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Poem: Farmers’ market

Books & Poetry

A weekend ritual of market-goers and magpies is the inspiration for today’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Ross Jackson.

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Farmers’ market

Every weekend
magpies stood in corners, quietly on the make

dampness still in the air down each canvas alley
raindrops, tiny silver fisheyes
slops hung off tenting’s metal joints

trestles have been table-topped with
trays of fresh produce –
coloured maps of the world
good health, at prices comfortably off can afford
golden retrievers’ swish apples
with feathery tails

bare-armed vendors’ sons
write such and such and so much per kilo
on cardboard chunks, lever open
pumpkins with large knives

studying vegetable text
woman with the look of a career academic
crouches over crate of Asian greens

reusable bag in one hand, tall man
rolls trolley on castors down the rows
artichoke held up in his other hand
his ceremonial mace

coffee drinkers lean into vans
together, minus iPhone
a community
of recognisable strangers
none of whom
nobody knows too much about

every weekend
magpies stood in corners, quietly on the make.

Ross Jackson is a retired teacher who lives in Perth with his wife and their cocker spaniel. He has had his poetry and short fiction published in various literary magazines and websites in Australia and overseas. His collection ‘Mallee and other poems’ was published in 2016, whilst his new collection ‘Time alone on a quiet path’ is due from the University of Western Australia Press, UWAP, this October.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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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