Tag Archives: Australian poets

Folding the Sheets

 
 
Folding the Sheets
Rosemary Dobson

You and I will fold the sheets
Advancing towards each other
From Burma, from Lapland,
 
From India where the sheets have been washed in the river
And pounded upon stones:
Together we will match the corners.
 
From China where women on either side of the river
Have washed their pale cloth in the White Stone Shallows
“Under the shining moon”.
 
We meet as though in the formal steps of a dance
To fold the sheets together, put them to air
In wind, in sun over bushes, or by the fire.
 
We stretch and pull from one side and then the other –
Your turn. Now mine.
We fold them and put them away until they are needed.
  
A wish for all people when they lie down to sleep –
Smooth linen, cool cotton, the fragrance and stir of herbs
And the faint but perceptible scent of sweet clear water.
  
  
from the sequence ‘Daily Living’, published in Collected Poems
(Angus & Robertson, 1991)
  
  

‘Zimbabwe thunder’

  
Poet and performer, Jenni Nixon, lives in Sydney. She is a graduate of the Independent Theatre and worked as an actor for many years, touring with the Queensland Theatre Company. ‘Zimbabwe thunder’ is included in her recent performance poetry chapbook, Agenda (Picaro Press, 2009).
  
Zimbabwe thunder
Jenni Nixon
 
boy billionaires in Zimbabwe
can’t buy an egg
twenty-five billion Zim dollars
won’t buy a newspaper
 
King Despot is in his counting palace
counting all the bodies
ninety percent unemployment
amnesty to his henchmen
 
activism in a time of cholera
protest brings arrest
generals give the orders
BOOM BOOM go the guns
 
unpaid teachers cannot feed
or clothe themselves     schools close
distant thunder     river undercurrents
flow around rocks     over mud flats
  
locked away in stinking cells
dispossessed in land invasions
white farmers killed by looting
     ‘war veterans’
  
land lies fallow
stagnant sewage and water
smoke rises on burning corpses
enter another medieval age
  
King Despot Mugabe’s birthday bash luxury
long silent queues register to vote
hope in Zimbabwe
change will come
  
Zambezi River
     deafening roar over the Falls
Mosi-oa-Tunya – ‘smoke that thunders’
is the people’s voice
  
  
Published in Agenda (Picaro Press, 2009).
  
Read more about Jenni.