The Sky Falls Down Melbourne Launch

I was thrilled to be part of the amazing collection, The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss (Ginninderra Press), edited and lovingly curated by Terry Whitebeach and Gina Mercer. It was launched yesterday in Melbourne by Carrie Tiffany (having already been launched in Hobart).

The book is available through Ginninderra Press or at Readings in Hawthorn, where it was launched.

As Mary Oliver put it, ‘Loss is the great lesson:’ if we’re going to be open to loving we need to learn how to be open to and manage loss. The diverse contributions in this Anthology I think are all ways of struggling with this great lesson of being human.

My contribution was a poem about the ongoing experience of loss – written on the five year anniversary of the death of my father:

 Five years and still
 
Five years –
and still there are days when
I want to pick up the phone and
call you;
time seeps by,
and though grief
          loosens its cruelest hooks
I remain bereft,
perplexed –
where are you?
 
Are you still sitting at your computer
tapping out the stories of your life –
          the boy in the Queensland bush,
                     the young man stationed
in Darwin,
poring over radar?
 
Or will I see you
coming into the kitchen –
          a cup of tea in the offing –
joining us around the table,
the arc of your arms
still
wiry and strong?
 
And if I could get a line
          through to you –
what would I say?
The children are growing,
beautiful,
I left my job,
the old cracks in the family
widen and groan like
lathe and plaster in the drought –
I admit we are all
          diminished
without you.
 
Most of all,
unreconciled,
I would ask you to
come home –
it’s enough now,
please
come back –
 
And here it is again:
the persistence of that old,
 mad dream of
restoration,
when the patience of mourning,
the gratitude
for all the rich
          love you left amongst us –
gives way
to the shocking
need for the miracle:
the past
                     intact and
cupped
in the broad palms of your sun-tanned hands.
 

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