The Friday Poems: ‘The Vodka Rondeau’ and ‘My father dreams of his father’ by Claudia Jardine

New verse by Wellington writer Claudia Jardine.

 

The Vodka Rondeau

 

In the spare room there is a bed

below the mould and rusted red

of the top flat’s hot water tank,

which burst and made the room so rank

that you can’t sleep there clear-headed.

 

We are the deaded; few drinks bled

Into many, and, out of bread,

With empty stomachs, flank to flank,

Two fuck like cray above Left Bank

In the spare room.

 

Her lately dreams of kebabs fled!

As on the musty mattress spread

Out like the stains above, we thank

Immortal hank that leads to pank,

Though they’ve nabbed the only bed

In the spare room.

 

 

My father dreams of his father

 

My father dreams of his father

walking in the garden of the old family homestead

on Kawaha Point.

I have not been back since he passed away.

 

As decrepit dogs wander off under trees

to sniff out their final resting places,

elderly men wait in the wings

rehearsing exit lines.

 

I’m sure my grandfather never envied his dog more

than during those last days.

I’m sure, given the choice, he would have preferred

to slip away under the magnolias.

 

The garden is tended by different hands now.

My grandmother still walks by the lake,

her little dog in tow. The current man of the house

is more interested in the chasing of swans

 

than the cultivating of camellias. And every August

the growth yields to posterity

so that some of the garden

can be taken to Jim.

 

My father dreams of his father

walking in the garden of the old family homestead

on Kawaha Point.

I have not been back since he passed away.

 

Claudia Jardine, 2018


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