

and tree roots.


I hunger

for the light

I lost

when stars exploded

and giants chewed stardust

into planets and numbers.


Far above, light things

swim and scuttle

between house and tree.


Angels, or rats?


I lie too deep

for dreaming.


2.  House


I watch over them.

At night their dreams seep

into my walls. My womb

is warmed by their fires,

their feuds. My head

is a hard tent

on which magpies strut

and warble their belonging.


The creaking tree

is my lover. His voice

woos me with ancient inklings

of being wood and reaching

down to rockbottom stone.


The son swings under him

after school, his eyes

strafing me

with homecoming.


3.  Tree


All day I watch the light

move over the house

like the wash

of astronauts’  thoughts

over a small blue planet.


At night I can feel the rats

swimming beneath

her creaking timbers.


In despair and longing

she sends me

her two-legged ones:

the man who sits in thought

the woman who plants

the boy who swings under me

and dreams of ships

made of stars.


[‘The Garden’ won second prize in the 2008 Shoalhaven Literary Awards]


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on November 2, 2009.

One Response to “The Garden”

  1. Luminous work.

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