Andrew Lansdown: Four Poems

Little Things

i
A flustering moth
on the lighted windowsill
in a gecko’s mouth.

ii
The pond raises
shellacked lily umbrellas
against the rain.

iii
One million frogs
(I refer to the racket)
or one megafrog?

iv
The pounding rain
bowing chrysanthemums to
the splashing sand.

v
Rain is fixing
glass beads to a papyrus’s
afro hairdo.

vi
The slender tail
of the damselfly perched on
the sheoak leaf.

vii
Via a black bird
on a green violet leaf
a whitish spatter.

viii
Watching the wind
the spider in the window
caught in its web.

**
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After the Fishermen

1
Stoppage

The scarlet tissues
inside the slits at the back
of the salmon head
will never more be able
to take the air from the sea.

2
Spillage

Pluck a red petal
from a gerbera, string it
with other petals …
Now look at the gills spilling
from the severed salmon head …

**
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Times of Fox-Dread
Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto, Japan

1
Possession

In old Japan
fear of foxes polluted
everyday life:
Oh, is that maid a vixen?
Is that sickness possession?

2
Petition

It seems fanciful
but in fact the shogun did
write to the Fox God
demanding the punishment
of a fox for bewitchment!

3
Exorcism

No set exercise
could ensure the exorcise
of a trickster fox:
From experts it might require
prayers, beatings or even fire.

4
Fashion

How would the ancients
consider those carefree schoolgirls
sporting styled fox-masks?
They dwelt in times of fox-dread
when fox-ghosts stole heart and head.

**
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Petal Poems, Kyoto

1
Unintentional
but hardly lamentable …
the only vessels
sailing this disused canal
are the cherry trees’ petals.

2
So ephemeral,
the lives of cherry petals—
upon arrival
they publicise their nuptials
then rush off for burial.

3
A differential
between the oriental
and occidental
rests in the deferential
view of the cherry petal.


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Andrew Lansdown is a widely published and award-winning Australian writer whose works include 3 novels, 2 short story collections and 15 poetry collections. His most recent books are: Distillations of Different Lands (Sunline Press, Western Australia, 2018); Kyoto Momiji Tanka: Poems and Photographs of Japan in Autumn (Rhiza Press, Queensland, 2019); and Abundance: New and Selected Poems (Wipf & Stock/ Cascade Books, Oregon, USA, 2020). His website is:  www.andrewlansdown.com

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