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Les Murray Short Poems

Famous Short Les Murray Poems. Short poetry by famous poet Les Murray. A collection of the all-time best Les Murray short poems


by Les Murray
 The paddocks shave black
with a foam of smoke that stays,
welling out of red-black wounds.
In the white of a drought this happens.
The hardcourt game.
Logs that fume are mostly cattle, inverted, stubby.
Tree stumps are kilns.
Walloped, wiped, hand-pumped, even this day rolls over, slowly.
At dusk, a family drives sheep out through the yellow of the Aboriginal flag.



by Les Murray
 Everything except language
knows the meaning of existence.
Trees, planets, rivers, time know nothing else.
They express it moment by moment as the universe.
Even this fool of a body lives it in part, and would have full dignity within it but for the ignorant freedom of my talking mind.

by Les Murray
 Mid-9th century

Good-looking young man
in your Crimean shirt
with your willow shield
up, as if to face spears,

you're inside their men's Law,
one church they do obey;
they'll remember you were here.
Keep fending off their casts.
Don't come out of character.
Like you they suspect idiosyncrasy of witchcraft.
Above all, don't get out too easily, and have to leave here where all missiles are just leather and come from one direction.
Keep it noble.
Keep it light.

by Les Murray
 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
 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
 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.