Playing with Form: Triolet

Northern Territory Triolet
I pull up at the only bar for miles along the parched red-dust road, mad
with the heat and I see the glinting water of a swimming pool
and I’m tearing off my clothes down to my togs and am so glad
I pulled up at this lonely bar. For miles along the parched red-dust road, mad
with thirst, my own pooling sweat was the only moisture to be had;
and now this pool, winking at me, inviting and cool,
so I pull up at the only bar for miles along the baked red-dust road. Mad
and parched with the heat, I feel the glinting water of the swimming pool.


© Ammie-oy 2010


Wild At Heart*

This whole world is wild at heart and weird on top.
It’s sometime in the afternoon and I’m sitting
on some steps on a sunny Sydney day.
I’m sitting on some steps on Oxford Street just
watching the world go by and
listening too.
The music thuds through me:
Mr Gay Sydney, Dikes on Mykes,
The Woman Beyond
and on and on
when I see her walking up to me smiling,
formal in a suit and so out of place but
smiling and she’s offering me a cigarette as I smile back
and she asks me when I was at Jabiluka,
asks if I need cash
and passes the time of day,
talks of her friend still at that protest, talks of uranium
and aborigines
all the while blowing clouds of blue smoke.

*Borrowed from the film Wild at Heart (1990) David Lynch. “This whole world is wild at heart and weird on top.” ‘Lula’ in Wild at Heart played by Laura Dern.

About this poem

© Ammie-oy 2010

King Waves Kill


You can keep your foreign travel, mate,
out here the world comes to you—
washes up in the big blue, stretching out
far as I can see and held back
by the desert
by the dust—
they meet in anger with them waves spitting
and shooting up into blowholes
and Tombstones eating boards all day.
Don’t go out there if you’re not experienced
she’ll eat y’up for dinner mate;
big heavy wave with a warped barrel
just waiting to take on the best the world has to offer:
they all come out here.
Gnaraloo, Ningaloo, Red Bluff, Eight Mile;
mile after mile
pristine beach
coral reef
reefer nights, deep sleep
scent of salt, taste of sea—
all waiting for the taking…
This place is the best man,
come here, you don’t wanna leave.
Explains all those beat up old vans,
the v-dubs and shacks growing into the scenery,
part of the bay…
Waves rollin’ in forever,
but you gotta remember, as the sign says:
King Waves Kill.
But there’s no place else I’d call home,
no place else to watch the moon rise over desert and drop
over reef…
When I’ve got dirt at my back and spray in my face
grainy, pale, yielding with my gait
then I know I’m home,
forever mate.
Shit yeah…


More about this poem
The title of this poem comes from a sign in Western Australia near Carnarvon – in the photo above. Red Bluff, Gnaraloo and Tombstones are all on Australia’s mid-west coast and a mecca for surfers. The poem tries to capture a specific voice, an Australian old timer, talking about the place he lives, the place he loves. I tried to capture the rambling voice trotting out his regular spiel about his home to the various outsiders he meets. He’s just growing into the scenery.
© Ammie-oy 2010