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Peter Roads Nov 2018
what person could have known
how a cataclysm rolls in
the towering force
                  of nature
what person could have known
that there was a tip to that tower
how cold is the view from its peak
now clouded by teardrops
now rising through
though heaven made mist of the sky
rising from a cotton mouth
to make a liar of the tongue
what person could have known
for we do not speak
of a lonely tower
but to climb it
we do not speak
of a distant summit
but to find it
we do not speak
but we see it
rising from a bluff
on a cold shoulder
turned away from gruff land
on a plain sky residing
it is not enough
to pierce the sky
to see through it
where there is a window
there is a view
it must be seen to be true
where there is a cloud
there is the sun
shrouded though it seems
get high enough
to find the clue
what person could have known
that you were here alone
watching for a break in the storm
unless it was them all
and the tower was home
to everyone
all at once
Been a while since I wrote but the storm rolled in, it’s raining in Sydney and I have finished teaching for another year. Time to reflect on success and failure. We reach out and hope to enrich even a single mind, too often trapped inside our own fear, but we try
Peter Roads Apr 2018
Help yourself
to the words we left out
in this sunburnt tree
we call them a well turned phrase
because tree corpse
makes books feel macabre
and we love books
like we love words
like we love giving trees
hugs to release oxytocin
but none of this will help you read
between the lines of your unease
so do not look for help
between murderous sheets
self-help is called living
It doesn’t come from a book
and yes I’m aware of the irony
of writing that in a book of poetry
help yourself
to these burnt out words
and please
stop cutting down dreams
Self help, wellness, being, meaning, understanding, trees
Peter Roads Mar 2018
Of higher learning

We place a loose leash of knowing about slender throats
Caught hard in hollows, a not knowing breath
whose taste slipped into my words learned by rote
I wrote them all down then disregarded the terms
to a rattling gasp of old honour under contract
to self interest; a mid-career master of the dead
passing zombie bus stops still chasing the wind
past car parks come too late to a recording of record
bare baited notations pass status updates into the wind
Faith hung from some devils bargain by the late fee
What value has learning when you can’t find a teacher
Willing to work for the purpose of knowledge alone
Better choke it for the economics of high yield returned
To the word caught in this throat, it churns like cinders, last smoking
weft from the building we built just to watch it burn
Peter Roads Mar 2018
I don’t have the blues I’ve been gone too long to see colour that way I don’t whats in I don’t know whats hip I cant tell if its lit but I do know that a hit record doesn’t go on parade these days it stays hid inside the lamp light of a back street juke joint on Thursday night the red velvet curtain gives way to a gaping divide between tables, lamplight and this amorphous thing we called it something else and got another drink before closing time; craft beer is cool and not cool unless its so hoppy it bounces down your throat, well this is a rubber room after all hiding jazz behind a ukele doesn’t make a lick of sense, I don’t know the name of that chord but it sounds out a rainbow like the flag hanging from bars we don’t see ourselves walking away from, into, standing in line, I never saw a queue at the bar until I came to Australia and the beat generation don’t want me, my beard is too grey; I don’t look good in plaid and my tattoos are all of video games and science friction, so lets smoke a jay outside and call it 'peter roads is ****' until my back hurts when I sit on the floor, the sky is more blue so I’ll stay down on the upside of the inevitable decline into irreverence and try to flow in my own way; I cant sit under a tree to write this because all the trees smell like dog **** and I don’t keep pets not even hipsters on a loose leafed leash held tightly in a loose grip, if this party is lit light a candle for the cantrip and slip backwards into another poem about identity, inequality and privileged cleche, there is no beat to a slipstream left by a minority of white skin wishing doesn't make it so, so if I wish I could be cooler than this I can find the colour blue in a cheaply printed hue so try a monochromatic thin lipped smile we are not goths anymore just standing between the candle and the star, I tried to read more Jack but even that wont help unplug the colours in a rainbow - when it catches the breeze blowing through me - I wont remember your name but I see your face when I sleep and I like your piercings and your piercing gaze it sees right through my colour scheme to the heart of all this prevarication, I don’t have the blues and I don’t know whats cool, I don’t know whats cool, I don’t know whats cool and I don’t have the blues on a shoe string, I prefer bare feet on weekday; lets take a walk and see what the kids say when they hear this
Peter Roads Nov 2017
Let us share
        an incantation of the old world
Let us unfurl words like a string of pearls
torn from ocean deep - I battled Krakens
to bring you these words – let me wreathe
the drowning seed of ancient demons
in a modern tale of high rise jewellery
You can wear me at your leisure
for I am a book of poetry - open in your hands
caress my pages - I offer ages of wisdom in sand
strung sorrowful about a stony neck
can you see the mystery of that cloud
striated by the mountains tip carved
deep into the sky in defiance of the wind
unbowed by time yet so vulnerable
to lion and tiger, to the hermit and his tearful rain
did you know that every beach was once a mountain?
so every ocean floor kissed the sky in its youth
let us built these fragments into clamshells
string them on pearlescent pages turned
by curious eyes and ponder how time
makes a mystery or a monster of us all
Let us share
              this incantation of the old world
for in words
              we can live forever
The magic of book will never leave us, the old books section of your local thrift store, the library down the road, too often forgotten, read me... I am your book. This story is you
Peter Roads Oct 2017
The daylight has been saved
rescued from winters gaze
wrapped up, pinned in tin foil
it crinkles and catches
the kitchen window scent
of yesterday left
out on the amber sill
we forgot about time
folded it into gaps
woke up an hour too late
to catch the early bus
but daylight has been saved
dropped in the piggy bank
squirrelled away and then
tomorrow when we forget
how to breathe we will pray
for the winter and its scarves
for its rosy cheeks and long
nights with shorter evenings
summer is too bright for us
but daylight has been saved
maybe if God was real
it could tell us where we
left time, why it matters
and how to get it back
Peter Roads Sep 2017
When one returns to empty house
there is a fear that swift resounds
in echo of the homeward bound
that fate has wrought the death of sound
but in each step familiar tropes
unwind to salve the softer hope
for all that home can ever be
is carried in the memory
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