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A Retrospect Of Humidity Analysis

Author: poem of Les Murray Type: poem Views: 5

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All the air conditioners now slacken

their hummed carrier wave. Once again

we've served our three months with remissions

in the steam and dry iron of this seaboard.

In jellied glare, through the nettle-rash season

we've watched the sky's fermenting laundry

portend downpours. Some came, and steamed away,

and we were clutched back into the rancid

saline midnights of orifice weather,

to damp grittiness and wiping off the air.

Metaphors slump irritably together in

the muggy weeks. Shark and jellyfish shallows

become suburbs where you breathe a fat towel;

babies burst like tomatoes with discomfort

in the cotton-wrapped pointing street markets;

the Lycra-bulging surf drips from non-swimmers

miles from shore, and somehow includes soil.

Skins, touching, soak each other. Skin touching

any surface wets that and itself

in a kind of mutual digestion.

Throbbing heads grow lianas of nonsense.

It's our annual visit to the latitudes

of rice, kerosene and resignation,

an averted, temporary visit

unrelated, for most, to the attitudes

of festive northbound jets gaining height -

closer, for some few, to the memory

of ulcers scraped with a tin spoon

or sweated faces bowing before dry

where the flesh is worn inside out,

all the hunger-organs clutched in rank nylon,

by those for whom exhaustion is spirit:

an intrusive, heart-narrowing season

at this far southern foot of the monsoon.

As the kleenex flower, the hibiscus

drops its browning wads, we forget

annually, as one forgets a sickness.

The stifling days will never come again,

not now that we've seen the first sweater

tugged down on the beauties of division

and inside the rain's millions, a risen

loaf of cat on a cool night verandah.

Anonymous submission.


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