Ian C. Smith, 7/12


‘All habits are tinged with sadness,

for being habits.’  Paul Theroux



Confined, in light I sit, the world behind,

read derivative sub-headings, foul news

in the still morning in the same sequence

after removing the trendy sections

and filing them in the used pile, unread.

I start the main items from the front, sport

from the back, save word puzzles until last.

I sip coffee rattling lightweight pages

including full-page adverts which I shun

like a rich man ignoring a beggar,

coffee I brew the same way, the same time.

Loafing, I read days into weeks, months, years.

I could catch the radio news afoot,

attend to life’s quiet desperation,

but I’m a slave to habit’s sad aura.





Toiling, sweat his cure for insomnia

blocks introspection, also keeps him fit.

He rakes a dead bird, then a rat, from mulch.

Disturbed whiskery mosquitoes rise from

fecund beds of leaf litter in the shade.

He pauses passing the disused sandpit

under Japanese lanterns where kids played

while the parents celebrated in song

showed off, spilled wine, here, then, now ivy-grown.


Done, he selects piano and cello

Koechlin’s composition, Chansons Bretonnes

house musty-tidy, his dry skin sallow.

Les Laboreurs has won music’s time test

but reminds him, as usual, of joy gone.


Ian C Smith lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of south-eastern Australia where he loves the natural world, his work appearing in Blue Giraffe, Camel Saloon,  Full of Crow, MiCROW, Monkey Kettle, papertiger, Radio Nag, Rain Dog, Shrike, Sugar Mule, Takahe, &, Trout.  His latest book is Contains Language, Ginninderra Press, Adelaide.

Promote. Poetry.
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