Child in the gardens. Vincent O’Sullivan

The Child in the Gardens

How sudden, this entering the fallen
gardens for the first time, to feel the blisters
of the world’s father, as his own hand
does. It is everything dying at once,
the slimed pond and the riffling of leaves,
shoes drenched across sapless stalks.
It is what you will read a thousand times.
You will come to think, who has not stood
there, holding that large hand, not said
Can’t we go back? I don’t like this place.
Your voice sounds like someone else’s. You
rub a sleeve against your cheek, you want
him to laugh, to say, ‘The early stars can’t hurt
us, they are further than trains we hear
on the clearest of nights.’ We are in a story
called Father, We Must Get Out.
Leaves scritch at the red walls,
a stone lady lies near the pond, eating
dirty grass. It is too sudden, this
walking into time for its first lesson,
its brown wind, its scummed nasty
paths. You know how lovely yellow
is your favourite colour, the kitchen at home.
You touch the big gates as you leave,
the trees stand on their bones, the shoulders
on the vandaled statue are huge cold
eggs. Nothing there wants to move.
You touch the gates and tell them, We
are not coming back to this place. Are we, Dad?

Vincent O’Sullivan

From: Nice Morning for It, Adam (Victoria University Press, 2004)
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More information about the poet:
http://www.poetryarchive.org/poet/vincent-osullivan

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Black History- Poems about The Body. Calvin Forbes, “Picture of a Man”

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Poems about The Body. Calvin Forbes, Black poet- “Picture of a Man”

He draws a man,
bright swirls of red.
And I say give me a tree.
He points to the middle
of his red and says
“there’s a tree!”
Tonight without complaining
he goes off to sleep
asking why in his story book
the big boats have little
boats. He shouts
goodnight: I ask if he wants
the lights out-

he says no, that he can’t see
without the light.
A different excuse than
last night when he was plain scared.
Later I turn off the light-
his face soft as a breast.
And I know then what another man
meant when he said
maybe I could have loved
better
but couldn’t have loved more.
I thought of a woman like that once.
This child is all I have left…

—–

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http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/calvin-forbes

“Calvin Forbes teaches writing, literature, and jazz history at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Blues and jazz inform both the rhythm and content of his poetry. He often uses ballads to tell family stories or the ups and downs of romance. But Forbes updates the tradition with surreal techniques, epigrammatic humor, and changing voices. He described his work as “simplicity shacked up with complexity.” His first book, Blue Monday, appeared in 1974 and his most recent, The Shine Poems, a book that resurrects the African-American folk character, was issued in 2001.”Image