ARTicle Magazine

Three poems by Louise Wallace

18 August 2017

Starling editor and Wellington-based poet Louise Wallace shares three poems from her new collection, Bad Things.

Louise Wallace

Photo by Grant Maiden


Bad Things is published by Victoria University Press (RRP $25.00). 

Arrivals


shower caps

apple hats


helmet face

iceberg eyes


snake beards braids

round neck


*


resting shoulder

touching elbow


fingers to forehead

hand to cheek


*


barrel chest

blanket shoulders


foot as face

punched out nose


*


bird bonnet

brain dead bow


pyramid hair

bicycle bum


*


twin ghosts

adult faced


blonde

pinched children


*


mirror dog

psychic vase


rising moon

huge egg


The hunt


her voice is ringing out like bells in the library / she is saying how she has to go to church to pray / and how she needs silence – that in the church / all these voices come to her to talk but she needs silence / and without the silence she can’t pray / and if she doesn’t pray she will starve


Helping my father remember


My father

is in the business

of transmissions.

A radio technician,

the basic premise being

that a message is sent out,

then received. Except something’s

gone wrong with the wiring,

and he didn’t teach me

how to fix it. I see him, standing

at the kitchen bench,

his hand hovering

over an orange and paring knife;

trying to think

what he had planned.

*

There is evidence that sound

helps restore memory:

the sound

of a cricket ball colliding

with tin fence; lemonade

meeting beer

in a shandy;

sticks smouldering

in the air, when pulled

from a camp fire.

The doctor says

depression, my sister says

stress, my father says

stop being

so bloody dramatic.

*

They say

I am the most like you,

and that we

are like your mother.

I am following you through

tall grasses, as high

as my head. You’re in

your angling gear.

It’s summer, I can hear

the cicadas.

There’s a wind up,

but its warm.

We’re heading

to the river.

You find Nana,

and I’ll find you.

We won’t be lost

if we’re together.

Bad Things