Below are the all-time best Mike Walsh poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members
Dawn too short and a baby sun
is grown to womanhood within an hour
and sends the Tablelands the sweeping gesture
of her fiery arms.
Further out, explosions of dry Spinifex grass;
the distant desert's oily ticking bomb.
Black smoke rolls on the breeze
above the ribbon of the red blaze line.
The clanks of the metal mill man
draw life from the deep down artery,
the hot wind his assistant,
goads the blade into rotation.
Droughtmaster chews on churlish Mitchell grass
and salt bush watered by the moonlight dew.
Wandering, blinking in the dust
along the wire on the Forty Mile Fence.
Relentless women sigh in torpid dreams.
Moist fishtail ferns fan out around the tank,
soft drips; the hard water of little tears
on to the hallowed garden.
They grow like ragged wildflowers;
the sun burned clay plains men
far out in the fade of the red twilight.
Love Sails on Sunday
On Sunday we will go down with our cries,
down through the humid dawn into the bay,
and launch our little boat under the skies,
deep blue with cotton strands to meet the day.
The young one goes to curl up in the bow,
the rocking waves to lull his sleepy eyes,
a cool draught through the scuppers on his brow,
you kiss the salt from off his dreaming sighs.
The breeze will tease your hair and make you smile,
waves on the hull drum beat a rhythmic sound
and then we sheet the main, and all the while,
the dolphin and the turtle dance around.
And Sunday's love will sail on endlessly,
in setting sun, bound home eternally.
In fond memory of
Allen Gail "Greybears" Brady
11.07.1951 - 27.11.2007
The singing line
that held me to you broke.
You slipped away
on little feet,
a valley formed.
And in the prints and dust,
I searched along the old tracks.
I saw you as I made you up,
into the form that I desired.
I found your ice white body
near the shore
then in despair
I carried you until we fell
into the warm light air.
Night-time's mist, shepherd's light of straw, yellow
tallow, all along the moor
dreams roam reckless, dark unsure.
Sea witch calls to the ringing bell to chime,
to thine dreaming heart a spell.
Spectres rise and fall and swell.
Call all the dawn, thine own sweet cry, and dear
heart clear, morning sparrow fly.
Unbidden dreams say goodbye.
Englyn Penfyr - Welsh Form
Hey you fella,
Gotta smoke for me.
You bring blanket,
Flour and tea.
You come along
Sit with me.
All'a my children
Come from my earth.
Belong back again
To the rocks and plains.
Every my child
A star in the sky,
You never never see.
Sit with me.
Tailless frog of a pond
bark and croak the happy hour
prince of fens and cheery chants
kiss of maids and misty pants.
Eyes a goggle left and right
What is for his tea tonight?
Toothless sage of swampy song
rubber nose and web toes on;
Wing of fly and meal of gnat
in the creek François is sat.
Notre jolly grenouille.
Here is how I give my love
the things I see below,
could not be
without the way you changed my world.
You showed the mirror glass to me.
So one life; one world
would float upon the other
and by hearts fold in reverse.
Soon the story of your fear
will come then seep
into the wounds
you help me carry.
Earth will shift a small degree
your soft down wings,
no mark or sound.
They lead up to a high place,
and gently show to me
the very reason
why we love.
In tropic humid night a flower grew,
the breeze and slow perception whispered change,
if flowers rained and told us what they knew,
all leaves and little buds would rearrange.
Forsake us not the light or dawn at day,
or feel the pain of folding flowers bright,
for they do never turn or fade away,
they keep you safe, my angel child of night.
So bless your petal blades on stems to sail
beyond the garden's mortal shell and sand
and plead us to the gaze of eyes as pale
as flowers frail, and fall into His hand.
And love will stay, as tropic flowers do
and bloom at night, as memories of you.
Some lay in the drawer still
collected since childhood
renowned at the table
our memories our irons.
The two pronged fork
with the yellow bone handle
articulated little arm
for catching the grill.
And these are the spoons
and all the bright silvers
that clanked in the day
from breakfast to tea.
These wedding gifts
still shining and worn.
The plain’s birds felt
the edges frail
all giving way
Seek a new land and be born
look back along the way they came
No feet could find your happy land
no wing could find your peaceful air
blood and heart and feather bone
will wash by tide into the sand
On into a forward light
over day and every night
by every star by every name
My bird went free
and glided out
on the flight
to the Second Sun