Father

Fifty years since he died – that’s enough

to make cliffs crumble, tears

crystalize to salt and the noise

of storms and sunsets loosen

their hold on the mind. A playground

locked against a northern winter

imprisoned my grief, its swings

and seesaws clutched by invisible

fingers of ice. I missed his funeral

by a hemisphere, my last farewell

a quick embrace now petrified

to a gravestone by his river.

Grief doesn’t last, or shouldn’t. In its place

are memory, images, and love itself

should be sufficient memorial.

Andrew Taylor is the author of seventeen books of poetry, including Collected Poems (Salt, UK 2004), The unhaunting (Salt, UK 2009), and Impossible Preludes

(Margaret River Press, 2016). He has published much literary criticism, and written the libretti for two operas, as well as translating poetry from German and Italian. In 1975 he co-founded Adelaide’s Friendly Street Poets, Australia’s oldest

continuous public poetry reading, and later the South Australian Writers’ Centre.


He is Professor Emeritus at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia.

Since leaving Perth in 2014 he divides his time between Sydney and Wiesbaden

in Germany.

Author bio