Frank Malley: Cheese Roll & Living

By | 26 November 2005

“Blue” stinks.

Maybe that's an okay working word
for institutional uniforms & Chinese pens,
it cannot match this sky, the sea.
Beside a cinnamon land
& us, each desire would have
its own specifically named colour.
Our eyes are quills.

I try to feed a kookaburra
some pieces of cheese, it is too slow
amidst this clamour of avian beggary ?± seagulls & mynas both.
He is forgotten
as I lunch in August brilliance/
as small white boats
pinch light from the sky.

At the exact point
(with my mind hygienically empty)
that same clumsy kookaburra flies past,
snatches the entire roll from my paused, inflected hand.

The trick is not to play
but to own the game.
He argues the toss
with a crow and two gulls.

This blue is the bell
contested pulse.
It is flight
& drowning.

A vibrant stripe
on a well-used beach towel.
It is a first smear of ultraviolet,
noise of the harbour napping
& the very end of words.

FRANK MALLEY was born suffering from an affliction of money. He was a self-made major figure in the Australian literary scene mainly through self-publishing. His self-written obituary describes him as working selflessly for the common man.


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