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RL Smith Nov 2021
the day after you died
I looked for you
the dead linger like mist on a river
people gather like flowers
to bring solace
float on busyness
I feel you walk with me to your grave
funerals are full
the next day and the one after
once the sun warms you disperse on the wind
gone but for the lingering scent on your pillow
RL Smith Nov 2021
I walk these woods
watch suns rise and rains fall
the hound at my heel is friendlier than I
she greets others as long lost
time and again
I soak up her joy
a nose touched
a bow made
at leash ends
humans smile and nod
or exclaim
at birds songs
the river’s rush
a canine confidant
tomorrow we will meet again
RL Smith Apr 2020
We walked to Sealers Bay, four of us, all women
Bleeding Madonnas on a pilgrimage in the rain, together yet alone
each to her own journey
Moving like the floods of 2011, ready to take out any obstruction
Mud ******* at our feet, rainforest leeches suckling our blood like desperate children
The rhythm of my feet set off a reverie of how I lost my mind just a moment ago.
I found it again, blood pumping in my ears, heart pounding like thunder
The sweat running down my neck made me think of you…wondering where, how, who?  
A futile fancy
Still the rainforest clings to me, my feet echoing on the boardwalk,
the sound of running water filled with tannins
emotions of the forest flowing beneath my feet to Sealers Bay
A beach once stained with the blood of whales lies calm and blue, deceptive
A moment of sunshine found me sprawled on the sand, waves of exertion washed over me
The repose was fleeting.
Nature interrupted sending a shower, and a chill up my spine
A journey is rarely one way and retracing my steps is like retracing a lifetime
…would it have been better if?..
Eventually I turn my mind skyward to a flock of black cockatoos screeching like banshees at the women trudging one foot in front of the other in a winter forest
Nineteen kilometres of contemplation can quieten a busy mind, it is the number of surrender and endurance
The feeling of my toenail lifting in my boot is strangely cathartic
like a mistress, how pain focuses thoughts on the detail
I see tiny red Correas, the *** organs of plants, there for the pleasure of others
My buttocks and calves scream as the incline of the hill steepens, spurring me on
pleasure in pain makes you forget yourself, and the forest
there's just breathe and movement and rhythm
RL Smith Apr 2020
A girl stood on a stage with an old suitcase open
airing the ***** laundry of generations
An old woman turned in her grave
If only she could rise up
she would put the world to rights
create order from the chaos the girl embraced
put everyone back in their place
The audience cringed
and cackled
someone else's stuff is so much more palatable than your own
the crumbs of life swept under the carpet where elephants live
A family watched on
filled with pride, and prejudice
A girl stood on the stage
changing the terms and conditions to suit the beat of her own drum
RL Smith Apr 2020
moments of stillness between the notes of a melody
speak volumes across the space to your vacant stare
in a distant field winters knife cuts icicles from frozen trees
while you cut words from cloths made of steel
throwing them like daggers into a crowded room
demons wear party hats sewn by your own shaking hand
dancing like embers from the heart of your womb
and the problem of truthfulness cannot touch your heart
as you gather your goslings in the face of a gale
beautiful and dangerous combine in a ***
and the masquerade of normalcy erupts to the moon
but knights seldom travel without squires
and one turn of the carousel finds me standing by your side
like a bidder at an auction I point out silence in a distant field
where nature pours balm on a troubled soul
cogitation and abstraction combine through a glassy prism
until your existence is no longer left in doubt
RL Smith Jan 2016
Your beauty is stark
and dangerous
Struck by your presence
I am caught between attraction
and repulsion
love and fear
Drawn Like a moth
to a burning pyre
Will you take me
or torment me?
In the heat of the day
your rage simmers
beneath the blistering sun
that in the cool
of the evening
surrounds me with love
To stay or go
a question forever
playing on my lips
RL Smith Dec 2015
Caught between Spring and Summer
like the moment between life and death
when the vestiges of youth still shimmer
beneath a fading light
that once brightened the world
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