Lorraine Gibson – Three Poems

Lorraine Gibson is a retired Scottish-Australian anthropologist, writer and poet living on Aboriginal Biripi Country. She holds a PhD. in Cultural Anthropology from Macquarie University, Sydney. Lorraine’s poetry is published (or upcoming) in Meniscus, Poetry for The Planet (anthology), Burrow, Live Encounters, WORDCITY, Lothlorien, and others. Her non-fiction writing is published in peer-reviewed books and journals including TAJA, Australian Aboriginal Studies (AIATSIS), Wellbeing and Place (Ashgate, UK), Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies (ANU Press), Oceania, EXPLORE (Australian Museum), and COOLIBAH (Barcelona). Her book ‘We Don’t Do Dots: Aboriginal Art and Culture in Wilcannia New South Wales’ is published by Sean Kingston Publishing.


Decanting the Dogs of 2020

I vibrate between dogs of dread & desire
sink Tempranillo—unleash
fruitless cogitation.
Yesterday, a trusted source announced:
The entire universe dwells
in every body.
Totally freaked me out. I downed
two cheeky reds to drown
that bad boy. Hey, did you know
over ninety-nine-point
nine percent of every body
is empty space?
Jayzus!
Doubting Thomas’s
can clarify with Google.
I don’t completely disregard
‘awareness’. I do however
filter out all evidence
concerning elementary particles
— quarks.
Quarks serve to stimulate my crimson
fizz of fear of breath—no more.
I offer up the following advice to
clear distressing 2020 dregs:
untether your watcher
unchain your witness
find your ‘house of being’
try to be a Master of the NOW.
All sedimented terrors will be
cleansed. YOU will be unafraid
of mice & men & every other cur-
sed thing. Oh—except—for time.
Eternity by its nature can-
not be free of time.
Lastly, purify a Nebbiolo & try
to leave the animals alone.


Note. ‘Decanting the Dogs of 2020’ was previously published by Meniscus Literary Magazine.


It’s Payday in my Country Town

It’s 8am
the shop-door flyscreen clicks
and slams as kiddies hurtle
in and out, staff breath in
their practiced air of vigilance.
Last night’s streets and
bellies full of
dark and hunger
now brim with life,
sausage rolls and chips.
White crumpled paper bags
all grease and sauce
adorn the ground like
dirty snowballs.
Children on bikes perform
wheelies and skids, wide-eyed toddlers
pocket their tiny sticks and stones:
street detritus as childhood treasure.
Across wide footpaths
curbs and scattered benches
citizens enact the high finance
of welfare’s sturm and drang.
A tenner here a twenty there
the fifty Vinny flogged
for slots and lager at the pub.
Back home our slabs of beer are chillin’
the karaoke’s wired.
Country roads take me home to the place
where kids are quick to learn
when ‘mum wuz givin’ lip’.
Come dusk
the knowing caw
of crow
foretells this night.


Note. An earlier and abridged version of ‘It’s Payday in my Country Town’ was previously published as ‘Payday’ by Lothlorien Poetry Journal.


Our Borrowed Nest

Let’s go back to
Santa Rita afternoons.
Let’s go back to
taking my white sheets
the good ones
impressing our summer bodies
newly washed ready for anything
in our borrowed nest.
Come with me
back to skin whispering
along our length
your heat
giving me to myself.


Note. A slightly different version of ‘Our Borrowed Nest’ was published by Lothlorien Poetry Journal.
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