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Best Famous Les Murray Poems


Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Les Murray poems. This is a select list of the best famous Les Murray poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Les Murray poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Les Murray poems.

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by Les Murray |

The Mowed Hollow

 When yellow leaves the sky 
they pipe it to the houses 
to go on making red 
and warm and floral and brown 
but gradually people tire of it, 
return it inside metal, and go 
to be dark and breathe water colours. 

Some yellow hangs on outside 
forlornly tethered to posts. 
Cars chase their own supply. 

When we went down the hollow 
under the stormcloud nations 
the light was generalised there 
from vague glass places in the trees 
and the colours were moist and zinc, 
submerged and weathered and lichen 
with black aisles and white poplar blues. 

The only yellow at all 
was tight curls of fresh butter 
as served on stainless steel 
in a postwar cafe: cassia flowers, 
soft crystal with caraway-dipped tongues, 
butter mountains of cassia flowers 
on green, still dewed with water.


by Les Murray |

Aurora Prone

 The lemon sunlight poured out far between things
inhabits a coolness. Mosquitoes have subsided,
flies are for later heat.
Every tree's an auburn giant with a dazzled face
and the back of its head to an infinite dusk road.
Twilights broaden away from our feet too
as rabbits bounce home up defiles in the grass.
Everything widens with distance, in this perspective.
The dog's paws, trotting, rotate his end of infinity
and dam water feels a shiver few willow drapes share.
Bright leaks through their wigwam re-purple the skinny beans
then rapidly the light tops treetops and is shortened 
into a day. Everywhere stands pat beside its shadow
for the great bald radiance never seen in dreams.


by Les Murray |

Performance

 I starred that night, I shone:
I was footwork and firework in one,

a rocket that wriggled up and shot
darkness with a parasol of brilliants
and a peewee descant on a flung bit;
I was blusters of glitter-bombs expanding
to mantle and aurora from a crown,
I was fouéttes, falls of blazing paint,
para-flares spot-welding cloudy heaven,
loose gold off fierce toeholds of white,
a finale red-tongued as a haka leap:
that too was a butt of all right!

As usual after any triumph, I was
of course, inconsolable.


by Les Murray |

The Harleys

 Blats booted to blatant 
dubbing the avenue dire
with rubbings of Sveinn Forkbeard
leading a black squall of Harleys
with Moe Snow-Whitebeard and

Possum Brushbeard and their ladies
and, sphincter-lipped, gunning,
massed in leather muscle on a run,
on a roll, Santas from Hell
like a whole shoal leaning

wide wristed, their tautness stable
in fluency, fast streetscape dwindling,
all riding astride, on the outside
of sleek grunt vehicles, woman-clung,
forty years on from Marlon.


by Les Murray |

The Butter Factory

 It was built of things that must not mix:
paint, cream, and water, fire and dusty oil.
You heard the water dreaming in its large
kneed pipes, up from the weir. And the cordwood
our fathers cut for the furnace stood in walls
like the sleeper-stacks of a continental railway.

The cream arrived in lorried tides; its procession
crossed a platform of workers' stagecraft: Come here
Friday-Legs! Or I'll feel your hernia--
Overalled in milk's colour, men moved the heart of milk,
separated into thousands, along a roller track--Trucks?
That one of mine, son, it pulls like a sixteen-year-old--
to the tester who broached the can lids, causing fat tears,
who tasted, dipped and did his thin stoppered chemistry
on our labour, as the empties chattered downstage and fumed.

Under the high roof, black-crusted and stainless steels
were walled apart: black romped with leather belts
but paddlewheels sailed the silvery vats where muscles
of the one deep cream were exercised to a bullion
to be blocked in paper. And between waves of delivery
the men trod on water, hosing the rainbows of a shift.

It was damp April even at Christmas round every
margin of the factory. Also it opened the mouth
to see tackles on glibbed gravel, and the mossed char louvres
of the ice-plant's timber tower streaming with
heavy rain all day, above the droughty paddocks
of the totem cows round whom our lives were dancing.


by Les Murray |

To Fly In Just Your Suit

 Humans are flown, or fall;
humans can't fly.
We're down with the gravity-stemmers,
rare, thick-boned, often basso.

Most animals above the tides are airborne.
Typically tuned keen, they
throw the ground away with wire feet
and swoop rings round it.

Magpies, listening askance
for their food in and under lawn,
strut so hair-trigger they almost
dangle on earth, out of the air.

Nearly anything can make their
tailcoats break into wings.


by Les Murray |

On The Borders

 We're driving across tableland
somewhere in the world;
it is almost bare of trees.

Upland near void of features
always moves me, but not to thought;
it lets me rest from thinking.

I feel no need to interpret it
as if it were art. Too much
of poetry is criticism now.

That hawk, clinging to
the eaves of the wind, beating
its third wing, its tail

isn't mine to sell. And here is
more like the space that needs
to exist aound an image.

This cloud-roof country reminds me
of the character of people
who first encountered roses in soap.


by Les Murray |

Predawn In Health

 The stars are filtering through a tree
outside in the moon's silent era.

Reality is moving layer over layer
like crystal spheres now called laws.

The future is right behind your head;
just over all horizons is the past.

The soul sits looking at its offer.


by Les Murray |

Bats Ultrasound

 Sleeping-bagged in a duplex wing
with fleas, in rock-cleft or building
radar bats are darkness in miniature,
their whole face one tufty crinkled ear 
with weak eyes, fine teeth bared to sing. 

Few are vampires. None flit through the mirror. 
Where they flutter at evening's a queer 
tonal hunting zone above highest C. 
Insect prey at the peak of our hearing 
drone re to their detailing tee: 

ah, eyrie-ire; aero hour, eh?
O'er our ur-area (our era aye
ere your raw row) we air our array
err, yaw, row wry - aura our orrery,
our eerie ü our ray, our arrow.

A rare ear, our aery Yahweh.


by Les Murray |

The Images Alone

 Scarlet as the cloth draped over a sword,
white as steaming rice, blue as leschenaultia,
old curried towns, the frog in its green human skin;
a ploughman walking his furrow as if in irons, but
as at a whoop of young men running loose
in brick passages, there occurred the thought
like instant stitches all through crumpled silk:

as if he'd had to leap to catch the bullet.

A stench like hands out of the ground.
The willows had like beads in their hair, and
Peenemünde, grunted the dentist's drill, Peenemünde! 
Fowls went on typing on every corn key, green
kept crowding the pinks of the peach trees into the sky
but used speech balloons were tacky in the river
and waterbirds had liftoff as at a repeal of gravity.