The News

baby lach 1

[Last poem from the last part (old age) of my new poetry book Cut a Long Story Short, to be launched at the Puncher & Wattmann Christmas Party this Saturday in Sydney. The ultrasound image is that of my grandson Oliver in utero. Enjoy.]

The News

(For S., M. and O.)

Love set you going like a fat gold watch. […]
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival.
– Sylvia Plath, ‘Morning Song’

Good Friday morning & the waning moon
still there stuck between dead branches
of a broad-leaved peppermint as you pause
on the path to the roll of news Peter chucks

around six. It’s the silence again inside
bird song, the light westerly clean, bracing
gown & soul with warm inklings
of winter chill, wood fire, wine, some

of the classics you’ve put off too long.
This moon paler, a half-deflated rugby pill
yet quite as resonant as the one flecked with
a hare’s ears you saw at six on Palmer Street.

You feel the same eyeless eyes seeing this
through your older skull. Now the moon
is a shepherd near flocks of cirrus & a dog
rasping its bark inside a distance as near

as the crisp air filling lungs with thanks
& intimations you cannot name. We’re still
at breakfast, chewing through the usual news
of riots, melts, jollying politicians when

glass is knocked, seats taken, and two young
people say they have some news. O new one,
we’ve got you scoped, Capricorn near
Christmas and you’re not even cradled

liminal, swimming unseen in the strange
potential of a Good Friday moon, smiling
inscrutably as you calmly snap & shatter
our mad & humdrum maps.


Weeks on, & framed by opaque numbers
meaningless as hieroglyphs, Royal Hospital for Women,
the shot just murky Rorschach, fluid shadows
on the moon. You can’t make out a thing.

Is it some alien gargoyle grinning its
disconcerting smile in a glass darkly,
the disturbing distortions a fairground
mirror makes with your face? Instant

later the grin flips into a supine spine
gently curling into an astronaut’s head
more Easter Island than Armstrong.

Then, bliss, it’s one great leap for family
as a foot floats out into amniotic space
& wonder curves a comet into hearts


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on December 3, 2014.

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