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MTC Cronin: Two Poems

Life, life | Gillyflower

Life, life

        for Bill OíDaly on the occasion of his 50th birthday

Not yet succeeding we still succumb,
letting religion grow from poetry
and democracy from our confusion,
yet there you are, fifty, a droplet,
and what do you look like?
Ecstatic? More? Nude?
If I saw you on the street
would the dayís sunshine pick you out
and turn three tubs of pears to gold
or jackhammers or the first breeze off the fan
in Summerís toesí inertia?
Then, would you know my unknown face,
I, who have a volcano for you,
who own a stupid donkey?
And would we stand in the stream together
and try to find twenty-four hours
in which to love?

Bring it now — time to pass — bring it!
and grace, sometimes, grace!
Let recognition vouch for that —
in half a century you still
have not seen all your friends
and then some and then more, life, life,
inching along on its little tin legs
of mystery . . .


        for Matilde Urrutia

Why do you always hold her by the back
and kiss her on the lips?
To kalon, the beautiful, a green wonderful
and purple marvellous, everything
beautiful that you try to touch —
for some of the others, dust
was just a precious jade that settled for pond
to find a fish.
And now,
people are pulling boats from the sea
and three times answering the cry
of the land which stops at the stump
of the tongue.
In her mouth you found art
that had been incised from the tendril, the chain
of events and taught to sit like an animal
on its haunches in a deep deep ditch.
And it is the earth that takes her
and will introduce her head to the joke
of bones.
Why did you always walk
around the hills and end by taking
her home, when it was the earth, the earth
that held her and danced
her down.

Poet's Biography:
MTC Croninís work first appeared in print in early 1993. Since then has had hundreds of poems, a handful of short stories and numerous reviews and essays published in journals, ezines, newspapers and anthologies in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the UK, Canada, South America and the USA. She has had six books and three booklets of poetry published, between them shortlisted for the Jessie Litchfield Award for Literature, the Victorian Premierís Literary Awards, the Age Book of the Year (twice), the Qld Premierís Literary Awards, the Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry, the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. Her most recent books are My Loverís Back: 79 Love Poems (University of Queensland Press, 2002) and beautiful, unfinished ~ PARABLE/SONG/CANTO/POEM, (Salt Publishing, Cambridge, UK, 2003). Her 2001 collection, Talking to Nerudaís Questions (Vagabond Press, 2001), is being translated into Spanish by the poet Juan Garrido for publication in Chile. She is currently working on her doctorate, "The Law of Love Letters ~ Prose, Poems, Law & Desire" and lives with her partner, a musician, and their three young daughters.

© 1999 - 2003, by the poets featured herein.