A- A A+

In the uncomfortably quiet streets

John Falzon |  15 June 2015

Opening scene from Blue Velvet

The Desolate Spaces
We need our ghosts like poems
Especially the kind
That cling to the palate
The kind of ghosts that belong
To no program
The kind of poems that cling
To the roof of your mouth
Like home-made wine
I have poetry you said
I have poetry
I have need
Of nothing else
I have poetry
Nobody except everybody
Taught me
Now I need only everything
Nothing else.

This morning I woke up scared for
In my dream I was poet
I was a poet in my nightmare
Worst of all I think
In the uncomfortably quiet streets
I think I may have been
The only poet
Streets like the streets
In Blue Velvet or Land of the Giants.

The Last Book
This beautiful notebook
Sounds like the sea
Full of scratches and bites
Wrote that a good notebook
And understanding how to use it
Are more important than
Just about anything
I am extra careful
I carry a beautiful library around with me everywhere
In a stone
Small sharp white no black
Imbued with the nothing of ages
Carrying everything dangerous
Dangerously self-educated
A boatload of navigators learning new tongues
After nothing more than a fair crack at happiness
Poetry they tell us
Is always a new page
Nestled in between the lines
Of the old page
In the last book.

John Falzon

Dr John Falzon is Chief Executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council and is author of The Language of the Unheard (2012).



Comments should be short, respectful and on topic. Email is requested for identification purposes only.

Word Count: 0 (please limit to 200)

Submitted comments

Wow. So gently confronting. (Congratulations on your AM Dr Falzon, well deserved).

Pam 15 June 2015

A man of many hats. Thank you John

Trish Taylor 16 June 2015

Thanks for this beautiful gift to start the day.

Peter Goers 16 June 2015

Ahhhhh. Poetry with a beautiful quietness at its centre. Thank you John.

Anna Summerfield 19 June 2015

Similar articles

Painful memories of my schooldays

Isabella Fels | 27 May 2015

Sweet Dreams booksIt was a place of torture, with great physical and mental pain. I remember being hit at with a hockey stick. I was forced to stoop, in all sorts of ways. All my efforts came to nothing, even when I gave the girls money to buy lollies, and lent them my Sweet Dreams teenage romance novels.

Submarine Catholic

Various | 26 May 2015

SubmarineFifty years ago well after my baptism my first holy communion & my confirmation I would have likely said – practising Catholic. Most friday nights back then I’d find myself with Father kneeling before him on the carpeted step of the confessional box my little red face pressed upwards to the grille.

Seeking restitution for Nazi art theft

Tim Kroenert | 28 May 2015

Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann in Woman in GoldMaria's aunt was the subject of one of Austria's most famous artworks, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, by the painter Gustav Klimt, which was stolen from Maria's family by the Nazis during the Second World War. Maria's story raises questions about the means and consequences of individuals and nations coming to terms with difficult histories, and of what constitutes 'ownership' of cultural artefacts with a high level of national significance.

Smells like baked scones

Wendy Fleming | 02 June 2015

Baked sconesI will sit the pot on my desk filled with red geraniums, variegated blue and pink wallflowers I’ll let it breathe devotion, your heart work, imprint your words of love.

Child assassin's slow escape from cult corruption

Tim Kroenert | 04 June 2015

Jeremy Chabriel in PartisanThe children, their mothers and overseer inhabit a world all their own, morally as well as geographically. They know little but the rustic textures of life inside the compound; where every Friday they paint their faces like jungle animals and sing karaoke as a reward for a good week's killing. Even during their bloody errands, the urban landscape evokes a Martian dereliction. Only Alexander has started to smell danger.