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Books & Poetry

Poem: Taking stock at Christmas

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, poetry editor John Miles takes a reflective look at both the stock market and Christmases past.

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ASX (All Ordinaries) F/Y 2014‒15

On a Xmas package special
the market pursues me across the world.
Cotton futures go sour in time zones
base metals plummet into freefall
whilst for pure diversion down a British Columbia glacier
on six-wheeled Big Brewster you go.
Gold does its upward spiral, China hedges the Yuan,
and the press screams the death of the bull.
Crossing a date line
there was no sense anymore,
time is out the window, till somewhere over Alberta
conversation with a fellow traveller
brings Athabasca oil sands as the great new hope of the world.
Catching your breath in the Maritimes
at a Halifax waterfront café at sunset, a dark Keith’s Ale
with battered cod and chips to die for
till then away again over the Atlantic, 180° reached,
that you’re now heading home not away.

One last stop at that little Scottish kirk in Stonehaven
where all those years ago at another Christmas
you watched your best mate tie an early knot
when you were both the new young Hemingways
stoney broke but with pockets of dreams
and a portable Smith Corona all the luggage between you
to pound out the new great novel of the century
to set the world ablaze.

Big bird taking you home now
lifting up from Aberdeen over Stonehaven
over another sea then another, but looking down
thoughts stay with you a while longer
of his so-young widowed bride then
for so shortly after a wedding meant for a lifetime
dear Alec got the acute myeloid leukaemia
and the world was never ever, the same again.

Living on, getting older, makes you the lucky one,
but also self-funding a priority,
as time zones have slipped round again
and its home to where the heart is
and grandkids that say at Christmas,
don’t ever go away again, papa.

John Miles is the poetry editor for InDaily’s Poet’s Corner. He and his wife were married in Africa 44 years ago. They have three children and six grandchildren, and he manages his own super fund.

InDaily thanks all its Poet’s Corner contributors and readers for their support during 2016 and wishes them a very merry Christmas.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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