Based in Melbourne, Lucy Holt's first book of poetry is to be published
through a Poets Union Fellowship in 2005.

The Third End

'who in the middle of a bridge / forgets both ends'
- Yehuda Amichai

It is possible to forget
these two ends and suddenly
remember the third.

Along railing and edge
are the bare-foot prints
of the last-dance manual.

Just as bridges join two sides
in unholy man-made matrimony,
so is railing joined to riverbed;
terminus via cradle, bunk, beach-under-stars,
marriage bed. It is a trajectory older

than bridges and far more stable;
invisible one-way paths built from
compacted memory, small strength.
It is not possible to remember

the opening of this thoroughfare:
the dance competition, the fanfare
of water chosen by organisers over
the solemnity of concrete. The winner
the one to burst open the moon.

My Lover meets the Bower Bird

He nods at the silence then tries out his love song;
a sound like your callused palms rubbing in the cold.
To end he drops bottle top onto bottle shard: a chink
that stills him with wonder at the beauty of human excess.
You are formally welcomed with a flash of pink topnotch

and a bow to admire his masterpiece in the making; sublime
with the melancholy of fetish-love, unconsummation.
He guides your eye through his lovelorn mosaic, constellations
of plastic and foil, soft rings of back bones orbiting on
Monopoly pieces, jewel-bits of shattered windshield

for making sunlight his own. He dismisses you with a sudden
cry at a composition of seeds loosened by the breeze.
He nudges them back into a pattern divined
then at the bower's exact centre he stations himself:
still as mortal sculpture, mad with symmetry.

The Children of Mato Grosso do Sul

It is a curse to have to cut our children down.
It is not fortuity. The thing which uses leaves
for a voice counts down their days. At night

our children are not meant to be in the trees
as it is not safe for play. Branches change shape
and direction; the trees can hold children

for ransom as they are all we have left.
Them, and the shred of sky directly above:
to the useless stars if we so want.

The cows have rubbed raw the ground beneath
the canopies and lovers' backs have polished
the trunks. No one wants to be the first to look

up into the trees at first light. Our children
are not meant to be in the trees in the morning,
hanging as upside-down bats.

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