old man & suburb

in a not quite enough private gap
between one high lego and the next
the imported lad with his motorblade
buzz cuts to first day of Wimbledon priss
the grass the one incautious housewife
bounces from her 11th floor kitchen breadrolls on
for pigeon and mynah queueing up under
DON’T FEED THE BIRDS

order order!
this house will come to order

bottlebrush tops strait waists
skirts stiff as marble
twelve palms six sinister six right
stand wallflower waiting for a wind
too busy fanning mischief on Sumatra
and conditioning the Cameron Highlands
to come and gentlemanly ask for
a not so close if you don’t mind slow dance

6 thoughts on “old man & suburb

  1. For me this piece has a fine balance between those grown old and too comfortable and those for whom age is a time to dispense with insignificant rules and routines.
    I like your structure here, John, and your carefully chosen words. Excellent poetry.

  2. Brother John – I have to admit that this was one of the more difficult poems for me to comprehend because of my ignorance. Basically I get this as being two contrasting landscapes that express opposite views , one irreverent and one conventional. I tried to put way too much emphasis on Wimbledon as an event rather than an adjective. Once I figured out what a bottlebrush was, I was off to the races. Love the irony of:

    the grass the one incautious housewife
    bounces from her 11th floor kitchen breadrolls on
    for pigeon and mynah queueing up under
    DON’T FEED THE BIRDS

    and the vivid imagery of the bottlebrushes that:

    stand wallflower waiting for a wind
    too busy …
    to come and gentlemanly ask for
    a not so close if you don’t mind slow dance

    These are two attitudes that both inhabit the personality of the old man. Profound as always.

  3. Brother David

    You do me proud here and your response is right on the money.
    I admit, not the easiest of poems to digest but i was aiming for brevity
    and succinctness.

    Thank You

    Love to You and Diane

    Always our brother

    john

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