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Poem: Heat Wave

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution, Tarla Kramer of Quorn in the Flinders Ranges captures the feeling of stifling summer weather.

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Heat Wave

Why would anyone want to go to hell?
I ask myself at these times.
Even after sunset the air
is a blanket you can’t throw off.
The spaces under
arms and boobs and stomachs
become tropical.
Plants droop around like moody adolescents.
Magpies and flies hide in the shady corners
you’d like to inhabit,
and sleepy lizards queue up behind the old fridge.
The nankeen kestrel gives up hunting
because the reptiles are on strike.
Kangaroos and cockatoos hide
then make nuisances of themselves in the evening.
Don’t ask me what sheep and horses do –
I don’t even go outside.
Travel – even five minutes to the shops – is avoided
and exercise, what’s that?
The only sign of human life is at the pool.
The kitchen, the heart of the home is deserted
except when kids hang their heads in the freezer.
Cats sprawl on tiles
at twice their normal length
and time slows to 13KB per second.
Time only catches up
when the heat ends
and the roar of hot wind in the trees
turns into a sigh.
The house relaxes
and we welcome back
our old friends
hunger and sleep.

Tarla Kramer lives in Quorn in the Flinders Ranges. She has just completed a Graduate Diploma in Arts (Creative Writing) at Tabor. More about her and her work can be found on the net on her Smashwords site.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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