By | 1 July 1999

You will find the house with a bee for a heart,
a sprinkle of stars on the leaves,my bees, a confetti
of light that swarms the hot honeycomb on the picket fence,
the stems of purple dahlias strewn with damp hay.

Pull the dusk after you, leave your clouds behind.

Chase away the crimson dark, the cold, the alone with fire.
Split gum tree stacked along the mossy wall, inside
logs tumble from the stove, ash and flame
dancing the Tibetan prayer-flags that hang
over the cracked mantle, scorching the bricks with black chalk.

Blue buckets, charred with smoke,waxy buttons
mapping the wooden table, the history of darkness
draining hot like rain to the floor.

The room is yellow. It has to be.

Three candles and you can write. Barely.
Four candles to read. One candle to illuminate
a fraction of what you need to see, to live by.

Clutches of old trees in your hair.
The possums send them through the roof with their scratching.
Pools of lemon-scented gum leaves are their beds above you,
all night their teeth chew at your dreams, the dust
washing over the tepee of your silk bed the dog gets tangled in.

When it storms, the old house cracks its bones
beneath you.You know you would not live
if they broke, but that does not stop you from living there,
in the butter-light, in the tea-dust, in the cosmos blood, in the blue
flame under the teapot, the soap by the sink
pink and edge-laced with teeth. Some nights the mice
manage to carry it away altogether, nights when the rooms shudder
with all the restless life you cannot see.

Wake up touched by rain.
Travel back the way you came, by puddle, by ladder,
you almost fell once, boot slipping through the rung
the fast wax like sticky tape wound around your hand.
Peel it off. It is like skin.

You do the same when you come in, and when you go.

My house of honey.
For a bead of this I would guard the entrance,
I would mend the light.

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