Between home and the further world

This poem, published as ‘Further, or Autumn Isolation 2020,’ has now been published in Text journal, special issue 58, The in/completeness of human experience.

Somewhere around early April we travelled down to our weekender to bring supplies to our daughter who was in quarantine there after returning from overseas. Coming out of the cocoon of home, I was almost surprised to see that the beautiful balmy world of autumn was still out there, patiently waiting for us, maybe wondering what we’d be like when we emerged and re-entered it.

Further

Isolation in Melbourne: April 2020

‘I love our house…It’s probably a bit of a dump to some or a castle to others, but for me it’s a light-filled container full of people I love.’ Sarah Watt[1]

The sanctity of this         marked out        space

this collective turning             inwards


 the quiet comfort of walls                        angle of stair

our bed    creaking    as we turn

ripening of garden figs in afternoon light or

voices   drifting down a corridor –


while     streaming away              like photons dissolving in air

the further world                    still lies

              bemused      and utterly beautiful

beneath a creamy sun  


its fields and stony

rises    streets and verandahs                    all tipped

skywards            and slipping

gently    from summer’s ferocious grip


waiting for us –      as though

through a frosted pane

              we had never really seen it before

rolling out its     carpets of recurrent green


never stood amongst the low     thrumming

of unfolding seasons      or travelled

its wide and gusting territories                 of shift

and hold             and shift


[1] Sarah Watt and William McInnnes, Worse Things Happen at Sea: Tales of life, love, family and the everyday beauty in between,’ Hatchette, 2011, p.244.

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