Ian C. Smith’s work has been published in Antipodes, BBC Radio 4 Sounds, cordite, The Dalhousie Review, Griffith Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Southword, & The Stony Thursday Book. His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide). He writes in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, and on Flinders Island.
I picture heartfelt movie scenes of woe,
family, faithful friends, reft, in pieces,
finality’s echo, last hammer blow
to a coffin’s sawn lid, but my niece’s.
Grim news of the end of this once bright girl
lured by bandidos riding dark horses
hauls me over her past, mind in a whirl
through cause and effect, right and wrong sources.
Covid, and her trenchant spite, parents banned,
grown children by different crackhead men,
grief’s spaced out survivors who barely stand,
wither lank farewell’s pathos to just ten.
I recall her, a healthy child, well-read,
recall her, artless, slow ruin ahead.
© Ian C. Smith
A new sea-mark on my lone walk, tall mast
salient, the moored craft close, starts my day.
A woman clambers from below, her past
chapters unknown, spots me, surveys this bay.
I invent her life. Water glints. We stare.
A lone navigator, she is self-taught,
horizon endless, longingly aware
of life’s slippage, weak failures to act fraught
with regret. Sailing to my far-flung land,
she hopes to find love before growing old,
and here I am, fate, wishful on the strand
expecting an Ahoy from one so bold.
Then a man’s head appears, two coffees brewed
in their snug galley. End of interlude.
© Ian C. Smith