Three Sonnets

By | 2 February 2001

‘The East is a career.' – Benjamin Disraeli

1. The Maharaja from Maroubra

My jumbo landed its one wheel of faith.
The runway of the heart was dark.
Our import was a virus that flooded their cells
then decimated the host who often
loved the moonlit dark. What really happened
in the temple not for our seeing.
From a corner in baggage claim
a dictator spoke, so je-ne-se-quoi
his torture chamber speech kept the mob at bay, squashed noses
on the custom hall's smeared plateglass.
Dollar's kriol would assist their nation.
I drove down town with surfboard and guitar
feeling bad, oh so bad.
I felt a discount coming on. Such was much ration.

2. The Expat Painter Turns Away From War

What you eat and what you are – fried rice doused
in black molasses, gristle and goat, green sea turtle.
Seven years renews the cells, but what the locals see
in a grass hut gazebo, waited on and waiting
Old Master Devil swimming in a hole of sweet stewed wine!
Delicate mosquitoes blister the tanned dancers;
how flexible they are! Disco New Order
was jerry-built with lies, but can't distract as he paints on
waited on by budding servant-boys.
Green revolutions sprout uniforms,
his brush turns hunger into dance, then ecstacy
of humans lounging on a padi field.
See what lovely men can do: his palette made pure.
Oh yes, what you eat is what you are.

3. Omen

The Milky Way, spangled cartwheel, red light district
that overcharged. Dark puddles catch starlight
on the highway to my hut, all sand.
I live an hourglass life. Black holes swallows cars,
but can't crush love. The earth lives on when natives sin,
gargoyle's children groan & bring the harvest in.
Shack of moss lined bricks the rats call home.
Coral reef blown to bits crunching underfoot.
Holy offerings colour-coded, fresh snacks for a tired ghost.
They beckon & adorn the five star lobby –
gods or demons, AC/DC, ionising swamps, mucking up reception.
Tread lightly I was told past the haunted coconut grove.
They found a pig's head in his bed,
madness in his mind. From then he did as they had said.

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