Passengers are reminded

The following poem of mine appeared in The Canberra Times last Saturday, 18th May.  It will also be in my new book, Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call, out late 2013 from Pitt St Poetry.


Doors closing. Please stand clear.

Passengers are reminded

The 11.44 Emu Plains service will depart in six minutes

a cigarette butt is stuck to the black spiked heel of my left shoe

This service is experiencing a slight delay due to a sick customer at Town Hall

I have been carrying the lilies too long

This service is experiencing continuing delays due to a sick customer at Town Hall

the petal edges fray to bruised brown, like old lettuce

Customers wishing to travel on the Western line are advised to proceed to platform twelve

my black stockings are bunched and twisted

Customers are reminded

The 13.00 funeral service

will commence promptly at the appointed time

whether I am there or not

This is the 12.09 Lithgow service

First stop –

Rust-coloured crumbs of lily pollen on my black suit

– then all stations to –

my mind is still not full enough

Doors closing. Please stand clear.

(c) Melinda Smith 2013

Murder at the poetry conference

Murder at the poetry conference

The old pesticide factory
casts a buzz-saw shadow
on the wall of the council chambers.
Inside, the poets sit like aldermen.
They talk of war and genocide,
harrowing themselves silly.
At night they retire to soft floral sheets, flocked wallpaper.  They dream
infinite shelves of books with tilted spines –
M and N shapes staggering away;
leather the colour of blood.

(c) Melinda Smith 2010

Canberra Times, Saturday 26 Feb 2011

Poems in Quadrant and the Canberra Times

Just a quick note to provide links to three recently published poems:

Hot continent

‘The weather comes from Adelaide’, they say.
I thank them for the forty-one degrees
they kindly sent to stifle us today.
The grey lawns thank them also. And the trees.
So many nicer things they could have sent –
an Oval, or a Festival; some Hills.
I’m sure the oven-blast was kindly meant
but eggs were frying on our window sills.
The Bureau tells us to expect a change
and, tongues lolled out like dogs, we pant and wait
and fixate on the temperature range
for points far west of where we dehydrate:
if Adelaide today had twenty-three
please God (please, God!), tomorrow so will we.

published in The Canberra Times, March 2009