Poem: An Adelaide August Night

Memories conjured by an Adelaide winter’s night are the inspiration for this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Martha Landman.

Aug 01, 2018, updated Aug 07, 2018

An Adelaide August Night

Trees swing shadows on the wet road,
ghost dancers in the wild August wind.
Branches sweep deeply, dark knights-errant
under a shimmer of diamonds from the street lamps.
A thunderless night, hail and snow in the hills.
Not a night to be alone, feral foxes in the park.

It was on a night like this my father, bent against the storm
on our Africa farm, gave shelter to a beggar in the barn,
we children cooped up and frantic in the kitchen when he knocked.
For years I wondered about the harmless black traveller who,
out of nowhere, had chosen our door.

I bring myself back to the warmth in the car.
Just a few days ago a warm westerly wind nearly
lifted me off my feet, hair swooped skyward.
Creeks and gullies will be rivers now,
a city sandbagged against the expected water mass.
Not a night to be alone, feral foxes in the park.

Martha Landman moved from Townsville to Adelaide in 2015. After her three years here, she is still fascinated by Adelaide’s weather, and her life on its trams. She is a member of Friendly Street Poets and her poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies in Australia, the UK and US. As a practising psychologist, she says her poems are inspired by people and nature. Martha’s Adelaide tram poems for InDaily Poet’s Corner, can be found here and here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to [email protected]. Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.
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