A sound collage by the very talented Siobhan Dakay from Munich. Yet another version of my poem Vocabulary of the beach.
only two weeks ago lifting him out of bed propping him in the wheel chair pushing him into the foyer smelling of pine-o-cleen to watch the setting sun. today i push a trolley over the same floor the trolley which is marked admin for pharmacy use only, only i use it to push the 3 black garbags of his final belongings out to the car. the new slippers we opened up with a stanley knife because we couldn’t squeeze in his fluid-engorged ankles. the lollies he never finished. clothing to be buried in opshops somewhere in adelaide’s
southern suburbs. or perhaps cremated.
This poem was begun two weeks after the death of my dad (Jack Wallace Walker 1924- 2009.)
It took some years to get it right, so it didn’t appear in either of my collections tropeland or Original Clichés in 2015 and 2016. It was eventually published in the 2016 Australian Poetry Members Anthology published earlier this year.
“I have been listening to the train-driver for the name of my station, Shirahama. I’ve forgotten how many stops it is from Himeji. The station names come up in his unintelligible spiel as little lifeboats in a sea of incomprehension. Blah blah blah shikama blah blah blah mega blah blah blah…
It must be soon. I look outside, industrial mixed with domestic, and it all begins to have a déjà-vu feel. I know the school is close because of the smoke and steam pouring out of the smoke stacks I see in the distance every day from my other school…” (excerpt)
It’s nice to see more of my short stories being recognised. This memoir piece began in 2008 but has only now been published.
Last year I entered it in the Lane Cove Literary Award in the “Travel Story” category. It didn’t win, but as a short-listed story it was included in this excellent anthology.
Thanks to the Lane Cove Library for promoting unpublished work!
So this one began as a musing while chopping kindling and thinking back to Vancouver which we’d visited while our daughter was living there. The result was Oregon which was short-listed for the 2015 Lane Cove Literary Award and subsequently published in the anthology. Here it’s remixed by IZ & Grand City Break.