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The theological lemming

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Paul Mitchell |  17 February 2014

Waves crashing at the base of a cliff














The theological lemming

He only has faith
in waves. They are the what
in what he doesn't know.

What he knows has left him
on the edge of a cliff
and whispered, Push yourself.

Waves crash. Waves
waver. Waves waver
then crash. Waves are
the is in what is
the substance of what

he hopes for. Their uncertain
certainty gives him faith
that he's only wavering
or at least the moon
still calls for the ocean.

He turns back
through falling friends
to the river, still
then stiller, his reflection,
at last, beyond himself.


Country dad, city son

I know you're out there
endless rolling hills and valleys
perpetually out there calling
wending your topography
geographying my memory

but I have to tell you
my toddler stands beside the highway
and delights in trucks and cars.

I watch metallic tennis
choke on chain smoke

but he counts and names and colours traffic
as if it were what it's not:

the most natural thing in the world.



How did I get here? said the p_____ to the p_____, announcing her disorientation with joy and longing. The p_____ took two steps back and forward and held up a leather book, the title of which the p_____ couldn't see. Thank you, she said, and the p_____ agreed it is right to give thanks and praise for what we do not know. They took turns to shake hands and nod heads, the ocean behind them mimicking; a slip here, a slide there and one would be gone or the other the other. There was sand beneath them, but where the p_____ and p_____ stood, well, that's a question more puzzling The p_____ knew the p____ expected her to have answers, as surely as the p_____ expected the p____ to have questions. But neither could bring herself to announce what she knew of the other. What was the use of meeting? they mused, once they'd gone their separate ways (sic) and back to their separate callings, calling over their shoulders as they left: p_____! p_____! Who's that, over there, rhyming those fish?



In winter swimming pool change rooms
father helps his son with soft words
whispers towel the boy's white bum
dries flat chest shoulders endless
questions football God video games
peacefully unfolds his son's
dry clothes cherishes boy's
drenched beauty understands every
strand of showered hair jean pull
over damp flesh wrap arm in arm
windcheater jacket ties his son's
shoes holds his hand they leave
breathing each others breath

Paul Mitchell headshotPaul Mitchell is a Melbourne writer of journalism, poetry and fiction.

Waves image from Shutterstock



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Submitted comments

poet/priest.........moist eyes/delish rhymes.

Pam 18 February 2014

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