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Poem: That Summer

Books & Poetry

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Semi-retired school teacher SB Wright’s emotive poem is a pantoum, a form that uses interwoven repeating lines and comes from the traditional Malay verse form pantun berkait.

Wright lives in a remote South Australian rural homestead, close to both wheat fields and wildlife. He runs the speculative fiction review blog Adventures of a Bookonaut, posts about poetry at Words Poetical, and pens a review column for International Speculative Fiction.

That Summer

That summer saw me four foot high;
A desert ratbag caked in grime.
Ten years of rain-less pale blue sky
Made magical our swimming time.

Another ratbag caked in grime,
My brother scaled sheer ochre cliffs;
Magician of our swimming time,
He birdlike caught the thermal lifts.

My brother scaled sheer ochre cliffs;
A moment saw him act a fool.
He birdlike caught the thermal lift
Before he speared the desert pool.

A moment saw him act a fool.
My breath caught in my thumping chest,
Before he speared the desert pool.
A right of passage; threshold met.

My breath I held in thumping chest,
Each time he dove to best them all.
A right of passage, a threshold met
Until the ripples slowly lulled.

Each time he dove, he beat them all
And none could say he’d failed the test;
Until the ripples slowly lulled
And our hearts knew what minds had guessed.

And none would say he’d failed the test
But magic died that summer day.
Our hearts knew well what minds had guessed
When foolish games led boys astray.

The magic died that summer day;
Tears filled the rain-less pale blue sky.
When foolish games led boys astray,
The summer saw me four foot high.

SB Wright is on Twitter @seandblogonaut.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems up to 30 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to poetscorner@solsticemedia.com.au. A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.

 

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